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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 09-09-09, 09:21 PM   #1
BM1
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How reliable are your commuters?

First post here.

Just bought a Trek Soho S to commute to work on and ride for fun. The ride is flat and only three miles. The low maintenance and simpleness of the single speed was what sold me on that bike.

It came with plastic pedals that the LBS informed me could not take toe clips, so I got those and they put them on.

Long story short rode it home and one work day and 2/3 of the to work this morning and the pedal fell of the crank. The threads in the crank appear to be stripped. So after 13 miles on my new bike it needs to go in for repair.

So this leaves me wondering how often you guys have problems. Obviously not happy about this and a little discourage too!
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Old 09-09-09, 09:27 PM   #2
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So the pedal spindle and thread was entirely intact? That seems a little odd.
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Old 09-09-09, 09:28 PM   #3
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Which part stripped out? the pedal or the crank arm? This is VERY unusual for a bike of that caliber.
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Old 09-09-09, 09:37 PM   #4
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The pedal and the part that attach into the crank are together. If you look at the crank there is nothing in there, and that part appears to be stripped.

Also let me clarify the LBS swapped out the pedals as the told me the stock ones could not take toe clips. I am assuming they were not installed correctly.
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Old 09-09-09, 09:44 PM   #5
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I bought a Raleigh Mojave 8.0 2 years ago, swapped out the mountain tires for slicks, added a rack and made some fenders, and the first time I rode it the crank fell apart. It wasn't even 3 miles when the crank arm fell off. I took it back to the LBS, they apologized and fixed it and gave me an extra year of free tune ups. I have gone back for the tune ups but nothing else has been wrong with it in over 8,000 miles.

So maybe it was just bad luck like mine was and your bike will be fine from here on out.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:00 PM   #6
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I am hoping that will be my experience. I am really enjoying riding to work. Now to find the time to take it back to the shop!
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Old 09-09-09, 10:08 PM   #7
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Get a cheap used bike to use when yours is in the shop. I have 3 bikes set up for commuting, a 13 year old Trek 820, Raleigh Mojave 8.0 and a Raleigh Sojourn. I also have my wifes Trek 4300 and Daughter's 3700 in a dire emergency. I just keep plenty of them around so I don't care if one breaks. The only one I have problems with though is the 820 because it needs a new crankset and cog, but since I don't use it much it is staying as is.

I have seen all kinds of bikes recently at flea markets and yard sales for next to nothing. Lots of those people don't seem to know what they are getting rid of.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:23 PM   #8
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Should be covered under warranty. The LBS did the the pedals install too, so they can't blame it on you. With minor maintenance and adjustments and replacement of consumable items, your bike should last a long time and be relatively trouble-free. Your LBS should offer/include a few free checkups/adjustments and have them check/retighten the fasteners, cable adjustments, and spoke tension/true the wheels.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:12 PM   #9
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In order of most to least replaced.

I replace brake pads the most.
Tires and tubes when they need it.
Bar tape, cables, housings as needed.
Chain, rings, cassette when worn.
Wheel and headset bearings when needed.
Majour components rarely. I've got over 9000 miles in under 2 years on my Cross Check. The crank is just starting to crap out on me, but it's a serious low-end component to start with and I'm surprised that an FSA Vero/RPM lasted this long under me. I've replaced the bottom bracket once. The headset will be next, just to upgrade; not because this one is worn. My pedals are Shimano M545's that I bought back in college in the early 90s.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:31 PM   #10
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That's weird for a new bike.
I've been commuting about 2 years now and have only has to change out brake pads so far. I switched out pedals, cables and tires but that was by choice and not repairs. Then again I have 8 bikes and rotate regularly so none of the bikes have had heavy wear yet.
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Old 09-10-09, 04:42 AM   #11
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Sounds like the pedal was installed wrong. I've done it myself. Usually means that the crank arm has to be replaced. Since they did the work, hopefully they'll replace it. Good luck and happy commuting.
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Old 09-10-09, 09:09 AM   #12
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Insist that the LBS replace the crankarm at no cost, as it was 99.999% their fault for stripping the threads (either that, or the crankarm was defective, which is much less likely).

That bike should be very trouble free, and with a possible upgrade to super flat-resistant tires, you should have a very low-maintenance bicycle that will last a lifetime.
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Old 09-10-09, 09:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM1 View Post
The pedal and the part that attach into the crank are together. If you look at the crank there is nothing in there, and that part appears to be stripped.

Also let me clarify the LBS swapped out the pedals as the told me the stock ones could not take toe clips. I am assuming they were not installed correctly.
That certainly would be my assumption. Whatever, the LBS should make good for either the defective equipment they sold, or more likely the defective installation of the equipment.
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Old 09-10-09, 09:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDaddyPete View Post
Sounds like the pedal was installed wrong. I've done it myself. Usually means that the crank arm has to be replaced. Since they did the work, hopefully they'll replace it. Good luck and happy commuting.
How did you install the pedal wrong? Did you cross-thread it? Did you lubricate the axle threads?

OP:

Something similar happened to my niece. One of her pedals came unthreaded while riding - I bought a pedal tap to repair the threads in the crank, but that wasn't enough - I also needed a die to repair the threads on the pedal. So I bought that too, and now it's fine. Unless the threads are heavily damaged, maybe the LBS can do the same for you.
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Old 09-10-09, 09:28 AM   #15
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Was it the pedal on the left hand side? I'm betting whomever installed it was new (or had no buisness holding a wrench in the first place) and didn't know that that the left pedal has a left hand thread on it. They forced it in and stripped the threads of the crank. It's possible it could be re-tapped but I would still politely insist on a new crank and set of pedals. It really shouldn't be a problem and is nothing to get incredibly bent out of shape over.
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Old 09-10-09, 09:35 AM   #16
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If the shop installed the pedal they should/will warranty their work. Especially if you just bought the bike there.
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Old 09-10-09, 09:48 AM   #17
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I gotta say that's a pretty minor thing to get discouraged over. Mechanicals happen. The more you learn about wrenching on your own ride, the less you'll feel yourself to be at the mercy of others.
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Old 09-10-09, 10:01 AM   #18
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LBS probably messed up the threads, but it's possible they were just bad in the first place. Don't worry about it, there are always shakedown issues.

I've got only one bike, a cheap hybrid, and I do my own wrenching (the bike shop has actually only seen my bike once since selling it to me, and I wound up fixing it that time myself anyway, because they couldn't handle the job). So I probably don't remember a bunch of stuff that might have caused me trouble.

I had a lot of spokes break the first year, until I gave up and built my own rear wheel. That would have sucked if I wasn't able to replace my own spokes. No problems with that wheel for the rest of its life (about 13000 miles).

I stripped a thread out of the crank once; it was VERY cold (-15*F) and I decided to swap out my SPD pedals for platforms so I could wear heavy boots, and when I took the pedals out, the aluminum had shrunk so bad it tore the threads out. Lesson learned; I'll heat the crank with a torch first next time. But that cost me a new crank.

The only time I lost use of my bike for an extended time was at about 15000 miles, I broke the rear axle. It was a freewheel axle so it was weak anyway. I rode my wife's bike for 3 days until a new rear wheel arrived (it turned out to be cheaper to buy a built wheel than to buy the parts).

Lots of little junk, but nothing that kept me from riding, just flats, thrown chains, etc, that I could fix on the road.
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Old 09-10-09, 11:14 AM   #19
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I mostly ride the fixed-gear to work these days and it has extremely reliable. Not much to wrench on. Haven't replaced anything on it in the last two years except the tires - not really necessary but I wanted to try some new ones out - and bar tape. My commute is 12 miles round trip on mostly flat bike path in a nice dry climate so not much wear and tear. Any mechanical issues usually surface in the first week of riding for me and then then once fixed usually stay fixed until something wears out.

I stripped my crank arm once when I didn't tighten the pedal enough so it wore the threads out until the pedal just fell out.
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Old 09-10-09, 11:20 AM   #20
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Another fixed commuter here. Very reliable. Just ordered a new bottom bracket and chain, but that's just from use. I'll usually set it up for wet riding (fenders, 69 gear inches, 25 or 28 mm tires) in the fall, and dry riding (no fenders, 80 g.i., 23 mm tires) in the spring.
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Old 09-10-09, 11:25 AM   #21
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My bikes are very reliable. I only ride time-tested designs; my newest bike is 15 years old.
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Old 09-10-09, 11:42 AM   #22
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Long story short rode it home and one work day and 2/3 of the to work this morning and the pedal fell of the crank. The threads in the crank appear to be stripped. So after 13 miles on my new bike it needs to go in for repair.
Definitely take it back to the shop. From your symptoms, it sounds like the repair guy put the pedals on backwards.

Is your other pedal threaded all the way in and properly threaded?

But take comfort. Most bikes are much more reliable than that. Flats happen, but beyond that you should expect months of trouble-free operation.
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Old 09-10-09, 11:56 AM   #23
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Definitely take it back to the shop. From your symptoms, it sounds like the repair guy put the pedals on backwards.
Doubtful. I couldn't get left pedal on the right side if I tried.

I had a pedal almost come off on me once. It came out just far enough to jam in on an angle. Was a real bear to get out completely and when I did the crank was stripped. It happens. Pedal probably wasn't tightened enough to begin with and then you didn't notice it unscrewing while pedaling.
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Old 09-10-09, 12:13 PM   #24
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My bike goes into the shop a lot less often than either of our cars. Your situation seems abnormal, take it back to the shop to get it set right.

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Old 09-10-09, 12:51 PM   #25
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How in the heck does a pedal get installed "wrong" anyway? I have been putting pedals on for 20+ years and have yet to fail to recognize a cross threading situation when it begins. Is there some other way this happens? Maybe if you are not using your hands to start the first few threads?
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