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about to give up cycling ... a tear forms as I seriously am at that point ...

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about to give up cycling ... a tear forms as I seriously am at that point ...

Old 09-05-15, 04:26 PM
  #1  
FrankEP
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about to give up cycling ... a tear forms as I seriously am at that point ...

Good afternoon and happy weekend ...

Over the last years respectively I have manages 700,800,2500,3000,1700 miles on my Trek 7500 ... this year I am only at 700.

I have a physical limitation which limits the types of fitness avenues available to me. I certainly can affirm the fitness and recreational benefits cycling has had for me.

It seems however for well over a year now the bike has been the ongoing source of frustration instead of a frustration release. I had a number of issues with the rear wheel and derailer last year among a few other issue that had me at a point where I just did not want to get on the bike because I had no confidence I could reliably finish a ride or commute ... weeks did go by as what I referred to those asking about my lack of participation in group rides as a trial separation ... CraigsList was in my vocabulary quite a bit too.

I finally gave in and went to a shop about 20 miles from me that I am led to believe has a very respected reputation (High Gear Cyclery, Milburn, NJ), and, I had the rear wheel and derailer replaces as well as a thorough tune-up getting it all ready for the season this year.

Supposedly the replacements were with the same or similar model parts.

On the new wheel now I have had 3 spokes with the heads broken off ... twice within only riding less than 40 miles.

After the shop replaced the 3rd. one at no charge and affirming it would be fully inspected and tensions checked, I again heard sounds from the wheel and upon inspection found one spoke loose enough where the nipple could be easily twisted wit the fingers.

At that point I had had it and after the last trip costing a sum total of 2 1/4 hours in NJ traffic to drop it off and pick it up, I was resolved not to take the bike for repair anywhere again, and seeing as it was not going to get there on its own, my cycling days were over.

My cycling friends, though understanding, were not impressed with my attitude and after a few weeks and a self acknowledgement of the lack of physical activity on my health, I did make one more call and trip to the shop.

The bike shop told me to bring it in again. Supposedly they totally rebuilt the wheel with all new spokes, again with no charge.

Still in my mind that I was done riding and only keeping the bike for an emergency back up to the car, it took a couple of weeks after getting it back that I did take it to drop off a resume ... before my 20 miles were over I was noticing sounds again ... ahh heck, I'm being overly sensitive and attributed it to a loose strap on the bag on the rear rack ...

... long / short ... although I ignored it on the premise I really need the exercise, the sound is persistent and I am not imagining it ... I affirmed it is not related to the brake and I cannot recreate it when I am not on the bike ... I just inferred it could not be spoke related because the wheel was rebuilt so I wondered if the it could be the hub/axle or whatever it is known as in the cycling world ... well, there are spokes loose to the point where the nipples can be easily twisted with the fingers ... only 3 ride and 70 miles ... I'm off the bike again ...

I know calling the repair department on a Saturday on the last weekend (a holiday weekend at that) of the summer season is not going to generate much enthusiasm for my call ... the gentleman tells me this is not that uncommon for the tensioning on the spokes to settle on a rebuild ... call back or come back in during the week ...

I'm not following the logic though, when I bought the bike the wheel was new too and I managed to get over 7000 miles out of it until I had issues and that perhaps was initiated by it getting hit by a car going through a stop sign (nothing serious or more than a good bump). Supposedly a new same model Bontrager wheel and at less then 500 miles I'm having these problems.

... however, I'm frustrated ... it took quite a bit to get me back on the bike and I had committed myself to getting on it again daily until I again was employed or had weather concerns ... was even 3 of 4 days for this month back into it.

My enthusiasm is totally blown. I'm unemployed and living on emergency funds - investing any more in the bike not prudent.

Is the problem with the bike shop ...
... or the bike ...
... or is it just me ... I don't know what I am doing wrong ...

I woke up to a beautiful morning today ... almost a crime not to find an excuse for a ride .. I would have been 4 of 5 days for the month. What I understand riding with loose spokes is not recommended ... just the excuse I needed ...

I don't know what I expect to achieve with this note ... I guess I just needed to tell someone ... and justify in my mind I'm giving up cycling for the right reasons ...

Thank you for this moment ... well wishes to all for a safe and rewarding season ...
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Old 09-05-15, 04:40 PM
  #2  
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Well, cycling may not be the right sport for everyone. Better luck with whatever you try next!
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Old 09-05-15, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankEP View Post
At that point I had had it and after the last trip costing a sum total of 2 1/4 hours in NJ traffic to drop it off and pick it up, I was resolved not to take the bike for repair anywhere again, and seeing as it was not going to get there on its own, my cycling days were over.
Bicycles are extremely simple machines to work on, with almost everything except building wheels from scratch taking less time than driving to a bike shop.

... long / short ... although I ignored it on the premise I really need the exercise, the sound is persistent and I am not imagining it ... I affirmed it is not related to the brake and I cannot recreate it when I am not on the bike ... I just inferred it could not be spoke related because the wheel was rebuilt so I wondered if the it could be the hub/axle or whatever it is known as in the cycling world ... well, there are spokes loose to the point where the nipples can be easily twisted with the fingers ... only 3 ride and 70 miles ... I'm off the bike again ...
Wheels do that when you don't put enough tension in the spokes.

I know calling the repair department on a Saturday on the last weekend (a holiday weekend at that) of the summer season is not going to generate much enthusiasm for my call ... the gentleman tells me this is not that uncommon for the tensioning on the spokes to settle on a rebuild ... call back or come back in during the week ...
That's BS. A properly built wheel stays true after building until you bend the rim or remove it because you wore out the brake tracks.

If you screw up by neglecting to remove spoke windup you'll have small problems, but not nipples unscrewing.

Is the problem with the bike shop ...
They're not competent.

... or is it just me ... I don't know what I am doing wrong ...
You should be doing your own work so you're not at the mercy of bike shops.

I don't know what I expect to achieve with this note ... I guess I just needed to tell someone ... and justify in my mind I'm giving up cycling for the right reasons ...
You're not.
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Old 09-05-15, 05:21 PM
  #4  
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Have you taken the bike to another shop for a free evaluation? It doesn't have to be a Trek dealer.
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Old 09-05-15, 05:24 PM
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There is nothing on a bike incapable of being fixed. There are, however, people incapable of fixing bikes. Unfortunately some of these folks work at bike shops.

Take your bike to another shop. I understand that you're on a limited income, and it's a tough ask to pay for some additional maintenance. But is your health worth it?
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Old 09-05-15, 05:33 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Wheels do that when you don't put enough tension in the spokes.
Agreed. If the spokes are loosening up on their own without the rim having hit something hard enough to bend it or knock it way out of true then the spokes were never tensioned sufficiently. The minimum amount of tension that will be sufficient does depend somewhat on the weight of the rider. If the OP is well above the norm in that department he should make sure that the repair order for the wheel makes note of that. Depending on how the shop operates, the person who builds the wheel may not be the one who sees the customer. So he may not realize the need for more tension unless the order mentions the weight of the intended user.
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Old 09-05-15, 06:01 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Well, cycling may not be the right sport for everyone. Better luck with whatever you try next!
This.
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Old 09-05-15, 07:10 PM
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I'm sorry about the bad situation for you. If you want to give it another shot, go to a different shop and explain the situation and see if they are willing to take on the challenge. A friendly shop might true and retension the wheel for a minimal charge. It sounds like the wheels weren't properly built. It could be technical skill of the builder that was lacking or they cheaped out on the spokes/nipples. Maybe it's a cheap generic wheel from J&B or QBP, who knows?

If it's the materials of the wheel that are lacking you probably won't have much success anywhere getting them to stay solid. If this has been a recurrent issue for you, and you don't have the skill or desire to build your own wheel, it is probably worth having a custom wheel built by a specialist when funds permit. There are many with strong recommendations around.

If you enjoy cycling, don't give up! You can even get a different bike used if that is the only recourse for you to keep cycling.
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Old 09-05-15, 07:14 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by FrankEP View Post
What I understand riding with loose spokes is not recommended ... just the excuse I needed ...

I don't know what I expect to achieve with this note ... I guess I just needed to tell someone ... and justify in my mind I'm giving up cycling for the right reasons ...
OP, Please don't give up. You can tighten your spokes yourself, nipple wrenches are cheap. Why have your "friends" not offered to show you how or loan you a wrench - it's not that hard. I need to tighten my spokes regularly. Heck, your LBS would probably give you a wrench and show you how just to keep from working on your wheel for free.
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Old 09-06-15, 04:26 AM
  #10  
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1) go to a different bike shop. 2) Look into an IGH. 3) learn to maintain your own bike.
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Old 09-06-15, 05:04 AM
  #11  
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Really?
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Old 09-06-15, 05:57 AM
  #12  
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Bikes are not a free Hobby. If you are on emergency funds you may have to put your hobby on hold. If cycling no longer makes you happy don't do it.
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Old 09-06-15, 06:17 AM
  #13  
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Six months ago I bought my new Specialized at Montclair Cyclery and had a great experience.
I had also spent some time at High Gear and test rode a bike or two there.
Can't tell too much from just that but it seemed like a pretty solid shop.
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Old 09-06-15, 06:31 AM
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before you give up something you enjoy here is my suggestion. Take the bike or just the rim to another bike shop. Explain to them what has happened and have them give you an estimate on fixing this. Then get an estimate on a new rim with them using the existing cassette. If there is not much of a price difference I would take peace of mind by just getting a new rim.
The other shop sounds like they have a 'hack' working on your bike and the tech is making excuses for not fixing your rim properly.

Max Bryant

Last edited by mightymax; 09-06-15 at 06:32 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-06-15, 09:31 AM
  #15  
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Yet more proof of why I haven't set foot in an LBS in over 25 years.....

Dude...

Go to another shop;
Watch some Youtube videos and do it yourself (best option);
Buy a new wheel.....

Would you really let the incompetence of one bicycle shop cause you to give up riding?!

As others have said, bikes are extremely simple machines, and don't require a lot of skill nor a lot of special, expensive tools to maintain and repair (And most of the few special tools yopu may need, can usually be had on Ebay for under $10 each)- Learn to do it yourself- it's easy, and is a lot faster than taking your bike to a shop...and the results are usually much better.
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Old 09-06-15, 09:38 AM
  #16  
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If I had that much trouble with a wheel, I'd order an inexpensive replacement from Amazon, swap the cassette, and back on the road in three days with a reliable wheel.
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Old 09-06-15, 05:45 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Well, cycling may not be the right sport for everyone. Better luck with whatever you try next!
Agreed.

Walking might be good, but maintaining a bicycle is pretty much the same as tying a shoelace. Maybe some velcro sneakers, or just go with whining for a hobby.

Good luck.
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Old 09-06-15, 06:02 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by FrankEP View Post
Over the last years respectively I have manages 700,800,2500,3000,1700 miles on my Trek 7500 ... this year I am only at 700.

It seems however for well over a year now the bike has been the ongoing source of frustration instead of a frustration release. I had a number of issues with the rear wheel and derailer last year among a few other issue that had me at a point where I just did not want to get on the bike because I had no confidence I could reliably finish a ride or commute ... weeks did go by as what I referred to those asking about my lack of participation in group rides as a trial separation ... CraigsList was in my vocabulary quite a bit too.

I'm not following the logic though, when I bought the bike the wheel was new too and I managed to get over 7000 miles out of it until I had issues and that perhaps was initiated by it getting hit by a car going through a stop sign (nothing serious or more than a good bump). Supposedly a new same model Bontrager wheel and at less then 500 miles I'm having these problems.
1) Go out walking long distances every day ... handing out resumes ... until you get a job.

2) Then take your bicycle to another shop to be tuned up. It might need more work than you can afford at the moment. I'm thinking it is possible the frame and/or wheel may have been bent when it was hit by a car, and that may be the root cause of many of your issues.

3) When you can afford it, take a bicycle maintenance course. Meanwhile, get books from the library about bicycle maintenance, and have a good read.
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Old 09-06-15, 06:45 PM
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It's just a troll
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Old 09-07-15, 07:49 AM
  #20  
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You were hit by a car, and the bike required a new rear wheel. Rear triangle of bike is probably out of alignment too causing poor shifting and now continued spoke problems. Wheel is probably sitting at an angle while you are riding. Sorry to say, looks like you need a new bike.
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Old 09-07-15, 09:18 AM
  #21  
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It sounds like you really want to keep with the cycling, but something about your bike and LBS is not working out for you. I would suggest trying a different LBS shop, even if you have to pay a little more for the service. If they cannot fix it, or you feel the bike is giving you the same problems, buy a new bike from the LBS you feel is more competent. Getting new wheels from Amazon (or elsewhere) seems like a good idea if you are handy with a wrench, but you may have to have them trued or the spokes tightened up after a few miles. Can you do that, or would you have to bring the wheels in to your LBS? Good luck!

P.S. Some bike shops and clubs offer free bike maintenance classes, as does REI. You could take your bike to one of these free classes and who knows, someone may be able to look at your bike and maybe see what the problem is.
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Old 09-07-15, 12:48 PM
  #22  
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A Perfect Candidate?

Between Jobs, Living on Emergency Funds.

Google, using " Bike Co-op ", " Bicycle Kitchen ", " Community Bike Shop ", near me, as your search terms.
Carefully note Days and Hours of operation, as many may have restricted/curtailed open hours, depending as they do on Community Support/Volunteers.
You'll get an unbiased, low/no cost, second opinion on what's ailing your PREVIOUSLY DEPENDABLE steed, as well as Tools AND EXPERIENCED oversight should you decide to fix it yourself.

I feel it is EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT that AFTER approx. 10,000 trouble free miles AND a *COLLISION*, your problems apparently began.

Last edited by HvPnyrs; 09-07-15 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Changed wording to Previously DEPENDABLE, formating for clarity and readability
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Old 09-07-15, 01:11 PM
  #23  
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Maybe these cycling friends could recommend another shop. I am looking into building a wheelset and in many ways its pretty simple but there is a science to it and getting it right does not strike me as something every one can do. That goes for the wrenches in a bike shop. I find that the more I deal with my bikes the less I want some one else touching them.
You have givn the shop plenty of opportunity to earn your trust and respect. In my book they failed. You need to find a shop that can get you going,regain your confidence and then start learning how to do your own work. You should be the limiting factor on you cycling not the shody work of a bike shop. Understand that there are alot of great bike mechanics out there and a lot of lousy ones and those in between. You need to find the one that gets the job done.
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Old 09-07-15, 05:34 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by nastystang View Post
Maybe these cycling friends could recommend another shop. I am looking into building a wheelset and in many ways its pretty simple but there is a science to it and getting it right does not strike me as something every one can do.
Jobst Brandt tested _The Bicycle Wheel_ by having each of his grade-school sons build a pair without any additional help.
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Old 09-07-15, 05:53 PM
  #25  
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Good afternoon and happy Monday …

They are over used but there are no more suitable words to ALL that commented than ... THANK YOU.

Unless someone that replied would prefer I did not (I of course would understand and respect that), I’d like in the morning to forward the link to this discussion to the bike shop I mentioned – I’m curious if they would be interested.

The bike club I belong to has a link in the resources page to this forum with the description – “a very active Bicycle-related forum”. Again, I really did not know what I expected to achieve by my story and lament as posted ... I am rewarded by doing so.


With a big smile, I can compare the replies here to what I could expect from the varied people and cast of characters, when signing up for a group ride. It really makes for a welcome atmosphere. The thoughts, attitudes, and information shared and expressed here very much compliments experiences I have been fond of while on rides.

In any event, the comments, perspectives, insights, blunt opinions, affirmations, recommendations, encouragements, and or just the motivations to react, are valued and not taken for granted. I find it so silly of myself that something as logical and basic as my bike has me so perplexed and mentally absorbed. No resolve (of course none expected), yet reading the reactions of others adds a reality to the focus.

What I am motivated to add here are self descriptives that might give a perspective about this oddball guy (me) and the moment and lead up, prompting the post. Probably not worth you wasting the time to ready further if not truly interested.

As for the moment … I do not buy much into stuff like the rule of 3’s, however last week I had my share … by Friday I had gotten my 3rd. rejection notice on really alluring employment prospects … the funereal for the 3rd. family member in 2 months was last Thursday … Friday night the bike became the 3rd. disappointment to significantly change anticipated activates for this 3 day weekend. The bike’s purpose in part was to be a frustration release and had instead been a regular source of frustration these last 2 seasons. So, yes, Saturday was kind of my little pity party.

About the guy on the bike ... I’m 54 and single and am a bit limited in getting out much. I’m the stocky guy with glasses that might show up at a 30 or so mile C* group ride (= in my club - ave. speed 12-13 mph) on a hybrid (with a little carry bag on the rear rack), wearing a t-shirt, baggy shorts, a hip pouch, and if the weather is not too warm a melon helmet … most likely most (if not all) others there will be on a road bike. From those that don’t know me, no doubt silent groans in their mind wonder how much I will end up holding them back as the ride goes on.

While on a ride, unless some B riders unconsciously attempt to steal the ride, I keep up quite well … up hills though are not a pretty sight – down, I can only smile as all those lighter folk and their light bikes are peddling and I’m just fine with the gravity of the situation on my side or braking a bit not to pass the leader. Some perhaps find me a bit obnoxious with my impulse toward corny comments and sharing a smile and a call out of a happy day or good morning to those we pass along the way.

I used the bike fairly regularly to commute to work and various errands as well as for recreational rides. The year I managed 3000 miles, I even got in 4 metrics. Last year during the 2 weeks while visiting relative in Germany, I got in 250 miles while borrowing my cousin’s bike to get around instead of renting a car.

As is to be expected, repairs and maintenance happens. Brakes, gears, cables, peddles, seats, tires are all a part of it. Other than an issues with the chain, perhaps the most memorable incident was with 20 miles left to go on one of the metrics, the shifter for the rear gears got jammed and I finished those miles with only 2.5 gears (the up hill gear didn’t always want to engage) and a lot of encouragement from those from the club riding with me … SAG was not an option!

I tend to have my respect for bike shops despite my tales of woe – really most evidently are in it for the love of the sport because for many profits can’t be much.

The one where I got my 1st Trek 7500 (one of the last supposedly made in USA) that got stolen while I was at work (I now have a Kryptonite New Yorker Forget About It lock and chain that stayed at work), needed to close shop and soon after the guy got divorced.

The one where I got my 2010 Trek 7500 just down the street from where I worked, ended up moving a few miles away then ended up after just a bit there closing shop and that guy also getting divorced (it took a few trips to him until he got the front fork assembly right so it wouldn’t loosen up seemingly every 100 miles or so).

Smiling, anyone married want to sell me a bike?

Then there was a little shop that opened up locally. They (a young guy and his mom) were very kind and very helpful but the young gentleman as good and detail oriented as he might indeed be, in my opinion was not experienced enough yet to be on his own. When my chain failed, he taught me how to put one back together and seemed quite good at what he did. In the weeks that followed, I noticed I couldn’t get into the combination of gears that stretched the derailer the furthest. I went and asked about it, he confidently affirmed that combination should not work or need to be used. O.k. it really did not make sense but I let it pacify me, though as I rode home, I’m telling myself, well they used to work the few times I might have used it when I first got the bike. The next season, the shop had moved just a block or two down the street but I didn’t know so I went to another shop in a neighboring town. As I understand it now, the chain was put on too short. Understandably I haven’t bothered visiting at the new location.

I stuck with that next shop for most of last year. Although the young gentleman there does not impress me with his attitude, both the shop owner and he are very accommodating and helpful whenever I go there. The young guy (despite his crappy attitude) is always quick to take care of the issues and attempt to save me a few bucks when possible. It just seems they don’t always pay attention and resolve all the issues at once.

As much as I am incline to discount the car strike last year, with some of what now has been suggested here I guess it can’t be ignored as indeed a possibility involving my current issue. Either April or May last year I was cruising down a road and a car came out of the side street without fully stopping and despite me having just short of cleared the intersection, he clipped enough of my rear tire before he stopped for the bike to be jarred and me to feel the hit.

No fall or injury to me other than banging and scraping my hand somehow somewhere on the handle bar enough to draw a little blood just for effect and just before I went into a tirade about the stop sign that was there (this was right on the corner of the local police station too). Long / short, a police report just in case … no real injury … other than my rear tire out of true and rubbing against the brakes in spots, he (an occasional cyclist himself) very humbly and apologetically went on his way after making sure I could proceed on my own … I turned back to ride the 3 miles back home well aware of the effect of the brake rubbing against the wheel.

I took the bike to that shop and young guy supposedly assessed the damage, trued the wheel and I was out of there. If the young guy knew or thought enough to check the frame at all having been made aware I was hit on that back wheel … I have no idea.

Other than a shifting adjustment or peddles, etc. it wasn’t until 3 or 4 months later that the derailer had an issue and took out a few spokes that I started having various rear wheel and shifting issues (and my 3rd chain replaced in an 18 month period) for the rest of the season. Between a couple of trips to the shop, the owner and the young guy supposedly corrected the issue with the derailer and a bracket sparing me the cost of a new derailer.

Before this season started I figured I try the current shop despite being upwards of 20 miles away. It has good reputation among those I rode with and, it is not unusual to see 4 guys working on bikes at a given time (none seemingly as young as at the previous 2 places). As mentioned - a full tune up, check-up, replace the rear wheel and derailer, and I am set for the new season. I don’t know how strongly it was noted, however, I did mention the previous wheel had been struck earlier last year. If anyone knew or thought to check if the frame was bent … I don’t know.

So, the logical question arises … why don’t I just get off my plump bottom and learn at least the basics of bike repair and maintenance?

Fair question … my excuse - I have a moderate vision impairment. For all intents and purposes, I am fairly awkward with tasks involving visual acuity and, with my reading glasses I have about an 8 inch focal point. Bifocals won’t work and I am constantly switching (misplacing) between glasses. I often muse when I pick up tools one of two things happen .. .either people start running in fear of their lives, or a crowd forms for the comedy about to begin … until some steps in to do it better and faster. O.k. a bit exaggerated.

Although in my 50 years I don’t know it much any other way, all too often I find myself needing to swallow my pride from doing something on my own to ask for or rely on help. Give me a computer, some accounting software, spreadsheets, and a good account reconciliation and I am in my element (8 inches from the monitor).

Push comes to shove, yes I know how (and have done it) to reconnect a chain (with my face 8 inches from the project), switch out peddles or a seat, tighten screws, etc. … it just takes me longer and am awkward at it. When someone on a ride or myself has a flat, I am perhaps the last person you would want help from if others are around, but I am more than ready to (and have) as a situation may need.

Oh well, I’ve rambled on. But, perhaps it answers some of the questions asked, or, adds a perspective where my mind is at … if it matters. I’m just frustrated and felt the need to tell anyone that would listen.

… I did name this bike when I bought it … Vaca … short for Vaca Ti On.

Thanks again to everybody …
FrankEP is offline  

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