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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    What is the most serious thing that has happened to your bicycle while you've been out on a ride?



    I've had lots and lots of flats, a torn tire, shifter cables that seized up on me, and broken spokes. My chain has fallen off several times, as have my waterbottle cage, and lights. My handebars loosened on me one day and dropped forward. I've had a crank arm fall off, and a pedal fall apart. And my seatpost cracked (although I discovered it later)

    But the most serious was when my freehub seized up while I was on a tour. When that happens pedalling does not engage the rear wheel anymore. Fortunately I was not far from where I was going when that happened, so I coasted in, but I had to replace the freehub the next day.


    How about you ... what is the most serious bicycle repair you've had to do while on the road?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Most serious is when the welds came lose on one of my old beater bikes between the downbar and the crank. The bike just kinda folded up underneith me putting me down on the pavement. Needless to say the frame was never replaced due to me not really caring since it was a beater single speed of mine.

  3. #3
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Aside from non-recoverable damage such as the time I chainsucked and bent my chainstay, I was on an offroad MTB camping trip when I smashed my rear derailleur. I of course had to remove a few links and turn my bike into a singlespeed. I ended up basically locking myself into a 36x16 combo and had to ride about 75 miles (most of it offroad) to the nearest bike shop.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  4. #4
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I've pulled handlebars off snapped stems in mid-ride TWICE in the last thirty odd years..... a bit difficult to repair roadside though.... certainely the jacked rear derailluer, the broken rack, the siezed freewheel, the snapped chainring teeth, the split open pannier, the brake self destructions, all have inflicted themselves on me at one time or other....
    Last edited by Bekologist; 03-24-06 at 10:41 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  5. #5
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    My rear derailleur arm snapped 6 days into a 7 day ride. I was sagged to the next rest stop where I was loaned a 'dale six13 to finish the ride.

  6. #6
    Senior Member geeklpc1985's Avatar
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    I have broke a frame, two times. The brake was in the back where the seat connects to the frame. It was a Sun EZ-3 USX.
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  7. #7
    Barbieri Telefonico huhenio's Avatar
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    Broken frames
    Broken spokes
    Toasted Freewheel
    Chewed Up Cotter Pins
    Handlebar Disconnect
    No Brake Syndrome
    Cracked Fork
    Chain Fall
    Chain Snap
    Toasted Pedal
    Broken Ring
    Bungee Cord on Derr's
    Seat Fell
    Seatclamp Crack

    Some of them more than once ... most of them on crappy cruiser bikes ....
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  8. #8
    Castiron Perineum Bockman's Avatar
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    Cracked up on a really fast descent in west virginia, had to repair a huge gash on my leg (which needed stitches) with duct tape until I could get to a hospital.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    On tour the rear derailluer fell apart. I straddled the bike like it was a scooter and pushed the bike for a couple of miles til I got to a bike store. They had a replacement that I could afford. I put it on and finished the tour.
    This space open

  10. #10
    Swollen Member
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    The worst that I was able to fix and get on my way was a totally trashed rear derailleur; I shortened the chain and rode home on a single speed. Among the reasons I've had to call for a ride home- broken rear dropout (right where the chain stay atached), broken fork tube (rusted through), broken rear hub axle, pretzeled wheel, and broken stem.

  11. #11
    cab horn
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    But the most serious was when my freehub seized up while I was on a tour...
    That technically doesn't qualify as "repair"

  12. #12
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    Nothing too serious for me other than 1) broken front wheel axle (couldn't get it going, so I got rescued). 2) Loose BB, an old fella lent me some antique wrench I managed to squeeze in to tighten it, took half an hour and a great chat 3) another time one my clipless pedals fell apart as I was crossing a four lane highway, I never recovered the pieces, the way back was kind of challenging for the other leg ; but once a long time ago, a friend I was riding with had his frame down tube break in the middle, he felt like his handlebar was going up and up until he realized what had happened (brand new bike, steel frame ). We managed to bind it by inserting a large stick and ride back slowly.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I've had to do a couple of major rear hub rebuilds on some old, kind of marginal tandems.

    In one case I went into a small town hardware store with the intention of buying some metric open end wrenches and a file to make one of them into a cone wrench. Guess what - no metric wrenches. Fortunately a sag came by that had a few wrenches and I was able to rework the Atom hub brake rear wheel and finish the ride.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    That technically doesn't qualify as "repair"
    It would have if it had seized up a bit earlier in the day. I was told that I had one other option besides walking/coasting, and that was to ziptie my spokes to my hub (I think), turning my bicycle into a fixed gear, and never coast or I would snap all my spokes.

    As luck would have it, it was an extremely fortunate (in so many ways) but rather expensive "replace".

  15. #15
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    I had my rd cable snap 40 miles into a 75 mile ride, and I used my multi-tool to dial the limits in so that I wouldnt be stuck in the 39/53-12. instead it was 39-15, which isnt a bad gear at all. I finished the ride, with no problems.

    I know its not that hard core...but I thought it was a good story.

  16. #16
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    It would have if it had seized up a bit earlier in the day. I was told that I had one other option besides walking/coasting, and that was to ziptie my spokes to my hub (I think), turning my bicycle into a fixed gear, and never coast or I would snap all my spokes.

    As luck would have it, it was an extremely fortunate (in so many ways) but rather expensive "replace".
    I know I've seen someone on here tell the story where they did exactly that. Whoever it was said they were fine until a short distance from their destination when they forgot about the zipties long enough to mash it off a stoplight... snap-snap-snap and walk the rest of the way.
    Treasurer, HHCMF Club
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    But working at a job where I can't surf BikeForums all day any more...

  17. #17
    Stop it. 56/12 and 22/28's Avatar
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    I once dropped my water bottle.

    I also had a flat last week, it sucks changing flats in freezing weather.

    Sorry, nothing dramatic. But that's good, right?
    http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/6...zysmall4uh.gifCanadian Correspondent General.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    It was 11PM. I was in Boston. I had an hour to get across town to catch a train out of the city. I stopped near the bride (Mass. Ave., I think) to lower the stem, which was too high. I didn't have an allen wrench with me, so I used an adjustable wrench like a hammer to bang it down an inch or so. I hopped back on the bike to ride away, and the bars just flopped around, the fork didn't move.

    Uh-oh.

    I had loosened up the stem but good with my brilliant little improvisation. I was nowhere near a hardware store, my bike was unrideable, and I there were no messengers or other cyclists around to flag down and beg for help. It looked like I might be trying to survive a night on the streets of Boston. Luckily, a dude sitting on a Harley outside a bar was able to help me out - he opened up a compartment on his bike and pulled out the biggest set of allen wrenches I've ever seen in my life. The second smallest one fit the stem bolt. I got home that night.

    Lesson learned: never, EVER bang on a part that ain't meant to be banged, especially not if you're in the city, late at night, and need to catch a train home. Even if it's your brother's bike and you don't mind putting a couple dents in the stem (in my defense, it wasn't a particularly nice bike!). Common sense, people.

  19. #19
    Long haired freak. wethepeople's Avatar
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    Blew out my old fork, ended up putting a stick in the shape of a 'Y' beetween the lower and upper crown to act as a brace.

    Snapped a chain, used a bent nail to put back together

    Snapped a chain on my BMX and used duct-tape to fix it.

    Snapped a cinderkone frame, used a stick inside the frame tubes with lots of duct-tape to fix, rode it for another three weeks.

    taco'd front rim, beat it back into shape.

    "the bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-ever land."


  20. #20
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    I folded a rim once on a ride, so I took the rim and smashed straight until it would roll through the forks, and them continiued on my ride. Lots of broken spokes. Twice I snapped the frame at the rear of the chain stay, of course I could not fix that on the side of the road

  21. #21
    fmw
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    Hoosier Pedaler fmw's Avatar
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    My worst was a snapped rear derailleur that took out a spoke and the front derailleur in the process. I once had a broken chain that flipped up into the rear wheel putting it way out of true. Both of these incidents caused some walking. At least you can fix flats on the road. Not much you can do about a snapped derailleur.

  22. #22
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    I had a SRAM plastic rear mech crack. The chain dropped between the largest cog and spokes and wrapped around tight. I couldnt remove the wheel or the chain by the roadside so carried it home. The repair itself was fairly simple but required workshop tools.

    I have also had a front tyre blow-out. I could probably boot the tyre these days but back then I wheeled it home.

  23. #23
    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    My most successful and creative trailside repair was on a ride in the early 90s. We were at least 10 miles into the pucker up on top of Raggedy As* Mountain. One of the group had busted his rear QR skewer. With a smodge podge of bolts , old derail cable and duct tape, he rode out. One time I taped a broken frame together enough to ride out. Countless times I have turned my bike into a one speed. Countless times I have straightened tacoed wheels against an obliging tree. The needed emergency repairs do not happen as often now. I tend to ride more within my abilities now. So does the crew I ride with.

    Can't say that I have had too many bizarre fixes on the road. Flats and normal stuff. Any crash that I have experienced usually meant the bike was unridable and no amount of McGuyver magic was going to save it. I just keep enough change to make a call or I walk.
    Keep it 'tween the ditches

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  24. #24
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Oh, I feel so green and inexperienced reading this... Nothing very interesting mechanically happened to me on rides. Flats, of course. There was a period where I had four in five days: now that's extreme. Also had shifting problems more or less fixed on the spot by fiddling with the cable. And on the first day of my first multiday tour shifting starting going just crazy on me and was almost completely impossible by the time I got to the nearest bike shop. They replaced the cable since it was worn and rusted, which tells me something about the LBS I took my bike to for a tune up just a few days before the ride.

    Oh, and recently I tried to test-ride a beater bike, and ended up riding it for 1 km and then wheeling it back home. Shifting didn't work and the chain kept falling off the cassette. I didn't attempt any roadside repair though.

    That's it... So boring, but I am sort of grateful for it.

  25. #25
    jcm
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    My first century was saturday before last. Four miles from home on my T520 I get side-swiped (hit and run). I didn't go down but the rear wheel was bent and sort of stuck in the brakes as I slowed. I removed it and tried to straighten it but there was no way - I was too tired. So, I looked around and saw a large bollard protecting a corner of a building. It was close enough to stick the wheel in and push with everything I had left. Got it straight enough to get home.

    I didn't get a license number, but it's my neighborhood and I know there's a black Jetta out there with a young female driving it. Probably with a mark on it.

    This past saturday, my second century was on my T830 MTB. Yeah, let 'em try and bend that one!

    EDIT:I guess I ain't so green anymore.

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