Print Story Tales of an exploding bike
Diary
By lm (Sat Jul 01, 2017 at 06:15:24 PM EST) (all tags)
The Frankenbike sure lived up to its name. It exploded.

And a poll: best name for the new bike.



Trucking down Bradley Blvd during my morning commute, I shifted and felt the chain come off the front derailleur. This was curious as I'd shifted the rear derailleur. I was about to shift the front back to bring the chain back on the chainring and the the next thing I know the chain is pulling both derailleurs inward fast.

Apparently the chain slipped off in the rear between the largest chainring and the spokes leading to being wrapped multiple times around the hub, pulled both derailleurs inward and snapping the chain. The rear derailleur ended up so being, it was pulled into the spokes of the rear wheel. The front derailleur bent and was digging into the rear rim. Several spokes are bent to hell.

Given that the chain and both derailleurs were brand new, I took the bike back to the shop (REI). The mech on staff looked at it and we talked about what happened. We narrowed it down to four possibilities.

(1) The rear derailleur was defective and failed catastrophically in a bizarre way.

(2) The rear derailleur had not been adjusted properly.

(3) The ratcheting mechanism in the rear free hub was flaky.

(4) I hit some road debris just wrong.

I don't recall any road debris which rules out (4). (3) is more likely to have happened when coasting than when riding.

That leaves (1) and (2). The mech got the manager of the bike shop and she apologized and they told me that they'd eat the costs to rebuild everything.

I was only expecting to get the parts I had bought there replaced under warranty. But they're throwing in labor, a new chain, and new spokes as well. That is some awesome customer service.

:: :: :: :: ::

My daughter was in town today. She wanted to go on a bike ride with me so we did a quarter century, taking the scenic route from our apartment near Whiteflint through Rockville and Potomac and then down MacArthur to the Georgetown waterfront.

This was the first chance to get my rebuilt racing bike out for a bit of distance. The ride down to the waterfront was long and slow. I had to keep a pace that my daughter could keep up with. I had an 11/32 cassette put on. I stayed mostly on the 28 and pedaled slow. And even then it was hard not to got fast.

The bar end shifters are taking a bit to get used to instead of brifters. I caught myself trying to push the brake levers sideways a couple times in order to shift.

One area of concern showed itself. The front wheel started screaming whenever I was coasting. I need to either take that apart and lube it or take it somewhere to have that done. But I have my eyes on some new wheels. Ideally I'd like something like Zipp 404s. New those would cost more than I've sunk into the bike so far.

Anyway, after a bit of hanging out at the waterfront eating popsicles drinking cokes, I rode home the short way and my daughter went back in the van with my wife and my daughter's fiancee.

The ride home, I did considerably faster, averaging 15mph uphill. But I took the straight route instead of the scenic route.

:: :: :: ::

With my bike out of commission on Friday, I took the bus and train into work. I don't know why I don't do that more often when I'm not biking. It's about as quick and it's a lot less stressful.

Or at least it's about as quick when I get off at the right stop.

I did get some odd looks given what I was reading. Reading a book with a big fat cover labeled CONTRACEPTION gets some stares.

:: :: ::

Slowly settling into the new digs at work. Our office moved about half a mile down the street.

The pros: closer to the metro, much more natural light, showers, bike lockers in a secure room, a gym, a roof with greenery, a much more collaborative environment.

The cons: a much smaller desk (what am I going to do with Godzilla?), fewer interesting restaurants a quick walk away, working on the same floor as the owner of the company.

Friday was particularly interesting. My employer's offices are on the 5th floor. An 8th floor window fell out and smashed to bits on the sidewalk in front of the building. Fortunately it's a low foot traffic area and no one got hurt.

:: ::

I watched Whiskey Tango Foxtrot last week. I find it surprisingly compelling. Who knew that Tina Fey could actually act instead of playing a caricature of her id? I especially liked the subtext between her and her translator.

The best part is that there was no real American ending.

::

I need to cook more.

< I Just Need A Break | Diary of a hangry man >
Tales of an exploding bike | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Pay them to install a dork disc by marvin (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Jul 01, 2017 at 07:02:53 PM EST
Dork discs were invented to try and prevent that very problem for people who don't have race mechanics inspecting and adjusting their bikes before every ride.

I'd be worried about the frame integrity, particularly if your derailleur was not on a replaceable hanger (and perhaps even if it was). With the front derailleur getting in on the action, did your seat tube take any damage?

I haven't had a dork disc on this bike for years by lm (2.00 / 0) #2 Sat Jul 01, 2017 at 10:35:38 PM EST
And even when it did have one with the original wheels, I don't think it ever played any useful role.

If your bike needs that close of an inspection before every ride, something is wrong with it.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
So when you had one.. by marvin (2.00 / 0) #3 Sat Jul 01, 2017 at 11:48:54 PM EST
Did your rear derailleur go into your spikes? That is the only conclusive way you know it does nothing.

[ Parent ]
Not into the spokes ... by lm (4.00 / 1) #4 Sun Jul 02, 2017 at 06:02:49 AM EST
... but I've had the chain get stuck between the last chain ring and the dork disc on a bike before.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Also, a dork disc would not have stopped ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Jul 03, 2017 at 06:46:17 AM EST
... the derailleur from going into the spokes. An aero disk might have.

The only thing a disc might have saved is the spokes that got bent.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
The chain and pulley hits it first by marvin (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Jul 03, 2017 at 10:55:57 AM EST
The chain and pulley in the derailleur hits the face of the disc after going past your largest cog, acting as a hard stop to further movement. It's not a panacea, but a parallelogram derailleur that isn't bent should have a millimetre or two of clearance to the spokes.

But hey, if you know better than Sheldon Brown....

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_sp-ss.html

"A spoke protector is not a necessity on a bike that is well treated, because the derailer can't go into the spokes if it's properly adjusted and if it is not bent. Bicycles which are subjected to rough handling, however, are prone to getting the rear derailer bashed in, and in such a case, the spoke protector can prevent very serious damage".

[ Parent ]
now you're arguing with yourself by lm (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Jul 03, 2017 at 09:28:29 PM EST
Like Sheldon Brown says, "the derailer can't go into the spokes if it's properly adjusted"

That's what myself and Herring have been saying.

"hey, if you know better than Sheldon Brown...."

Appeal to authority? Seriously? Dude!


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Truly, you have a dizzying intellect by marvin (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Jul 04, 2017 at 01:37:49 AM EST
"Dork discs were invented to try and prevent that very problem for people who don't have race mechanics inspecting and adjusting their bikes before every ride."

The very first sentence of my first comment mentions inspection and adjustment. Do you think it is possible that my initial thought was your low limit screw adjustment was off? Hmmmmm. I've built and rebuilt enough bikes from the frame up to have more than a passing familiarity with derailleur setup and adjustment. The only things I bother sending to a bike shop are tasks like pressing headsets or suspension overhaul which require specialty tools that I cannot justify buying.

Your comment #2. "If your bike needs that close of an inspection before every ride, something is wrong with it."

If you have a catastrophic failure like that, perhaps your existing routine inspection procedures are suboptimal.

Your comment #2. "I don't think it ever played any useful role"

I feel the same way about my car insurance and home fire insurance, but I still buy insurance every year. Similarly, my retirement savings have yet to play any useful role.

You then went on to state in comment 4 that you once managed to ram your chain between a spoke protector and your cog. That is exactly what spoke protectors are supposed to do - prevent damage to the spokes. WTF do you expect the dork disc to do? Did you want it to have readjusted your derailleur for you, and bounced the chain back onto your largest cog, and then maybe give you a fist-bump? Did getting the chain caught between the disc and your cog somehow invalidate the fact that the spoke protector appears to have successfully saved your wheel in your previous incident?

While you were making your smug claim that I made an inappropriate appeal to authority, did you actually even read what Sheldon wrote? Where he said "This is intended to prevent the derailer or chain from getting caught in the spokes, possibly causing very extensive/expensive damage/destruction to the wheel, the derailer, and the frame."

Which. Is. Exactly. What. Just. Happened. To. You.

You bizarrely refuse to acknowledge that there is a good probability that a dork disc would have prevented much of the damage - which is all that I said, and why I appealed to Sheldon as an authority. Instead, you repeat over and over that a properly adjusted derailleur won't dive into your spokes.

I'd delete your comment #13 out of embarrassment if I were you. Or edit it to sound drunk. Either one works.

[ Parent ]
Reading for comprehension by lm (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Jul 04, 2017 at 07:46:59 AM EST
"You bizarrely refuse to acknowledge that there is a good probability that a dork disc would have prevented much of the damage"




There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
More seriously ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Jul 04, 2017 at 07:47:51 AM EST
I'll gladly concede that a dork disc may have saved some spokes.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Noooo! by Herring (4.00 / 1) #7 Sun Jul 02, 2017 at 05:54:37 PM EST
Dork discs are there to prove that you can't adjust your own gears and are a sign of failure. If the LBS can't adjust your gears then ... something.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
What is wrong with them? by marvin (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Jul 02, 2017 at 10:28:59 PM EST
The best part about having a dork disc is triggering every roadie you pass.

When I swap out my drivetrain later this year (time for a new cassette, chain and chainrings), I plan to stick one on. I think my SRAM Force shifters will go well with a dork disc. I

Looks like Amazon has chrome ones. The clear plastic just isn't as visible. I'd like to find something with visual impact.

All it takes is someone bumping your derailleur in a bike rack and you're facing a few hundred bucks in damage to replace spokes, derailleur, and possibly more.

[ Parent ]
In my experience by hulver (4.00 / 1) #5 Sun Jul 02, 2017 at 07:56:18 AM EST
Hubs never have enough grease in them when new.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
Zipp 404s? by Herring (4.00 / 1) #6 Sun Jul 02, 2017 at 12:12:05 PM EST
That's a lot of money.

If you do though, then get a set of Aksiums or something cheap for everyday riding. Keep the best for competition. There are guys who will turn out for our club run on a £2K set of wheels - which just just madness considering the condition of the roads.

I got a pair of Ksyriums which roll nicely and are strong enough for a fat bastard like me. I like them - except getting new tyres on can be a bit tight.

Shifting into the spokes is almost always down to the limit screw not being set correctly. Unless you've put the bike down hard on the mech side (bending the hanger) it's a setup issue. Once you've got into practice, adjusting your own gears only takes a couple of minutes.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

I like my ksyriums by lm (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Jul 03, 2017 at 06:51:17 AM EST
The 10 year old Cannondale I bought came with Mavics anniversary edition of the Ksyrium Elite. They're pretty nice. They do need to be serviced. I discovered over the weekend that the one in front whines when I coast. So I'll have those around. This bike will almost be used exclusively for racing, though. Not sure if I'll keep the Ksyriums around.

And, yeah, the wheels by themselves will cost more by themselves than everything I've sunk into the bike so far.

The bike shop just put this derailleur on a week ago. So if it's an adjustment issue, that's on them.

I can adjust limits well enough. I just didn't think I would need to after getting the bike back from the shop.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Ksyriums by Herring (4.00 / 1) #12 Mon Jul 03, 2017 at 02:43:07 PM EST
Yeah, I've found that the bearings need adjustment periodically. I've done that myself.

If a) the shop set up the gears and b) you haven't knocked the mech hanger then it has to be on them. Even if you were riding large-large then the chain should be long enough to take it (and then it would drag the mech outwards rather than in to the wheel.

Not sure if you'd get more aero benefit by just buying a disc wheel for the back. You would get the benefit of the cool disc-wheel sound.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
I love that disc wheel sound by lm (2.00 / 0) #14 Mon Jul 03, 2017 at 09:30:55 PM EST
Unfortunately it's usually out of range when I don't have my hearing aids in and I've got my aero helmet on covering my ears.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Tales of an exploding bike | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback