In progress. Learning some Italian or at least using DeepL more often. On the last tour with the road noodle I heard some really rough sounding noise. Sounded like I was crunching something when pedaling. And that is a sound you do not want to hear from a bike. As a side note: Annoying thing of a carbon frame is that it resonates sounds to a much larger extent than what I am used to on my alloy frame. On the other hand not bad to hear problems early. Hope this fix takes care of it.

In the beginning the sound wasn’t so bad and would only occasionally appear. I had already swapped the bottom bracket, the left pedal, the right pedal, took the rear derailleur apart and refitted it and added more carbon paste to the seat post. Only to have the sound get worse. Well at one point I stopped again to check for the potential cause and hopefully I finally found it. The cassette was able to wiggle about a mm on the outer side. Hmm.

I took the wheel out and let it turn. The axle seemed fine. But the cassette was so loose I was a little afraid it wouldn’t get me back home the 40km that we still had to go. On minimum power I finished the tour and took everything apart once I was at home. This is where the fun started. Quickly I was able to see that the outer bearing of the free hub was completely destroyed. I thought to myself: this will be an easy one. Have done this before… Well. I was wrong.

When you service a Fulcrum free hub. E.g. to replace some bearing you can easily take the axle out of the rims. The you need to use an allen key to hold the axle and unscrew the right locknut. It wouldn’t work. Somehow the two pieces had built a deep connection to each other. And applying force to a piece of alloy will result in it’s destruction. Fact – not fun.

So my mood was already bad and a short research for spare parts had it turning even worse. I couldn’t find the parts anywhere on my usual shopping sites like BC or rose bikes. So I started a search on google and stumbled on to these guys from Italy here: bikesportadventure. So after searching the fulcrum spare parts catalogue (german version here) I ordered the three parts that I needed. A new free hub (I couldn’t get the old one off and it already had significant marks on it), the new axle and a new locknut. Only to be told after payment (“In attesa di pagamento con PayPal”) that the parts are not in stock… aaah!

In hindsight I should have believed their estimation that the latest delivery would be by the 5th of August for my order date of the 18th of July. Given the spare part situation at the moment I was an unbeliever. Knowing I would eventually wear out my rims on the gravel / bike packing bike some time soon, I hunted for some replacements that would serve on the road bike for the time until the parts arrive.

I found and purchased myself some unused Rose R-Thirty at a decent price. Sturdy set of rims at a price I am willing to pay and with a decent weight. They weigh 1.645g in total. More than what they say on their website but ok with me. Also not tubeless ready but I am not to fussed about that. Have been running tubeless on the Fulcrum 5 for 10.000km without problems.

Just after I had sent the money via Paypal I received the notification that the parts from Italy were on delivery as well. Lol. So today both arrived (In consegna – Entro la fine della giornata). Well – I hung the Roses up on the wall for now and fixed the Fulcrums with the spare parts. With nothing stuck to each other or broken in some way the repair was – as initially hoped – an easy 10 minute task. I’ll take the bike for the commute tomorrow to test if all is running fine.

While I had everything taken apart I also added the 11-30 ultegra cassette to replace the 12-25 105 I had on the rims. In the beginning I found climbing hills hard on 34-25 as lowest gear but that has changed. Hope I don’t get lazy on the 34-30 setup I have now. I am hoping I can spin along a little longer this way downhill

Each repair is a little adventure 😀

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