|This is a hub that's been disassembled, cleaned, bearings packed back in, in the process of adding more grease, and prepared to be adjusted. Please be suitably impressed, thanks.|
The hub is the center of the wheel, see, and it doesn't LOOK like it should be so hard. But it is! I swear to god, and I can't even say exactly why they're so fiendishly difficult. They just are. Apparently every hub is a little different, so that adds to the stress. It takes a lot of practice - you do 10 hubs and then you'll start feeling more comfortable, apparently, more familiar with the assembly of innards. But even if you get good at it, it's terribly time-consuming and there are a lot of rotating bits all coming together in one little centralized spot and it's just complicated.
Do you have an internal gear hub? Then I can't help you, that's a whole other class. Were you under the impression that the scary cassette thing (above, to the right, all them teeth) was the hardest part? You're wrong, it's pretty easy - and might even be fun if you get to use a chain whip.
Yes! A chain whip! It sounds and even looks like some sort of advanced AP sex toy:
|I feel like this should be part of a Halloween costume.|
Also apparently if you have long hair, it is absolutely inevitable that your hubs will have hair in them. It's just a law of bicycle physics: long hair + spinning wheel = hair wound up in hub. Gross, yes. But at least you know.
Overall, this is the one thing we've done where I am not 95% confident I could do again on my own without supervision. I think I'll come in and practice on other wheels, to get used to it.
I feel like I need to admit that I now want to basically be a bike mechanic. Or at least I want to take apart people's bikes and put them back together again, a lot. Aside from me generally being a Little Mis Fix-It by nature, I think it's super addictive because of the huge variety in bikes and parts and potential problems - and the vast array of goofy-looking tools. So anyway, consider yourself warned: if you're around me and there's anything I can detect wrong with your bike, I will undoubtedly beg you to let me take it apart.