New Outside Column! And Also Lubricants!

I’ve got a new column on the Outsides, and it’s all about kickstands!

You’ll note it’s a “member exclusive,” so you’ll need to become one in order to experience my profound thoughts on the subject. It that bothers you, please consider that this cow has been giving away the milk for free on this blog (eeew) for the past, what fourteen (14) years now? Also, I’m sure if Outside saw you were becoming a member because of my content that would look good in whatever file they have on me, I’m just saying. It’s pretty cheap, too–one year of membership is probably less than what you spent at Dunkin’ Donuts last week. (Yeah, that’s right, Dunkin’ Donuts. Where do you buy your cappuccinos, Starbucks?) And if nothing else, I think I deserve some support for getting a story about kickstands into a mainstream publication.

Anyway, even if you’re not a member and have no intention of becoming a member of Outside, you can still find plenty of kickstand porn right here:

You’re welcome.

In more Fredly news, I mentioned that the left STI lever on the Eurotrash bike was sticking, and that Paul of Classic Cycle suggested first heating it up with a hair dryer and then giving it some lube:

Fortunately, I recently received a whole box of boutique lubricants and other bike juices from Dumonde Tech:

First, I fired up the Revlon and hit the shifter with so much hot air it probably felt like it was on the receiving end of a lecture from Paul Krugman. Then, while vigorously working the shifter, I drizzled several milliliters of this stuff into the lever body:

I chose it based on the description on the bottle:

Nobody really knows what happens inside an STI lever–the handful of people who have dared actually open them up have not survived to tell the tale–but I’ve got to assume things are going up and down or in and out in there, and anyway it didn’t seem thick enough to gum up the works.

Then I went for a ride.

Overall, the procedure was a success, and I’m pleased to report the shifter now works almost perfectly. However, I failed to account for the fact that some of the lube I put in there would invariably make its way back out again, and so the shifter slowly oozed as I rode like a cat with a runny eye. So if you attempt the same treatment, try to do it the night before so you can wipe off the excess the next day, or at the very least carry a rag with you. (I just stopped every now and again and wiped it off my sleeve–which, come to think of it, is the same way I deal with the cat.)

It would have been even easier to wipe down the shifter if I’d had a kickstand, but even I wouldn’t do that to a Colnago.

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