Breaking Up Isn’t That Hard To Do
We were supposed to ride on Saturday. The previous weekend was brilliant for weather and we spent all of it in the garden or around the house. We didn’t get on the bike once. This weekend we were going to ride, ride, ride to make up for lost time. What did we wake up to? Wind and lashing rain.
We decided to take Lady CoMo apart. Literally. To break her up into pieces. And then put her back together again. Just for fun. Well, actually as a practice run for our vacation in September.
Co-Motion’s instruction booklet is very specific. Get a chair, make yourself comfortable, and give yourself lots of time. We could handle that – we had a whole day of lousy weather ahead of us.
There are three basic steps to taking her apart: remove the timing chain, undo the cable splitters, and loosen the couplings. It’s dead simple.
Removing the timing chain is a simple matter of pulling the chain sideways while rotating the crank arms. The chain slips right off. However, Lady CoMo also comes with an eccentric hub which can be loosened and rotated to alter the tension on the chain. I wouldn’t have noticed this except it was mentioned in the instruction manual. Pete Stasney at Co-Motion explained that the eccentric hub is only needed if you have a belt drive rather than a chain. So no eccentricities for us.
Cable splitters are installed on the derailleur and rear brake cables. There are three of them. I released all tension on both derailleurs (so the bike was cross-chained). I then used two spanners to loosen the cable splitters and unscrewed them by hand. No difficulty here. Oh, I also made a mental note of which cable went where.
Finally the moment of truth. It was time to decouple. A handy wrench supplied by Co-Motion is the only tool required. Each coupling was loosened slightly and then unscrewed by hand, one by one. The most difficult part of the operation is holding the frame in place while taking it apart.
Once the frame was in pieces it was an opportunity to give her a good washing and an application of Pink Carnauba wax.
When we bought Lady CoMo we got everything we would need for travel. After all, our intention is to tour with her. Co-Motion supplied Velcro sleeves to protect the frame. This was the opportunity to measure, cut and label them.
In principle, all we need to do is remove the handlebars, seat posts, and pedals in order to fit Lady CoMo into these two luggage-sized suitcases. They are standard size for airport check-in so hopefully we avoid outrageous bike fees in future.
Reassembly was best done while the memory was fresh. We regreased the couplings with Teflon grease and carefully reversed our steps. It was actually surprising how quickly everything went together.
The only question was, did we do it properly? Well, Sunday dawned clear so we packed ourselves up and went over to Gatineau Park. We rode an alternate route that included a five kilometer climb past Lac Fortune. The gears shifted smoothly, the brakes were perfect, and the frame stayed in one piece.
I think we can call the operation a success.