A few months ago, a friend of mine decided to up sticks and move to the land of the free and the home of the brave, The United States of America. This being quite a drastic move, he decided to flog/donate/destroy a number of things he had managed to acquire over his lifetime in England. One of these was an Apollo TDF 02 road bike, which he had owned as the name suggests, since 2002. At some point in his life, he had been quite fond of this beast, but with a new life beckoning he had decided to dispose of it, and offered to give it to me. His reasons for doing so aren't completely clear. I'm quite sentimental about my bikes, and so the thought of giving a bike you've owned for 10 years away, seems incredulous to me. Maybe he's not that sentimental about his bikes, or maybe he knew that I would keep riding it, I'll never know what was actually going through his head, but he did seem a wee bit sad when he finally handed it over to me.
I also have a wee bit of history with this bike myself. Around 3 years ago, he had lent me this bike for a week to give me a chance to discover what road biking was all about. I instantly fell in love with this agile and light style of riding. Finally, I could fulfil my need for speed on a bicycle. This eventually led to the purchase of my first ever road bike a few months later.
He had also recently bought an all carbon Giant road bike as a replacement, some time ago. Hence his Apollo had relegated to the status of a commute bike. For people who own multiple bike, the commute bike tends to always be the most ridden, and also the most neglected when it comes to maintenance. This was certainly true of the Apollo. I had decided that, this would be a fitting way to carry on the tradition, by making this my commute bike as well.
He had already provided me with a list of things to fix, ranging from "urgent" to "some time in the future". So I fixed all the things he'd listed as "urgent", such as replacing brake pads and gear cables, on the next free Saturday and awaited excitedly for Monday.
My ride to work, was not as enjoyable as I'd hoped for. I discovered that there was a very significant amount of chain slippage. Which was particularly noticeable on the one hill that I come across on my ride to work. It was nearly impossible to put any power down. On the ride home, I concluded that this was not going to work. I would have to replace the Chain rings, chain and cassette, just to make this bike ride-able again. Thus began "My little bike project".