Boo! Gather close, and hear thee the good word of scary bike parts.

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No! I speak not of those of ye hyperlight stem, wheel, pedal spindle or even that most dogawful Off the Front Bar tape although hear me and remember well the terrifying graphics and neon splash colors! Lo this here message is to warn you of an evil most diabolical that lurks in the deep dark greasy places of maybe your bicycle. The ball bearing retainer is of what I speak! Good dog what could that be you ask?! From the e-gospel of Saint Sheldon himself they are described thus and with a thoughtful illustration as well praise be to Saint Sheldon:

retainersA retainer is a clip, usually of sheet-metal or plastic, that holds and separates the bearing balls in a ball bearing. The advantages of retainers are ease of assembly, and economy because the manufacturer can get by with fewer balls, if they are spaced apart by a retainer.

Beware thee that bearing of the retainer! Do we need ease of assembly?! Nay! And what of this economy and benefit to manufacture? Enough I say! You can be most sure that if you are not of the Sealed Cartridge Church and thy hub ails or thy crankset becometh cranky or creaky it was that evil retainer that didst fold under the pressures and pleasures of wholesome normal just riding along usage! It is through sloth and slavery to false idols that a wrench, as it were, came to be thrown into thy works and from within!

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Go then, and do not abandon the fight against the armies of undead bike parts! Armed with this new knowledge of thee bearing retainer now be assured that if your coaster brake should stop stopping or your crankset wiggle it is through a retainercism ceremony that peace can be returned to thy noble machine!

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