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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-04-07, 08:05 PM   #1
KonradNYC
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Bad day commuting - mechanical issues

So, I just had my worst day so far with regards to my commute. Just last Sunday, I got my bike tuned up at my LBS, mostly because my shifting was off (I ended up getting new cables & housing and my derailleurs adjusted, among other things). Everything was working perfectly all week...

Then, only 1 mile into my commute on Thursday morning, I got the worst flat I've ever had: while riding up a long hill, a 1-inch screw punctured my rear tire so badly that it came out of the other side of the tube. It was stuck real good and I couldn't pull it out -- I had to unscrew it. I put in a new tube and kept spinning up the hill. After cresting the top of the hill, I shifted into my big ring and the chain overshifted and fell off! Since I just had the derailleur adjusted, this caught me by surprise (I ended up setting the limit screws myself once I got to work, so at least now I know its fixed).

At this point, I really need to haul azz to get to work on time. Hammering along my route, I noticed that my chain was slipping...I figured I must have put the rear tire on crooked or something. Checked it out, but didn't notice any problem and it wasn't that bad, so I just dealt with it. Ended up getting to work just on time with dirty, greasy hands.

Fast forward to the end of the day. Once again, only about 1 mile into my ride home and now my chain is REALLY slipping badly. No matter what gear I'm in, it keeps falling off. I didn't have this problem at all before my flat in the morning, so I'm wondering if I somehow caused it. I try to fix it, but its dark out and it shifts fine when not under load, so I can't figure it out. My 35 minute commute ends up taking me 65 minutes.

When I get home and take a closer look at it, I see that a pin in the chain is BROKEN, and it's just barely holding together. One of the chain links is bent out of shape and that must have been causing my shifting problems. I have no idea how this happened...the chain & cassette are only one month old and have about 100 miles on them.

Anyway, that's my story. Now I need a new chain (I don't have any spare links to fix it). Feel free to add your comments & feedback or just post stories of your own disastrous commutes.
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Old 10-04-07, 08:22 PM   #2
BikingGrad80
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Just head to the LBS and get the appropriate quick link for your chain. It should only be a few dollars.
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Old 10-04-07, 08:35 PM   #3
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I realize that it's not the LBS's fault that your tire was punctured by a screw, but it sounds to me like they're the ones that screwed up on the chain. I think you should take your bike back to them and have them replace it. If they have any integrity at all, they'll replace it at no cost, even if you try to pay for the new chain/link (which is what I would try to do).
I was have shifting problems with my bike 1+ months after a tune-up and I took it to the LBS for an adjustment and they apologized profusely and fixed it for free and I didn't even have to ask!
Good luck! I'm sorry all that happened..
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Old 10-04-07, 08:55 PM   #4
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It doesn’t sound like it might work for you, but have you considered a single speed set up? I recently did this myself and it took some getting use to. However with the right gearing this is a great hassle free setup. Tires are another story; however I run Armadillos and haven’t had any problems yet. Hope this helps. There are a lot of very experienced people here that might have other ideas. I only know what works for me.
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Old 10-04-07, 10:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madfiNch View Post
I realize that it's not the LBS's fault that your tire was punctured by a screw, but it sounds to me like they're the ones that screwed up on the chain. I think you should take your bike back to them and have them replace it. If they have any integrity at all, they'll replace it at no cost, even if you try to pay for the new chain/link (which is what I would try to do).
I was have shifting problems with my bike 1+ months after a tune-up and I took it to the LBS for an adjustment and they apologized profusely and fixed it for free and I didn't even have to ask!
Good luck! I'm sorry all that happened..
Why? He didn't say that the LBS installed the chain. Sound like bad luck. Unless the LBS installed the chain I'd just have them check it out and replace if necessary. If they did install the chain I'd have them replace it or fix it under warranty for sure though.

BTW-If your LBS can't install a chain properly I'd find a new bike shop.
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Old 10-04-07, 10:59 PM   #6
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Yesterday on my commute I also threw the chain (I guess): stopped for a right turn (US left turn equivalent) on in the middle of a major artery road, but when I started to pedal CLICK! chain snapped somehow and I almost went on my face. Safe, but the chain was destroyed. Looking at it at the edge of the road it seemed to have got stuck b/t derailleur and guard, maybe. Anyway I locked it up and took the train to work.
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Old 10-05-07, 07:28 AM   #7
KonradNYC
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It doesn’t sound like it might work for you, but have you considered a single speed set up?
Actually, I have a fixed gear conversion as my back-up/beater bike. I use my touring bike as my daily commuter, and since it currently doesn't have a chain, I rode the fixed gear in this morning.
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Old 10-05-07, 07:39 AM   #8
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Why? He didn't say that the LBS installed the chain. Sound like bad luck. Unless the LBS installed the chain I'd just have them check it out and replace if necessary. If they did install the chain I'd have them replace it or fix it under warranty for sure though.

BTW-If your LBS can't install a chain properly I'd find a new bike shop.
My LBS didn't install the chain...I did. And I'm certain I did it properly, as it's not the first time I've done it.

In any case, I was giving it some thought, and the only instance I can think of that may have broken the chain is when I overshifted and the chain came off. If that's what damaged the chain, then the LBS is partially responsible since they are the ones who adjusted my front derailleur improperly.

That said, I do really like my LBS and I'll be going back there.
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