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catastrophe

Old 12-05-11, 08:37 AM
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CptjohnC
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catastrophe

Okay - I know this doesn't strictly have much to do with commuting, but since the affected bike is my workhorse commuter, I'm posting here. Last week, I was all excited about my new chain and cassette. The cassette in particular seemed so much better than my old one because of the shorter reach to the highest (largest) cog, as I went from a 34 to a 30.

I rode several times last week, and all seemed well. This weekend, I went for a fun ride, and about 15 minutes in, as I slowed in preparation for a stop, my wheel suddenly locked up, and I nearly went a$s over teakettle. I knew I had dropped the chain, which I thought was weird enough, but then I looked down and saw this:







So the chain is down between the cassette and the hub, having jumped 'over' the highest cog. I can't get the chain out with 'ordinary' force, and I don't want to make anything worse. My LBS installed the chain and the cassette, so I'm inclined to take it back to them and see what they can/will do.

How likely is it that I'll need a new wheel? Is the cassette toast? How about the chain? I'll probably go ahead and post this in the mechanic's forum too, but I thought I'd share my pain here, too.

On a 'bright' note, I did install my bargain fenders on my MTB, so my ride in today wasn't as messy as it was the last few times I'd used the MTB to commute. It is a bit of a kludge job on the front, though, as my suspension fork (I suppose, unsurprisingly) isn't set up to accept fender stays.

Last edited by CptjohnC; 12-05-11 at 08:40 AM. Reason: 'fixing'? image links (I hope).
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Old 12-05-11, 08:44 AM
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Guess you needed a spoke protector.
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Old 12-05-11, 08:51 AM
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My guess is the LBS mechanic will just grab the chain and pull the hell out of it to pop it out of there, re-do the limit adjustment for the low gear and send you on your way. If they installed the chain and cassette, they should have checked the limits, so any repairs should be on them.
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Old 12-05-11, 09:16 AM
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Have 'em check the spokes for damage.

I had a mechanic (me) poorly adjust the rear derailleur on my Breezer. The chain popped between the cassette and the spokes. Mangled the spokes up and threw the wheel out of true. The same mechanic (me) had to yank real hard to get the chain out. Once the chain was out, the mechanic (me) trued the wheel up. One week later, I broke three spokes. I ended re-spoking the wheel. All because the mechanic (me) had given the low limit screw a couple extra turns in the wrong direction.
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Old 12-05-11, 10:07 AM
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That's a pretty apt scenario, Mike.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-05-11, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
Have 'em check the spokes for damage.
Sounds like good advice. Thanks.
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Old 12-05-11, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
That's a pretty apt scenario, Mike.
I considered firing my mechanic. Unfortunately, it is pretty hard to find another mechanic that accepts payment in only beer and pizza.
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Old 12-05-11, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Guess you needed a spoke protector.
No!!!! Anything but a dork disc or Fred frisbee!!!!
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Old 12-05-11, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BiketoFeel View Post
No!!!! Anything but a dork disc or Fred frisbee!!!!
This is the commuting forum, not the techno-weenie forum! More power to "Dork Disks"!!
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Old 12-05-11, 05:06 PM
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Yeah, my mechanic did the same thing. Had the limit screw off just enough that I was able to push the chain into the spokes. I rode it for several months before it actually happened, but when it did, I had to replace a few spokes and the derailleur. At first I was pretty upset with that mechanic, but I managed to forgive myself
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Old 12-06-11, 02:34 AM
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I'm sure the studdlies with the matching short/shirt kit with advertising are laughing at me when stopped at lights. With my MTB clipless pedals, flashlight mounts on my bars and helmet and my dork ring and wheel reflectors. Oh, and don't forget the reflective strips on the back of my helmet. I sometimes wear a Camelback, too. I don't give a ****; I'm out riding and enjoying the pain :-)
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Old 12-06-11, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
I'm sure the studdlies with the matching short/shirt kit with advertising are laughing at me when stopped at lights. With my MTB clipless pedals, flashlight mounts on my bars and helmet and my dork ring and wheel reflectors. Oh, and don't forget the reflective strips on the back of my helmet. I sometimes wear a Camelback, too. I don't give a ****; I'm out riding and enjoying the pain :-)
laughing at me too, with my mirror, rack and bags ... who cares what they think, enjoy the ride
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Old 12-06-11, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Guess you needed a spoke protector.
I had one on my old wheel, but when I got a new one, I missed that it didn't have one. Haven't gone back to the bike shop to see if they can put one one. Although really, I just need to get the tools for cassette removal (I had a freewheel) and do it myself. Seems like cheap insurance to me, and my style points are so low anyway it doesn't matter.
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Old 12-06-11, 08:23 AM
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Disc brake so it probably has a cassette, so maybe just loosen the cassette lockring and see if the cogs will move enough to free up the chain without further spoke damage. And if, as noted by others above, the spokes on the drive side are bent or gouged then replace them while you have it apart.

And the pie plates are also there in case something impacts the derailleur hanger and knocks things a bit out of alignment, so even if everything was adjusted properly there is still the possibility of the chain dropping off to the inside.
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Old 12-06-11, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
I considered firing my mechanic. Unfortunately, it is pretty hard to find another mechanic that accepts payment in only beer and pizza.
Actually that is a very easy thing to find... I would be happy to wrench on bikes for pizza and beer...seriously I don't live far and have worked in shops for quite a while

The safest way to get that out would be to loosen the lockring on the cassette like someone mentioned earlier.

Take it back to the shop, they should have checked the limits with a cassette swap and if there is any damage they should take care of it for you, a good shop will have no problem making this right for you.

Worst case you tore up some spokes and bent the derailer so make sure to have them check that as well.

Good luck to ya
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Old 12-06-11, 11:46 PM
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+1 on having the spokes checked. Having spokes break on your commute would be the real catastrophe!
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Old 12-07-11, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
+1 on having the spokes checked. Having spokes break on your commute would be the real catastrophe!
True enough. I hope to get the bike into the shop today... we'll see how they do.
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Old 12-07-11, 11:04 AM
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It is very likely your derailleur hanger is bent. That's a common cause of chains 'overshifting' into the spokes and can occur if you've crashed or laid the bike down on the drive side. Make sure you get the shop to check the hanger's alignment. If this is the first time it's happened, it will be an easy, cheap fix.
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Old 12-07-11, 11:11 AM
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If you weren't going too fast when it happened and if the wheel really locked up as soon as you shifted, there's a decent chance that your spokes are still okay. Your chain, cassette, and derailleur should all be fine too. On the whole, it doesn't look too catastrophic.
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Old 12-07-11, 06:10 PM
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Spoke Protector

Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Guess you needed a spoke protector.
Why? None of my bikes have them and I've never had a problem with the chain coming off of the low gear and getting caught between the spokes and the cassette.
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Old 12-07-11, 07:15 PM
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I haven't had this happen since about 1973 (on my Peugeot PX-10!) because, since that time, I've set my low gear limit screws on the conservative side, i.e. as long as the chain makes it up onto low gear, no problem.

It's good to use a chain hanger alignment guage whenever you have the derailluer off, just to check it out, and/or esp. is you've crashed on the right side of the bike . . . which, depending on the particular impact, can bend the derailluer hanger.

Nowadays (well, for the last decade or so) lots of bikes have replaceable derailler hangers, so that's even better, but still . . . they have to aligned correctly (along with the low gear limit screw being set correctly) to avoid these "chain in the spokes" issues.

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Old 12-12-11, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post
If you weren't going too fast when it happened and if the wheel really locked up as soon as you shifted, there's a decent chance that your spokes are still okay. Your chain, cassette, and derailleur should all be fine too. On the whole, it doesn't look too catastrophic.
According to my shop, the cassette and the spokes were fine. The chain got torqued (and has been replaced), and apparently the RD is bent (though I wonder, now, if that's really the hanger that's bent? -- it is the replaceable kind...) Now I should mention that the 'bent' RD is a problem to the 'other' side; it won't shift up to the two highest cogs (the largest), so if it was bent and this caused the original problem, it is now bent the other way... I think it is more likely that this 'bending' happened during the brief period while I was trying to remove the chain from the wheel, but the shop is treating it as part of the damage from the incorrect limit adjustment. visual inspection tells me nothing, but that's hardly a surprise.

I checked the spokes, and a couple have what appear to be slight bends, but very slight, and the wheel is rolling true. Nothing looks too chewed on, though some road grime was disturbed.
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