Know What’s Where and the Correct Torque, or Pay the Price
When I was servicing the rear Chris King R45 hub earlier in the spring, I first noticed that the o-ring inside the driveshell was torn. I don’t know whether I broke it while trying to clean the interior of the driveshell or it broke through regular use. O-rings being the most fragile bits of any assembly, the lesson here is that before starting to clean anything, study the exploded diagram in the manual to learn what’s where so you don’t stick a toothbrush or other cleaning implement in a sea of black residue and break something fragile that you don’t know is there.
The hub episode didn’t end there. When I tried to loosen the adjusting clamp, the screw broke off. Obviously, I had over-tightened it the last time I serviced the hub. I hadn’t paid attention to the recommended torque, so I opened the manual to find out what it is. Just 1.1Nm. I had probably tightened it to a torque several times that…
So, I needed a replacement o-ring and a replacement adjusting clamp. Does the LBS keep a stock of replacement parts? No. Do distributors in Germany and the UK keep stock? No. Does it make economic sense for the distributor to place an order just for some replacement parts that cost very little without waiting to place their next bulk order with Chris King in several weeks’ time? No. Should distributors behave like distributors and stock an assortment of replacement parts? Yes, but they don’t. Can Chris King supply them directly to you? Not if there is a distributor in your region. Do Chris King have a recommended replacement parts assortment for their distributors to keep an inventory of so they are prepared for aftercare servicing requirements? Apparently not, unlike in other industries where aftercare service is a regular requirement.
So, other than the end user, who cares? Not sure, but the obvious lesson is, know what you’re doing to minimise the risk of breaking things. In other words, don’t make daft mistakes because prompt help may not be at hand.
I ordered the spare parts from Aspire Velotech in the US. They had them in stock, and their customer service is really fantastic. Highly recommended.