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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 04-03-14, 06:32 PM   #1
essiemyra
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chain off

Tonight's ride home I decided to stop at the bank and take a longer route home. After stopping at the bank and heading on home, on a rural road my pedals stopped turning. I got off the bike looked at it quickly and could not figure out what was wrong. I started walking my bike home the seven miles I had left, that lasted at best two minutes. I was going to call a taxi, when I realized I had the bike shops phone number in my cellphone from last nights flat tire incident. I called the bike shop explained what happened. He told me what he thought it was, and he was right, the chain was off the rear cog at the very small end. He told me how to put it back on and that my hands would get dirty. I hung up the phone and put the chain back on, then finished my ride home. So all in all a very good learning experience for me. I have never had the chain come off of my bike before.
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Old 04-03-14, 07:22 PM   #2
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I'm glad you didn't have to walk the seven miles!

Chains come off sometimes -- so it's great to know how to fix it yourself. I'm glad the bike shop was able to help, and now you know what to do if it happens again!

Good job!
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Old 04-03-14, 07:41 PM   #3
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Make sure you figure out why that happened - maybe take it to the shop and have them check it out. That's the last thing you want to have happen if you're pedaling with any gusto!
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Old 04-03-14, 07:54 PM   #4
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how many miles do you have on the chain and the cogs? I had a bike that started skipping teeth while pedaling and found out that it needed to have the cogs (cassette) and chain replaced.

also could be that the chain is gunked up and you need to clean it. you can get a chain cleaner online or from your lbs...
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Old 04-03-14, 09:05 PM   #5
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I hope you are not trolling...

if you are commuting by bike, I encourage you to take the time to learn the basic functioning of the bike. A chain coming off is about as simple as it gets. Learning the very basics will help you be self-reliant and you can also save a ton of money by learning basic maintenance.
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Old 04-04-14, 02:23 AM   #6
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You probably need to adjust the stop on your derailer. You must have started cycling lately? You didn't ride as a child? Enroll in a beginners class at your lbs. You need learn some basics. Like fixing a flat tire.
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Old 04-04-14, 05:36 AM   #7
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I plan to take it to the bike shop tomorrow as they suggested that while they helped me. It very well may need a new cassette and chain, I do not watch the mileage on a daily basis but the odometer just turned to 4200miles and I have had the bike about 2 1/2years.
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Old 04-04-14, 06:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by essiemyra View Post
I plan to take it to the bike shop tomorrow as they suggested that while they helped me. It very well may need a new cassette and chain, I do not watch the mileage on a daily basis but the odometer just turned to 4200miles and I have had the bike about 2 1/2years.
See if they'll let you watch what they're doing so you can learn some new tricks. It's not uncommon for a rear derailleur to need an adjustment to keep the chain from kicking off the smallest cog. BTW, I always carry a few small individual wipes in my rear seat bag just in case my hands get dirty from an unexpected repair.
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Old 04-04-14, 08:20 AM   #9
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My chain came off both gears once when starting up a red light. Bang! Down to the ground I went. Luckily the cement mixer behind me saw me go down and stopped before flattening me.

I agree with the posters above: you probably need a new chain, especially after 4000 miles and especially if it's not cleaned regularly.
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Old 04-04-14, 09:46 AM   #10
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You may need a new chain/cassette, but you may just need to adjust the stops on the rear derailleur so it doesn't go past the cog.
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Old 04-04-14, 12:00 PM   #11
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You may need a new chain/cassette, but you may just need to adjust the stops on the rear derailleur so it doesn't go past the cog.
Agree. Components *may* need to be replaced. But the chain coming off doesn't indicate that. I've never seen a chain do like that just because it's worn out. The problem is the chain-stop. Then maybe more too but there's no clear indication of that.
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Old 04-04-14, 12:38 PM   #12
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All due respect, It's great that you have a decent relationship with your LBS, that's key. But knowledge is power. Enjoyable, reliable, and safe commuting is greatly enhanced by a modicum of basic mechanical knowledge. It's a worthy investment of your time.
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Old 04-04-14, 01:43 PM   #13
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I hope you are not trolling...

if you are commuting by bike, I encourage you to take the time to learn the basic functioning of the bike. A chain coming off is about as simple as it gets. Learning the very basics will help you be self-reliant and you can also save a ton of money by learning basic maintenance.
2.5 years and 4200miles and never had a chain come off... ... I'm with you... but I don't think the o.p. is trolling. We ride in a tandem club. Some of the teams ride rigs that cost more than a year of our rent. They wouldn't know what to do with a dropped chain either. In a past life I leased a Turbo Passat for a year. On one of our early trips we got a flat. When I took it in to the dealer to get the flat repaired the mechanic asked "who put the doughnut on?". I told him I did. He hit the ceiling. He said "J.H.C! You could have been killed! Don't ever do anything like that again! Call roadside assistance, its in the lease package". I notice that roadside assistance packages are now being sold to cyclists too. FWIW.

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Old 04-04-14, 04:05 PM   #14
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He told me how to put it back on and that my hands would get dirty.
He's not much of a mechanic,then. Take two sticks,or two leaves,or two pieces of paper,or whatever you find laying around. Using one object,push the rear derailleur forward to slack the chain. Using the second object,lift the chain up and maneuver it onto the closest ring or cog. Then just lift the rear of the bike and spin the cranks to reseat the chain. Nothing get son your hands.

In the future,carry a set of latex/non-latex gloves to keep your hands clean. I also carry a little 1oz squirt bottle from REI that I filled with GoJo hand cleaner and wrapped with paper towels.
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Old 04-04-14, 05:00 PM   #15
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Derailer limit screw...
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Old 04-04-14, 05:06 PM   #16
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You've got a GREAT LBS!
Now learn how to do things for yourself. Take a class on 'how' to fix your bike.
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Old 04-04-14, 09:08 PM   #17
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I agree with the last poster. It does pay for itself to learn how to do and fix everything on your bike. It's not that difficult. It might also be a good idea to haul some tools with you.
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Old 04-04-14, 09:21 PM   #18
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This great experience with a LBS on the phone got me thinking: how about some bike repair hotlines 24/7 just giving oral directions to newbies if that could solve a problem for someone on the road, with some toll charge or subscription?
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Old 04-05-14, 04:53 AM   #19
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I have taken a basic maintainance and flat fix course at the bike shop. I tend to panic right away, especially where I was riding that day. It was a different way home and also very rural so no way for help had it been more serious.

What I did learn that day was that when the pedals don't turn look at the chain much closer just because it is not slack does not mean it is not off the cogs.

Thank-you for all the great ideas. I do have latex gloves in my bag but due to panic in the moment of trying to get my bike back to riding form, forget that I carry them.
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