Monday, March 24, 2008

The Twelve took one for the team. :(

Let's see... Homeward commute was windy as hell. I had to go to my wife's Dr. Appointment which was basically across the street from our place. Got home, went to the Trek Ride... and that's when things got goofy. Photo: Singlespeed Road bike...

Our group was approaching a steep grassy hill as we took a shortcut from a parking lot to a residential road. Genius boy over here decides to throw it down into the lowest gear possible and hammer it while LOGICAL people tackle the hill at an angle. Genius boy is also a Clydesdale. That means when I use a low gear then get out of the saddle to stand on the pedals, there is a LOT OF FREAKING TORQUE on things. Well, Mr. Derailleur hanger promptly BENT, then BROKE, and then to make matters even more delightful, my RD got tangled up in the spokes pretty good, jamming chain, derailleur, and spokes against the chainstay. Of course, this all happened 5 miles or so from where we started.

At first, I thought my chain just fell off the small ring. It does that on occasion in the rare cases I have to drop down that low. It took about 5 seconds to realize I was wrong.

I'd left my MTB-3 back in the Explorer, but someone had a chain tool with them. I cut the chain, pulled it out of the RD, loosened the derailleur cable, tied the RD off around my bottle cages, then went to work finding a gear ratio that didn't suck, didn't put lots of excess slack in the chain, and had a somewhat straight chainline.

Anyhow, the other riders were patient while the hacker within me engineered a workable solution to the problem. My chain slipped out of gear two more times on our way back, but the fix was as easy as stopping, spinning the chain backwards and guiding it back onto the right cog.

When I got back to the start point, I cleaned up for the first time using the Zogics CitraWipes. I've got to say they do a really good job for roadside clean up. The FinishLine wax is tenacious if not all-out brutal. Even with soap and hot water, cleaning up after fussing with the chain like this can be a chore. The CitraWipes worked really well, exceeding my expectations. They're not quite as good as hot, soapy water, but you can't exactly keep hot soapy water in your seat wedge, either. Full review tomorrow.

SPEAKING of tomorrow... No work tomorrow. I'm taking a day off. My wife has another medical appointment that I want to be there for. To top things off, I've obviously got to send The Twelve off to the shop. Then there's taxes to do. So I'll be plenty busy, just not at work.

*waving with a grimy hand*

See Ya Wednesday!


Random Tunage:
Orbital - Walk Now...
K's Choice - Not an Addict

6 comments:

BadgerLand said...

You've heard the saying...if it ain't fixed...it's broke! I think you might like the single speed ;)

A Midnight Rider said...

An old pair of socks in your bag will keep your hands clean and warm if you ever need to work on the bike on the road again.

Good fix on your part to get home.

Sirrus Rider said...

I feel your pain. Oddly enough I haven't broken anything (Other than tubes) on my road bike in 20 years. Must be a quirk of Generation one Indexing and its very wide gear spacing.

Apertome said...

Nice work improvising a fix good enough to eget back to the car. That's good stuff, right there.

You were riding on grass when this happened? I'm surprised your rear wheel didn't spin out before you could reach that level of torque. Could a stick have hit your derailleur, or something?

Noah said...

Badger: Well, technically it's not fixed. It's freewheeling. And no, I like my geary bike a lot. You don't know how badly I wanted to throw it into the hammer ring while it was rigged like this.

AMR: The Zogics worked pretty well, and I'd rather do that than perma-ruin some socks :D

Sirrus: I'm always breaking something. I didn't become a guru of fixing stuff through a lack of experience.

Apertome: I was on the grass when it happened, but it wasn't wet, moist, slippery grass. It was dry, post-winter grass. Nothing hit it.

Cafn8 said...

It seems like drivetrains just aren't built for Big Guys. I once stfipped a freehub while popping wheelies on flat ground in front of my house. That was on my first mountain bike, a Diamond Back Sorrento (several years older than yours).

More recently, though I had a derailleur mishap similar to yours. I was climbing a STEEP hill on my current mountain bike, an old Gary Fisher, and began hearing a "tink---tink---tink---tink" sound. suddenly, instead of the rhythmic "tink" I heard a loud "crack". I stopped and found that the derailleur had been torn from the bike and the hanger was twisted about 45 degrees, mounting bolt still in place. I had no chain tool, so luckily I wasn't far from home.

Upon closer inspection, it looks as though one of the plates of the chain had pulled apart, but not let go. It made the "tink" sound as it passed through the derailleur cage until it finally deformed enough to grab on. Luckily, the Fisher is an old steel Hoo Koo E Koo and was good as new after a little torquing on the hanger.

Geez, long post. Sorry.

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