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I put my bike on the ground this evening

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I put my bike on the ground this evening

Old 01-03-17, 10:39 PM
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I put my bike on the ground this evening

Or rather, it put me on the ground. I rode the Gran Sport to work today, my only bike with fenders, since it was supposed to rain on the trip home. About 2 miles from the office I did a shift and the chain jammed. Great, I figured I'd thrown it off a chainring, got it wedge in the FD. I stopped, looked it over, nothing was amiss. I spun the crank, everything worked. Hmmph. I got started again carefully, going uphill on the small ring on smooth new pavement in steady rain. About 50 yards later at maybe 10 to 12mph I went to shift, the chain locked again, rear wheel locked and skidded, the bike spun out and in the blink of an eye I was on the ground. Literally pedaling, clunk, swish, bam!




Fortunately it was on a quiet residential road going past a school, no traffic, a road I take precisely because it is serene, the exact place where I had a FW come apart a year or two ago. Fortunately I wasn't hurt and the DO seems undamaged, but the RD is toast. Probably the chain too. The impact broke the mount of my fancy (i.e. 'spensive) L&M USB headlight. My jacket and winter glove took no road rash, though my arm did inside my thermal t-shirt.

I haven't had time to study it yet. The first guess is the cage caught a spoke, of course. But that failure mode is one I have always been seriously afraid of so I adjust those little screws very carefully and err on the side of caution. I haven't ridden this bike for several months but it was fine when I parked it. More significantly, the bottom of the cage seems to have caught a spoke, not the top where the spokes are closer to the cage. We had band practice this evening and one member who's a cyclist, the guy who gave me the Masi frame, was over, so we looked at it briefly. He suggested that the parallelogram probably broke. I think the first jam I felt was significant, maybe even a stick or something getting stuck in the chain. Then it jammed the cage and pulled it out of shape.

In any case, I'm glad it didn't happen on one of the busy roads of my commute. I ended up waiting a while for a AAA truck which took me home.
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Old 01-03-17, 10:42 PM
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You can call AAA when your bike breaks?
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Old 01-03-17, 10:45 PM
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Take care of yourself --

The falls (mostly on my MTB ) - hurt a LOT more the next day than when I was 25 .

If anything flares up keep an anti -inflammatory handy

Since the hanger is intact, it looks like the bike may have survived the ordeal --- such an event can pretty easily trash a frame too
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Old 01-03-17, 11:06 PM
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Jim, sorry to hear of the mishap. At least the derailleur claw likely saved you from a ruined dropout.

I've had a few RD catastrophes. One ended in a shattered Dura Ace 7400 and bent (though reparable) dropout, one left me with a shattered Deore XT RD and a long walk home, and another left me with a bent Campy Chorus RD and ruined dropout on a cherished frame.

Sometimes it's not as simple as an improperly adjusted limit screw and you may never know the true cause. Could have been road grime and chain suck, for example. Also, check out your chain . It may have been bent/twisted when the RD went into the spokes. Might consider replacing it as well.

Glad you weren't hurt, and hope you aren't sore tomorrow!
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Old 01-03-17, 11:10 PM
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Bummer about your bike, but glad you're OK. It's a sad day when a wheel eats a derailleur - I've been there. I was fine, but my hanger didn't survive and the aluminum frame was scrapped.
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Old 01-03-17, 11:10 PM
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yes, cage caught a spoke - never been quite that far, but heard them pinging against spokes before.
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Old 01-03-17, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Otis View Post
You can call AAA when your bike breaks?
I think it varies by state but in Oregon , yes you can if you get the better policy (I think it is called Premium). The upgrade here doesn't cost a lot more and is significantly better in several respects, not just covering bikes.

Ben
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Old 01-04-17, 12:00 AM
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Oof! Glad you're ok (1st) and your G.S. is too (2nd)
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Old 01-04-17, 12:36 AM
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Sorry, glad you weren't hurt
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Old 01-04-17, 12:48 AM
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This happens a lot in cyclocross races when it's muddy. You can have the limit screws adjusted perfectly but if the chain gets hung up in the pulleys the derailleur tries to do a cartwheel and generally ends up in the spokes if it isn't attached to a breakaway hanger.

This happened to me in an instant.



I honestly thought I had just dropped the chain because what I felt was one second I was pedaling and the next the crank was spinning but I wasn't going anywhere.

In my case, it broke the RD in two places, twisted several links in the chain, cut a deep notch in most of the drive side spokes and bent the derailleur hanger. A mechanic I talked to said he's seen cables ripped through the shifter.
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Old 01-04-17, 01:41 AM
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Glad you're OK Jim. It sounds like it could have been a whole lot worse though..
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Old 01-04-17, 04:42 AM
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Take care.
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Old 01-04-17, 05:28 AM
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Glad you are ok, Jim. Scary stuff to deal with on the commute.
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Old 01-04-17, 05:53 AM
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Jim, ouch! So glad you are okay! I'm guessing your winter riding clothes and even the wet pavement helped to minimize the injuries. Still, at 10-12 mph that is a moderate speed crash and nothing to dismiss.

I think I found a similar RD at the stump dump a while back, and since it has a short cage, it is of no interest to me. Let me take a look.
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Old 01-04-17, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Jim, ouch! So glad you are okay! I'm guessing your winter riding clothes and even the wet pavement helped to minimize the injuries. Still, at 10-12 mph that is a moderate speed crash and nothing to dismiss.

I think I found a similar RD at the stump dump a while back, and since it has a short cage, it is of no interest to me. Let me take a look.
Thanks, Bob, but I'm okay for RDs at the moment, have a few extra of similar vintage that have followed me home over the years. This one was probably a Vx-S, medium cage, but could have been a VGT-Luxe.

Thanks all of you for your concern. This morning I don't hurt anywhere, which is good. My sweetie has for a long time had us doing the Tom Brady thing of eating well and exercising to keep the body functioning okay. At 68 I could have taken a bigger hit. The last time I put a bike on the ground (at 0 mph yet) I chipped the bone in my elbow. This time nothing. My helmeted head didn't hit the ground. The wet pavement probably contributed to the skid but let me skid to a stop smoothly too.

I guess I know what I'll be wrenching this weekend.
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Old 01-04-17, 07:10 AM
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I am so glad this turned out much better than it could have, as far as injuries to you. At least you didn't have any big time road rash, a broken bone or three, or a concussion to deal with from the incident Jim. Not something none of us wants to contemplate, but it is always in the back of our minds.

When you have the time, and feel like taking the time, please post some autopsy pictures of the dead derailleur and associated parts around it. It would be interesting to read some of the thoughts posted as to what exactly happened.

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Old 01-04-17, 10:13 AM
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When ever I see this happen, I kinda start contemplating re-installing my dork disc's.
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Old 01-04-17, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cbrstar View Post
When ever I see this happen, I kinda start contemplating re-installing my dork disc's.
I don't think a dork disc would have helped. This is in fact a Vx-S, longish cage (though not as long as the Vx-GT). At first inspection it looks like the bottom of the cage caught the spoke, and that probably would have been below the radius of the DD. That cage was probably toast before this happened.

I will post pics and conclusions after I've had a change to examine it. I suspect more evidence has been lost though, rather like the intoxicated individual who consumes any evidence that he has been drinking. There may not be much left to see.
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Old 01-04-17, 10:21 AM
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@jimmuller - glad you came out of okay! Sorry your bike parts didn't! Lucky the frame is good!


I have not had this kind of experience at all. Cages touching spokes, yes. I do have experience of multiple broken bones, road rash, permanent visual impairment and significant tissue trauma back in 2008. Some of the nerves are still growing back and the skin is waking up! I fell on a motorcycle while in college and scaped everything down to the bone on a knuckle. Took 30 years to get the feeling back in that spot.


I only have one bike with a dork disk and it is there because I am too lazy to take it off and it acts as a spacer. It is small enough and clear to not be noticeable like a Schwinn DD. I would never intentionally put one on unless I was concerned about being inept and my ego won't let me go there.
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Old 01-04-17, 10:26 AM
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nothing much to add, but wanted to say I'm glad you weren't hurt... and... glad the Gran Sport wasn't hurt (sorry... I have a soft sport for the Gran Sport!)

In the short term, I agree with the recommendation to replace the chain. Modern chains are more delicate, and probably don't appreciate being abused like that. Probably want replace any spokes that got nicked too.

There's probably a slim chance to know what really caused the derailleur to go into the spokes. I've had one incident like this, and my best guess is that a plate came off of the chain and got jammed in the derailleur pulley cage. This caused the derailleur to be pulled along with the chain, and eventually get jammed into the spokes. It was a long walk home!

best wishes for the repairs and healing.


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Old 01-04-17, 10:36 AM
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This weather is hard on bikes. Good on you for riding thru it. BTW I ride to band practice as well. Band mates think I'm nuts.
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Old 01-04-17, 11:00 AM
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Good to see that you are fine Jim! At least it happened at the most opportune place possible.
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Old 01-04-17, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by greg3rd48 View Post
Good to see that you are fine Jim! At least it happened at the most opportune place possible.

It's wonderful how much damage you can do to a rear derailleur in a small fraction of a second!

I wrecked the VGT Luxe on my Gran Sport (same color frame as yours) while starting up a long steep hill. I had just shifted from the half-step middle ring--42 teeth--onto the 28-tooth granny.

In analyzing it later, I concluded a loop of slack must have fallen off the tension pulley (as a result of my suddenly throwing a lot of slack into the chain), which then caught on the cage and twisted it into the spokes. I still like the convenience of the old Suntour "quick cage," but I'm more aware of its possible limitations now.

So many ways to fail! I keeps life interesting, I suppose. Glad you weren't hurt and your bike is okay. Nice that it wasn't a frame with an integral derailleur hanger.
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Old 01-04-17, 03:17 PM
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This brings to mind all the people who can't imagine bike commuting because it seems so dangerous. Yet this is often the worst kind of thing that happens to bike commuters. Those people may think your story sounds terribly scary, but compared with the alternatives, it's mild and even a little interesting.
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Old 01-04-17, 03:42 PM
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Ouch. Sounds like a RD failure - either the cage or springs. Glad you're ok, and that the bike is (mostly) too. I believe I was just admiring other folks' Grand Sports last night.
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