On Sunday's ride, I broke the rear derailleur hanger on my Cervelo R3 throwing the rear derailleur and chain into the rear wheel spokes. Yes, it is not good. Fortunately, I was able to get the bike stopped safely without incident which is all that matters and everything is fixable.
I was climbing at the time about 3 miles into a 4 mile climb. The speed was 8.25 mph with a grade of 6.3%. So, it was not a big effort for me but a reasonable amount of power. I heard a terrible sound and I immediately stopped pedaling and braked. As I slowed, the pedals were at an angle where it is not great to unclip. Luckily, I stayed calm and unclipped right before I joined Club Tombay. This is a mountain road with faster traffic so a fall to the left was a potential problem.
The bike was finished for the day. I called my coach and he came down from the top to pick me up. We were on a 70 mile ride to the coast on a 68 degree sunny day with light winds. Now I am in the coaches van for the rest of the ride.
At about mile 50, one of the guys on the ride was finished. They had just completed a team time trial speed work and now had to climb 9 miles. He wanted to ride in the van and so we quickly changed his seat position and I rode his Cervelo Soloist Carbon up the 9 mile climb and descent back to the car.
His Soloist has a 53/39 12/25 which was great. I was so ready to ride, I think I could have powered a beach cruiser up the climb. The Soloist fit okay and the ride was very nice. However, this is where test rides can be deceiving. The moment I hit any rough road, it felt really rough compared to my R3. It was a big difference. Much more than I had noticed on the test rides before buying the R3. It is interesting how ones body tunes to a particular ride / handling.
What are the damages to the bike? They are minimal. I need a new der, chain, hanger and cable. There is a small nick in the paint on one of the seat stays that will be retouched. We are going to install a more robust rear der hanger. Interestingly, Cervelo specs the supplies the hanger, not Shimano. My guys have found that the Cervelo supplied hanger in some circumstances in not robust enough and we are using different one that is stronger.
All this comes with riding bikes and I take it in stride. Upside, if any, I now have the reputation of busting up rear ders - too much power.