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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-21-11, 03:24 PM   #1
RichardGlover
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What's that Rattling Noise? 72 miles and counting...

So, I was out for a ride on Saturday, about 36 miles into what was supposed to be a 75-miler (and I was secretly hoping I'd have time for my first century if I didn't waste too much time). I start hearing this odd rattling noise about a mile after going over a set of RR tracks. It comes and goes, so I have a bit of trouble tracking it down by ear, but after a couple of minutes, I can definitely tell that it's coming from my bike somewhere... or is something in my handlebar bag rattling?

Seems to go mostly away when I coast, but it doesn't come back when I soft pedal - so I don't think it's the BB or cranks... Hmmm, best to stop and give the bike a good once-over to see what it is.

Check the front tire, it spins freely, no problems there... must be in the rea... Oh, THAT'S what it is!




So. The nut and bolt needed to put it back on is clearly lost to the mists of time. And, I don't have any spare zip-ties, so I reluctantly turn my bike around and start slowly riding it back to the country store where I stopped six miles back.

About halfway there, I realize I do have a couple of zip-ties that are holding on an old rear blinkie that has since been supplemented with a Planet Bike SuperFlash. Hmmm... if I can only worry them free since this is (of course) the one day in the past 10 years I got out of my house without a pocket knife.

That takes about 10 minutes, and I reattach the fender. Results aren't bad:



I considered turning BACK around and extending the ride more, but worried that the jury-rig might not hold. Besides, that country store has a good selection of nuts and bolts, and I'd rather fix it right than have it break again, getting involved in the real spokes, hours from home, and really ruining my day.

So... I continue back to the country store, buy locknut, washer, and bolt, and put it all back together, using their pliers and a pair of wire cutters to remove the zip-tie. They refused to take any more money than the 29 cents the parts cost, which mildly annoyed me, but has won a customer for life - that is, every time I'm down that way.

With two roadside repairs eating up my time, the day was wearing on, and I still had 33 miles to ride home, and a date to keep with my wife that evening. I prudently steered home and decided to be happy with a 72 mile ride. It's not the 75 miles I originally planned, much less the century I was hoping for, but it's still a personal best.


Also: I tried a new energy solution this ride. Literally, a solution. For those who've followed my gastric bypass nutrition thread, you'll know that I figured out how many fig bars to eat per hour (one per 15 minutes seems to work), combined with gatorade, to keep me going. I wanted to see if I could do it with pure liquid, so I mixed 45g of maltodextrin into every 20oz gatorade bottle to give it more calories.

It worked, but not perfectly. With 25 miles to go, I really started to tire out. I did some rough calculations, and realized that I was getting about 250 cal/hr with this test, when I was getting over 300 with the figs. I was also getting less liquid and electrolytes overall, because my 24 oz bottles only had 20oz of Gatorade in it (the other 4oz were taken up by the maltodextrin).

Analysis: The solution is not a solution. But it may be part of one.
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Old 02-21-11, 03:26 PM   #2
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Pics of the final finished repair later tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 02-21-11, 03:43 PM   #3
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Good for you for McGyvering a quick roadside fix. For a moment, though, I thought you were going to have had the same mechanical breakdown I did late last season, when the bolt holding on one of the jockey wheels of my rear derailleur lost its grip on its cage and, like your fender bolt, was lost, if not to the mists of time, at least to the usual road-side debris.
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Old 02-21-11, 10:13 PM   #4
B.Alive
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Great fix! Boy can nutrition be a fickle pickle!
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Old 02-21-11, 10:37 PM   #5
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Nice! I hate little problems though, they put a damper on the whole ride. Mostly mental.
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Old 02-23-11, 07:58 AM   #6
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Here's what I think of when I hear a rattling noise:

"Your right shoulder is all scrunched up and forward of your left. I've never seen anything like it. What's that bulge? Is that a bone sticking out? Neil, that squeak isn't coming from your bike, it's coming from you!"
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Old 02-24-11, 04:21 PM   #7
RichardGlover
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Here's what the final repair looks like.


Here's a shot of the same spot on the front fender:



Superficially, this looks much like it originally did; I think I have a larger washer than stock, and the country store only had flathead bolts of the right size instead of phillips. I also used a locking nut on the inside instead of a normal nut. It may come off again, but probably not for a while.


900 miles on the bike before the 2nd mechanical problem. First one came after about 1/4 mile, when the end of the front brake cable got caught in the brake. That was fun. Actually, I think you can see the frayed damage on the end of the cable in the 2nd pic. I probably ought to do something about that.
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