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When your bike fails during a race

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Old 08-26-18, 07:46 PM
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Teamprovicycle
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When your bike fails during a race

what do you do when you train on your bike for over 500 miles with no issue and 10 minutes into your race , your chain falls off , how do you even begin to understand how it could have happened and how to prevent any other mech issue in the future , do you have a mechanical checklist yopu preform before every race , maybe a really good tech to over look your bike ?????
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Old 08-26-18, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Teamprovicycle View Post
what do you do when you train on your bike for over 500 miles with no issue and 10 minutes into your race , your chain falls off , how do you even begin to understand how it could have happened and how to prevent any other mech issue in the future , do you have a mechanical checklist yopu preform before every race , maybe a really good tech to over look your bike ?????
i think I speak for all of us here—typically we would get handed a new bike either by a teammate if we are the rider expected to win in that day or our team mechanic.

I’d save the yelling st the mechanics for the post-race meeting.
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Old 08-26-18, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post


i think I speak for all of us here—typically we would get handed a new bike either by a teammate if we are the rider expected to win in that day or our team mechanic.

I’d save the yelling st the mechanics for the post-race meeting.
lol

Seriously though, that's the worst. I've dropped my chain 10 seconds before the whistle (going from small ring -> big ring while standing still - which should be fine but whatever). In that case I somehow got rolling, reached down, eventually got the chain on, and chased on to the back of the group. It sucked, but was totally my fault so I didn't even try to take a free lap.

My advice is:
a) learn as much as you can about bike maintenance (books, youtube, etc)
b) take care of your equipment (clean chain often, etc)
c) get a pro mechanic to fix it up every now and then

The hard part about a) is you'll eventually need a bunch of tools, but you can do most work on your bike with a few of them.
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Old 08-27-18, 04:39 AM
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Learn the ins and outs of your equipment. Be responsible for every aspect of your performance, equipment included.

A 100 dollar tool box from Nashbar or Performance and lots of youtube videos can be a big help in getting you started.
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Old 08-27-18, 06:48 AM
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Stuff happens. As said, know how to keep a bike in good shape and check it regularly.

And remember, you can do everything possible and still something can go wrong for whatever reason.
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Old 08-27-18, 07:17 AM
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did you tinker with your shifting the night before or day of your race, to make it just perfect?
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Old 08-27-18, 05:02 PM
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Old 08-27-18, 05:20 PM
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Usually a chain falling off is due to a front shift. That can happen even with well adjusted regular indexed shifting. It has happened to me. Us old guys that used friction shifting would never have this happen using that. Not that long ago in mountain stages of the big stage races you would often see friction shifters for the big ring on a number of bikes. A bit of that was weight savings, but I bet that more of it was making sure that the shifts worked properly every time.

I have been told by some friends that have several version of electronic shifting that this does not ever happen when making front shifts. I just have to take my word from them. I have never used electronic shifting.
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Old 08-27-18, 07:28 PM
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spend a few days watching Park Tool videos... some good info.
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Old 08-27-18, 08:35 PM
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To be more specific its a sram red group set but i dont use the front shifter . its a compact double red 10 speed crank set the older style .
i havent touched it since the day i installed it becuase its set just right . what bothers me is just doing so much training on this bike with only minor tire issues that can easily be fixed , its a madone 7 .

in my possesion its been almost flawless barely a miss shift its smooth and reliable , the last thing id think to happen is my chain falls off 15 minutes in on a simple turn . i am unsure now ..
if i spend over 200 bucks to enter this next race and have a mechanical issue it will suck even more . i have the essential tools to work on my bike minus a decent bearing punch and press .
i have come a very long way in a short time from riding flat booty bs bikes to decent race machines , i just wanted to share because honestly how can you prevent it when you ride 500 plus miles on a bike with no issueto have it drop chain once and the rest of the race it was fine .
its just messing with me becuase i have the drive i have the training routine , im getting better , i felt really good in the pack . 25 or so bikesbuzzing around me i wasnt nervous or timid , i really needed that expeirence win or loose i basicaly rode solo with a couple idiots sucking my wheel and never attacking so we could go faster ..
uugh thanks for any help though.
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Old 08-27-18, 08:46 PM
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What race are you doing that costs $200? There should be plenty of USAC races in your area that are much cheaper than that - in which case this wouldn't be such a big ordeal.

There is no short cut or magic answer here - just take the advice from what people have posted. Get more experience, learn to service your equipment, and understand that sometimes **** happens. It's part of bike racing.
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Old 08-28-18, 05:00 AM
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Sounds like he's doing a fondo or something.
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Old 08-28-18, 05:10 AM
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You don't front shift? Did you just happen to be cross chained big x big and torqued funny on the cranks? I'd practice getting the chain back on in an emergency. Usually I can front shift while slow pedaling and get it to catch.
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Old 08-28-18, 05:36 AM
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It's too bad your shift problem didn't happen until the big day.

A local rider was dropping the chain when he rolled the bike backward while standing next to it. (This makes the crank turn backward). It was happening once or twice a ride, very annoying.

Now it's fine. All these were fixed at the same shop visit, so one or more was the cause:
1. a slightly bend derailleur hanger
2. a worn chain, somewhat overdue for replacement
3. front derailleur adjustment
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Old 08-28-18, 11:24 AM
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this thread confuses me.

a $200 race?

you don't use the front shifter? so, how do you know if it works perfectly or not?

fwiw, training for over "500 miles" is like a month of training. for me. for half the people on this forum, it's a week and a half.
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Old 08-28-18, 12:23 PM
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I could see this guy did a local crit on Sunday in Fall River (near my hometown but I was out of state and couldn't go), and doing some strava-fu I can see and he generally just rides on a MUP, so I doubt he has to shift much on front (I did see a 70 something mile just going back and forth on the MUP, must be painfully boring)
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Old 09-02-18, 10:20 PM
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no id have to buy i licenses to enter plus the ride and register !!!!

you can also just ask for my strava page if you need to see it so bad dude

i ride where i ride , and i was in a turn shifting up a gear or down ?? i was shifting into an easier gear to adjust for the little climb , and clink , i could have reached down and got it , BUT , i was at the bottom of the hill so i lost speed and had to lean over to get it , it fell on to my crank arm where the peddle was ....

im just saying i ran the bike for over a 1000 miles since the day i got it, up until the race day and it worked fine not one single real hiccup , so i just was wondering .
this post isn't about where i ride or how i train , i do what i can do , its just about how other racers deal with problems specifically like this and how they bounce back and continue on , thanks !!!!

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Old 09-03-18, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Teamprovicycle View Post
its just about how other racers deal with problems specifically like this and how they bounce back and continue on , thanks !!!!
I worked in three different bike shops in college 15 years ago, so learned all the basics there. Then I self-taught myself all the rest of the modern upgraded stuff through youtube and experimentation.

Point being, I don't have problems like this because I take of everything on my own. Now I have busted some carbon rims mid-race, or had flat tires and the like so those in a sense are mechanical issues. But even then I just move on to the next race and try not to think about it anymore. After a few seasons you can easily have hundreds of bike races under your belt. It helps when you accept that a bad race is simply one bad race, and there are many, many more for you to do.
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Old 09-04-18, 12:15 AM
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i hear yah ....
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Old 09-04-18, 11:50 AM
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a cross chained gear ratio combined with a poorly adjusted b-screw could lead to derailled chain, in my experience.
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Old 09-10-18, 05:52 PM
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I've had some chains nearly come off in races when a competitors pedal hits my RD. I can usually pedal it back on and catch back onto the field...
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Old 09-10-18, 05:54 PM
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... I've also had a flat rolling up to a TT start.... that sucked but the official gave me a new start time and all was well.
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Old 09-11-18, 08:47 AM
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one time i got hit by a car warming up for a race ... I was rolling to a stop sign, put my left arm out to signal I was going left and my hand landed on the windshield as the passenger side mirror hit my hip and knocked me off the bike. It opened up a recently closed wound on my arm, which the EMTs put gauze over like I was a mummy.

As the EMTs were finishing patching me up my field rolled out of the parking lot we were staged in. I caught on to the field.

This race (the Poolesville RR in MD for those local to the mid atlantic) has a gravel road in it. It was a very low rainfall year, which made the gravel road dry, dusty, and potholes very hard and unforgiving. As we raced along the gravel, water bottles were being ejected left and right and I hit one with my front wheel. My handlebars rotated forward, hard, and pulled my brake cables tight, which locked up both front and rear brakes. As I thought i was going to crash and be run over by myriad racers behind me, I skidded into the woods to the side of the gravel road and somehow stayed upright.

point being, stuff happens, put it behind you and move on to the next one.
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Old 09-11-18, 10:02 AM
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But what happened to the driver?
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Old 09-11-18, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
But what happened to the driver?
it was an older gentlemen. he stopped, and I remember him apologizing and think he felt bad. Despite there being hundreds of cyclists roaming around, he said he didnt see me. He claimed to not have his insurance info on him and said he needed to go home to get it. My race was starting and I generally felt OK/thought everything was good so I didn't wait around for him to return. Probably not the most responsible adult decision I've ever made, but ...
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