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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 08-26-10, 07:20 PM   #1
Spire
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Broken derailleur while commuting

Don't know if any of you have had this happen before but about 3km in (and at the bottom of a hill) I discovered that my front derailer wasn't working, at all. Thankfully at least it was stuck on the largest gear so I could still keep a good clip on the flats.
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Old 08-26-10, 09:10 PM   #2
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I had a cable snap on my rear derailleur once. It was in the highest (hard to pedal) gear when it broke and I was still around 8-9 miles from home, much of which is uphill. I went directly to the bike shop, which unfortunately is close to my apt, so I still had to tackle those hills. That was my first single speed commute experience.. it was hard..
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Old 08-26-10, 09:41 PM   #3
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I managed to break the lock ring free on my cassette.. actually twice. Both times 5 or 6 miles from home. Both time a small section of the hub body sheered off.

Interesting ride home on the middle ring (after pleading with the derailleur to move it there..) while the cassette gently weaves in and out.

Beware low-end Shimano hubs.
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Old 08-26-10, 10:00 PM   #4
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If you have a tool with a screwdriver you can use the limit screws to set it on an easier gear.
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Old 08-26-10, 11:16 PM   #5
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i had a cable snap on my rear derailleur once. It was in the highest (hard to pedal) gear when it broke and i was still around 8-9 miles from home, much of which is uphill. I went directly to the bike shop, which unfortunately is close to my apt, so i still had to tackle those hills. That was my first single speed commute experience.. It was hard..
na

Last edited by akohekohe; 08-26-10 at 11:21 PM. Reason: alanKHG said what I was going to say while I was writing the post.
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Old 08-26-10, 11:45 PM   #6
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If you have a tool with a screwdriver you can use the limit screws to set it on an easier gear.
Yeah, I didn't know the workings of derailleurs at the time..
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Old 08-27-10, 07:52 AM   #7
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I had a cable snap on my rear derailleur once. It was in the highest (hard to pedal) gear when it broke and I was still around 8-9 miles from home, much of which is uphill. I went directly to the bike shop, which unfortunately is close to my apt, so I still had to tackle those hills. That was my first single speed commute experience.. it was hard..
Sounds like a tough ride!

I didn't have too much trouble as the route is fairly flat. I made it the 55km round trip without too much trouble.
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Old 08-27-10, 11:40 AM   #8
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I feel your pain. Last year around this time, I popped a spoke on my rear wheel. It did not put my wheel that much out of true so I just opened the brakes a bit and kept heading for home. A few miles I was stopped at a light and when I took off, the loose spoke got caught in the derailuer and ripped it completely off of the bike.

Nothing in my road repair kit could have helped me out there except the old trusty cell phone.

Anyway an expensive lesson learned that day; When you break a spoke, take it all the way out of the wheel.
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Old 08-28-10, 09:25 AM   #9
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Every time I've snapped a cable and couldn't shift I've stopped and found a stick and was able to jam the derailler (F or R) into a gear that would work for the rest of the ride.

Adds whole new meaning to the term "Stick Shift".
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Old 08-28-10, 09:51 AM   #10
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I destroyed a friends RD once by looking at it. No, seriously! I used to be the best climber in the group ( not saying much ) One day, I had some bug that was making me weak, and stalled at the bottom of a climb. One of the others stood up to power past me, making a mocking comment as he did so. I had my head down, and looked to the side as he came past, and I know I had an angry look on my face as I glared at him ( specifically his RD ) and as I looked, his 20 year old dérailleur exploded under my gaze!

It was awesome!

We found some wire and re-assembled it to some kind of single gear function to limp home.
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Old 08-28-10, 10:50 AM   #11
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Benefits of regular maintainence, is you see frayed cables ,
and replace them preemptively..

Saturday is a good day to check over your bike, get it ready for the week ahead.
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Old 08-28-10, 10:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by bhop View Post
I had a cable snap on my rear derailleur once. It was in the highest (hard to pedal) gear when it broke and I was still around 8-9 miles from home, much of which is uphill. I went directly to the bike shop, which unfortunately is close to my apt, so I still had to tackle those hills. That was my first single speed commute experience.. it was hard..
Had this happen to me once. Held the cable in my hand and shifted by pulling or releasing tension on the cable. The route only had a couple of hills so I was ok. Live and learn...don't mean this to be snarky, I'm applying it to myself. Now I never go to the end of my driveway w/o a chain tool(snapped one 50 miles out on a century) or shifter cable, frame pump, cleat, multi-tool, etc. I commute w/t mentality of a self-contained tourer.
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Old 08-28-10, 10:54 AM   #13
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my sora fd got stuck on the big ring shortly after i started my trek home... and most of it is flat gullies between hills. blarg >_<

got it home, toyed with it, realized i had some money, and used it as an excuse to upgrade to rival. bike: don't piss me off. i have a wallet *grrr*

the pull to the big ring overshot ever so slightly and the cable got bound up somehow. I back off the fastening bolt and both the derailleur and cable snap back to their relaxed positions. I figured out the relatively simple problem with it, but still didn't care.

my one best solution to these quibbles? build it yourself so when you're broken down, you only have yourself to blame
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Old 08-29-10, 02:10 AM   #14
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Benefits of regular maintainence, is you see frayed cables ,
and replace them preemptively..

Saturday is a good day to check over your bike, get it ready for the week ahead.
Very good advice, didn't spot any.
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Old 08-29-10, 02:10 AM   #15
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Looks like I might do another commute with the broken derailleur before bringing the bike in...
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Old 08-29-10, 07:27 AM   #16
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Looks like I might do another commute with the broken derailleur before bringing the bike in...
Or use it as the perfect opportunity to learn how to fix it yourself
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Old 08-29-10, 07:46 AM   #17
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Regular cleaning, checkups and maintenance may lower the chances of things like this happening. And yeah: learn how to do that yourself.

Adam
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Old 08-30-10, 09:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
I destroyed a friends RD once by looking at it. No, seriously! I used to be the best climber in the group ( not saying much ) One day, I had some bug that was making me weak, and stalled at the bottom of a climb. One of the others stood up to power past me, making a mocking comment as he did so. I had my head down, and looked to the side as he came past, and I know I had an angry look on my face as I glared at him ( specifically his RD ) and as I looked, his 20 year old dérailleur exploded under my gaze!

It was awesome!

We found some wire and re-assembled it to some kind of single gear function to limp home.
Such powers should only be used for good!
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