Yesterday my hub gear was disassembled, new bearings inserted to be on the safe side and lashings of grease applied. There had been a little bit of a scraping sound since the Cambridge ride. In the early hours of this morning I awoke from my slumber with a start, faced with the full implications...guilt even of what I had done!
After the Cambridge ride I took my beloved Orange Brompton to a local petrol station and pressure washed it. I thought I was reasonably careful but I know I did clean the back wheel and dare I say it...hub. Once home I gave it a good clean and recall applying liberal amounts of GT85 to the little chain that goes inside the hub and for good measure a few squirts of it through the hold of the hub itself!
At 4:07 in the a.m. it dawned on me that along with its many properties, GT85 is also a degreaser! Damn it to hell! I have been the cause of my own hubs problems!
Watching the rear wheel of my beloved Orange Brompton on the work bench was akin to seeing something on the operating table. Never again! At 4:10 in the a.m. I rushed to the study trying to avoid no less than three Maine Coon cats, in search of the Brompton Bicycle book by David Henshaw. When I had finished reading the comprehensive section on hub gears, it was only with a self control I did not know I possessed that prevented me from shouting, "noooooooooo!"
With my new Orange Titanium Brompton on its way, I will not be making the same mistake again. Luckily, the bike and hub seem perfectly fine, so perhaps it was caught in the nick of time!