into gear for the Solstice

here’s one I prepared earlier

I was up on the roof bright and early to see what I could see of the lunar eclipse.

Zilch. There was a faint glow behind the clouds where the full moon was. The robins were singing fit to burst. It was seriously sub-zero. So I went and gave the bicycle a Serious Looking At.


Last year, the gears froze up in the cold weather, and so I set fire to them. Not a good move, really.

The gears were frozen again yesterday, so I cycled around Bristol in first gear in a snowstorm, which meant that I was going a lot faster than the cars that were queued up on every damn road, but still not very fast. I was looking for the Waxwings that have arrived in Bristol. I was also engaged in Operation Gonk. Which is still Top Secret.

Anyway, it was time to sort out the frozen gear problem. I Googled ‘frozen Shimano Nexus’ and found a few theories, including one that the problem was internal.

This didn’t seem likely, as the problem developed on Saturday morning while I was actually out cycling; and if the freezing were inside the hub, I should have expected it to have got warmer as I pedalled.

So I stripped down the gear change actuating mechanism. There was a fair bit of moisture in there, as you can see from the picture.

So I flushed it all out with WD40, and slathered grease on it, and reassembled it.


Well, here’s hoping.


Edit: that didn’t fix the problem, so I removed the cable, thawed it out, and forced oil through the cable shrouding, using a hydraulic oiler that I just happened to have. Second time lucky! A little dribble of water came out of the cable sleeve when I operated the oiler; then the oil started coming through. I took the bike out last night, and it worked fine.

a hydralic oiler making a bit of a mess


Happy Solstice!



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6 Responses to into gear for the Solstice

  1. anjiknut says:

    I hope all is running smoothly now. I wonder what temperature WD40 freezes at. I didn’t know about the eclipse, but I dreamt about one the other night.

  2. Jess says:

    WD40: penicillin and aspirin combined for the mechanical world 🙂

  3. Dru says:

    It’s running fine, thanks, Anji- I rode across town and back last night, with no probs…
    What would we do without it, Jess? I once did an emergency hub bearing repair with butter for a lubricant, which worked until the butter melted.

  4. anjiknut says:

    Here’s a bit of film of the eclipse, though the moon wouldn’t stay in one place

  5. Halle says:

    Going ‘camping’ there are two items I am never without… duct-tape and WD-40; both wonders of the late 20th century!

    Happy Returns to Warmth in 2011.

  6. Dru says:

    Thanks for thee link, Anji- she seemed a bit underwhelmed by the experience… I saw a lunar eclipse in mid-Channel once, and it was really quite spectacular, going very red indeed.
    -and tie-wraps, possibly, Halle? -though you’ve covered just about all the bases with those two 🙂

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