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Derailleur through wheel

Old 06-20-13, 10:26 AM
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Derailleur through wheel

Biking home yesterday on my 2008 (or maybe 2009) Trek 7.2 fx commuter, had a taxi come within a foot of side-swiping me as he took a late turn without checking the bike lane or signaling. Bike went end over end, although I managed to leap off and avoid injury. Checked the bike out, had to reset the front brake, but otherwise everything in the back looked fine. A few blocks later, the rear derailleur went crashing through my rear wheel, likely due to latent damage to the hangar. Long story short, the derailleur smashed through 2-3 spokes and the rear fender got trashed as well.

I'm going to take it to a shop, but wanted to know what I should be expecting. Specifically,
  1. Is it likely the whole wheel will need to be replaced, or just the spokes?
  2. What are the chances the derailleur won't need to be changed out?
  3. Any rough, ballpark estimates of how much this is likely to set me back? I'm thinking about just replacing it if it's going to be several hundred.
Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Teambayern; 06-20-13 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 06-20-13, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Teambayern
Biking home yesterday on my 2008 (or maybe 2009) Trek 7.2 fx commuter, had a taxi come within a foot of side-swiping me as he took a late turn without checking the bike lane or signaling. Bike went end over end, although I managed to leap off and avoid injury. Checked the bike out, had to reset the front brake, but otherwise everything in the back looked fine. A block later, the rear derailleur went crashing through my rear wheel, likely due to latent damage to the hangar. Long story short, the derailleur smashed through 2-3 spokes and the rear fender got trashed as well.

I'm going to take it to a shop, but wanted to know what I should be expecting. Specifically,
  1. Is it likely the whole wheel will need to be replaced, or just the spokes?
  2. What are the chances the derailleur won't need to be changed out?
  3. Any rough, ballpark estimates of how much this is likely to set me back? I'm thinking about just replacing it if it's going to be several hundred.
Thanks in advance.
I'm sure that someone with more knowledge will come along and tell you better than I can, but it all depends on exactly what damage has been done. I had the same thing happen to me and all that needed replacing was 4 spokes. Didn't cost much at all.

If the derailleur is busted, then you're going to have to replace it (obviously). If it's just a few spokes that need replacing then it will be a cheap fix. The rim/hub may be damaged, but that's most unlikely, but if they are, there's more cost.
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Old 06-20-13, 10:33 AM
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If the rear derailleur went crashing through the spokes then it apparently separated from the frame. My guess with no pictures is you have derailleur and spoke damage but the rim is ok. Expect that they will suggest replacing the rear wheel and obviously the rd.
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Old 06-20-13, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Teambayern
I'm going to take it to a shop, but wanted to know what I should be expecting. Specifically,
  1. Is it likely the whole wheel will need to be replaced, or just the spokes?
  2. What are the chances the derailleur won't need to be changed out?
  3. Any rough, ballpark estimates of how much this is likely to set me back? I'm thinking about just replacing it if it's going to be several hundred.
Thanks in advance.
So much for bike lanes - just an excuse for motorists to ignore your presence/rights on the road.

1. No way to tell remotely, depends on whether the rim was itself physically bent and whether there is any serious damage to the hub or rim spoke holes.
2. There is of course no way to tell you the chances/odds - how would we know? It is possible that the derailleur cage was bent when it went into the spokes. After the hanger is replaced and alignment is confirmed, if the pulley cage does not line up parallel to the frame on both planes and in all rotated positions then replace it.
3. This of course depends on the shop rates of the LBS you choose, which can vary by shop and by city/region. Get an estimate, two to be safe. Make sure you have an itemized list, at least verbal for the estimate, and written afterward of the specific tasks.

Last edited by cny-bikeman; 06-20-13 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 06-20-13, 10:54 AM
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Thanks for the replies thus far. Just to clarify, I don't expect anyone to tell me how bad my specific wheel or rd is damaged, i just want to get a general sense of things given my own lack of knowledge (e.g., whether it is generally okay to replace just spokes vs. always needing to replace the wheel, whether an rd would obviously be totaled from such an incident vs. whether they can sometimes be salvaged). Replies thus far have been helpful.
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Old 06-20-13, 11:19 AM
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There's no point in discussing what generally works - each situation is specific. I worked as a mechanic and service manager for over 20 years and have seen every possible combination from just a bent hanger to bent hanger, ruined derailleur and hub AND ruined dropout (bent open too much to repair). In fact, given the severity of your mishap it's a good idea to have the right dropout checked.

Find a shop you trust, have them tell you what they will do and why. Most shops are honest and conscientious but certainly not all. You are better off trying a couple shops (or one highly recommended by knowledgeable cyclists) than to get guesses/opinions here. Perhaps someone familiar with Boston area shops (depending on where you are in Boston) can

Last edited by cny-bikeman; 06-20-13 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 06-20-13, 11:29 AM
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I had a similar mishap recently, but no broken spokes.

Used RD ebay= $50
mount, true wheel, etc, etc @ LBS = $60
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Old 06-20-13, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft
I had a similar mishap recently, but no broken spokes.

Used RD ebay= $50
mount, true wheel, etc, etc @ LBS = $60
Thanks, very helpful.
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Old 06-20-13, 11:46 AM
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Well, maybe - but again, could be that much, could be less could be double that.
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Old 06-20-13, 11:50 AM
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Just a thought, but did the cab stop? Did you get cab # so you can report the driver, seek compensation to repair your bike from cab company?

As others have said, too many things unknown. You could have frame damage etc, or it could be replace spokes, true wheel and adjust derailleur. Find a good bike shop or two and get estimates.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 06-20-13, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jsharr
Just a thought, but did the cab stop? Did you get cab # so you can report the driver, seek compensation to repair your bike from cab company?

As others have said, too many things unknown. You could have frame damage etc, or it could be replace spokes, true wheel and adjust derailleur. Find a good bike shop or two and get estimates.
Cab slowed down to make sure I wasn't dead, but didn't stop. Didn't get the plate, although I tried. I am going to the shop(s) later today to get a full estimate, but, believe it or not, just knowing the range of possibilities is still very helpful info. It's like asking the doctor before the tests what the bump is -- he can't tell me, but he can say it could be this, it could be that, and this is what it was the last few times we've seen stuff like this. That's the info you all have been giving me, and it is similarly useful.
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Old 06-20-13, 12:13 PM
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If the deraileur is broken, that's one thing.
If the derailleur HANGER is broken, that could translate to repair by a framebulder (expensive) unless the hanger itself
is a replaceable part.
Once again, without pics it is impossible to tell.
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Old 06-20-13, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Teambayern
Cab slowed down to make sure I wasn't dead, but didn't stop. Didn't get the plate, although I tried. I am going to the shop(s) later today to get a full estimate, but, believe it or not, just knowing the range of possibilities is still very helpful info. It's like asking the doctor before the tests what the bump is -- he can't tell me, but he can say it could be this, it could be that, and this is what it was the last few times we've seen stuff like this. That's the info you all have been giving me, and it is similarly useful.
Have you considered seeing if anyone there has cameras running? Store owner etc to see if you can get a cab #? Worth a try, as you may be out hundreds of dollars in repairs.

If I had to guess, I would say you need to have your derailleur hanger straightend, the spokes replaced and wheels trued and may need to replace rear derailleur. I would expect to spend $200 or so to make that happen.

A quick trip to Bikepedia shows that the 2008 or 09 7.2 fx appears to have a replaced derailleur hanger, which is good news and a Shimano Alivio RD, which is not an expensive unit. I found one at REI for $41 just now.
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Old 06-20-13, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Teambayern
It's like asking the doctor before the tests what the bump is ...
More like asking the doctor over the phone what might have happened when you fell and hurt your knee. Your analogy actually is more equivalent to getting an in-person estimate at a shop, as even there the mechanic does not necessarily know everything that may be discovered during repairs.
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Old 06-20-13, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman
More like asking the doctor over the phone what might have happened when you fell and hurt your knee. Your analogy actually is more equivalent to getting an in-person estimate at a shop, as even there the mechanic does not necessarily know everything that may be discovered during repairs.
As for the cab, if you can pinpoint time of day and location of the incident plus a description of the driver the company can likely locate the cab involved. Nobody involved in an accident, private or commercial, should leave the scene, especially because you may have been injured. It's also against the law to do so. If the cab company is not cooperative then you have the option of involving the police.

In Massachusetts:
Leaving the Scene of Property Damage: If the accident only resulted in damage of property you will face fines ranging from $20 to $200 and jail time of 2 weeks to 2 years.

Leaving the Scene of Personal Injury: If the accident resulted in the injury of another person, your fines are increased to $500 to $1,000 with the potential of spending 6 months to 2 years in jail.
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Old 06-20-13, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman
More like asking the doctor over the phone what might have happened when you fell and hurt your knee. Your analogy actually is more equivalent to getting an in-person estimate at a shop, as even there the mechanic does not necessarily know everything that may be discovered during repairs.
As for the cab, if you can pinpoint time of day and location of the incident and you know which cab company they can likely locate the cab involved. Nobody involved in an accident, private or commercial, should leave the scene, especially because you may have been injured. If the cab company is not cooperative then you have the option of involving the police.

In Massachusetts:
Leaving the Scene of Property Damage: If the accident only resulted in damage of property you will face fines ranging from $20 to $200 and jail time of 2 weeks to 2 years.

Leaving the Scene of Personal Injury: If the accident resulted in the injury of another person, your fines are increased to $500 to $1,000 with the potential of spending 6 months to 2 years in jail.
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Old 06-20-13, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman
More like asking the doctor over the phone what might have happened when you fell and hurt your knee. Your analogy actually is more equivalent to getting an in-person estimate at a shop, as even there the mechanic does not necessarily know everything that may be discovered during repairs.
Fair enough, but the fact of the matter is I know many things from this thread (including from your helpful posts) that I did not know previously, including that spokes can be replaced individually in some cases, the fact that hangars can be either replaceable or not (and mine appears to be replaceable), the derailleur is not necessarily dead just because it went through the spokes and the stock part is unlikely to be very expensive, and most importantly, this could range from a relatively inexpensive and quick repair to a costly and time-consuming one. I get that I need to go to a bike shop -- i'm doing that today -- I just wanted some background info, and I got it.

As for the cab, I'm working on it, but it's difficult getting the government or a private business to fork over their security footage. As an attorney admitted in MA, i'm aware of my legal options, but also think that it would be a tough case given that the damage took place after the actual incident. He will say I was contributorily negligent and allege I rode the bike without adequately inspecting it.
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Old 06-20-13, 02:04 PM
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Anyway.. a picture worth at least 1000 words
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Old 06-20-13, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Asi
Anyway.. a picture worth at least 1000 words
Good point, I can't upload one now, but will do so later this evening.
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Old 06-20-13, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Teambayern
Fair enough, but the fact of the matter is I know many things from this thread (including from your helpful posts) that I did not know previously
That is true, but none of that was germane to the questions you originally asked. You asked for likelihood, chances and ballpark estimates. The more efficient route would have been to ask what kinds of things does the shop need to look at and what is the range of costs you might be facing. On the latter point it's still better just to go in and get an estimate.

Yes, even as a non-attorney I'm aware that your options are not great - good luck.
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Old 06-20-13, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman
That is true, but none of that was germane to the questions you originally asked. You asked for likelihood, chances and ballpark estimates. The more efficient route would have been to ask what kinds of things does the shop need to look at and what is the range of costs you might be facing. On the latter point it's still better just to go in and get an estimate.

Yes, even as a non-attorney I'm aware that your options are not great - good luck.
Fair points, and thanks again for your help.
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