I'm on a roll, but at a cost (story and need advice)
Well, I needed to top off my hill day the other day. Today, had an afternoon meeting at another building 12 miles away from mine, so after biking in this morning, I biked another 12 at lunch to the other facility. When the meeting was complete, I had another 8 or so back to my house, with another steep hill on it that I have heard other bikers lament, and often see people walking it. Well I made it up, even it in 2nd to last granny!
However, 1/2 way up, when I shifted to the smallest chainring, the chain jammed somehow, and I had to stop. I managed to get it sorted and on the small ring, and managed to get back on and pedaling, and thought everything was fine. On the next big one closer to my house, when I shifted down to the middle ring, I heard a bad clicking. When I went to the low ring, more out of curiosity than need, chain jammed hard, and I had to pull over again. WTF!!!!
Well, on inspection, one of the teeth on the middle ring was bent hard toward the inside (toward frame). My chain rings look like they are made of multiple pieces of stamped steel. They are original for my Trek 4300 MTB, and the tooth that was bent was at what looks like a seam, and the steel was partwise cracked at the base of the tooth. This was good, in a sense, since it was weakened enough that I was able to bend it straight with my multi-tool.
Has this happened to anyone here? Does my description make sense (for my chainrings)? Is it hard to replace chainrings? Expensive, even for just oem replacements? I am saving for an LHT, and don't want to dump too much into this rig right now.
I am leaving for vacation on Saturday, and the bike is coming with me one way or another. I hope to have it fixed before I leave.