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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 12-03-17, 11:23 PM   #1
rhm
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Tell me a story about a mechanical failure

One of the riders on yesterday's brevet had an unusual mechanical issue. It seems the locknut, the one that holds the cassette together, had loosened and come all the way off the free hub body. One of the cogs got badly mangled in the process, several teeth broken off, the chain jammed tightly between the frame and what remained of the cassette. I wasn't there when it happened; he was ahead of the small group I was riding with. When we caught up we stopped to see if we could help.

Too many hands just confuse things, so I futzed with my own bike (wires to the dynamo were making a bad connection) while the others worked on the broken cassette.

Well, it turns out one of the guys I was riding with actually had the Campagnolo cassette tool needed to tighten the cogs back together in his tool kit (!), though no wrench big enough to turn it. I had a crescent wrench with me, but it was too small. Another one of the guys walked a hundred yards up the road and mooched a big crescent wrench off a man who was putting a roof on a house, and in a few minutes the cassette was back together. The high gears weren't usable, but the bike was rideable.

And by now my lights were working, too. I was thankful for the leisure to diagnose and fix the problem.

Moral of the story? I don't know... teamwork? Carry a random tool just in case? Whatever, it was good in the end. We all finished.

Anyway, I would appreciate other stories of this kind. I might learn something useful, or they might just make good reading. Anyone?

Last edited by rhm; 12-04-17 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 12-03-17, 11:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
One of the riders on yesterday's brevet had an unusual mechanical issue. It seems the locknut, the one that holds the cassette together, had loosened and come all the way off. One of the cogs got badly mangled in the process, several teeth broken off, the chain jammed tightly between the frame and what remained of the cassette. I wasn't there when it happened; he was ahead of the small group I was riding with. When we caught up we stopped to see if we could help.

Too many hands just confuse things, so I futzed with my own bike (wires to the dynamo were making a bad connection) while the others worked on the broken cassette.

Well, it turns out one of the guys I was riding with actually had the Campagnolo cassette tool needed to tighten the cogs back together in his tool kit (!), though no wrench big enough to turn it. I had a crescent wrench with me, but it was too small. Another one of the guys walked a hundred yards up the road and mooched a big crescent wrench off a man who was putting a roof on a house, and in a few minutes the cassette was back together. The high gears weren't usable, but the bike was rideable.

And by now my lights were working, too. I was thankful for the leisure to diagnose and fix the problem.

Moral of the story? I don't know... teamwork? Carry a random tool just in case? Whatever, it was good in the end. We all finished.

Anyway, I would appreciate other stories of this kind. I might learn something useful, or they might just make good reading. Anyone?
Lon Haldeman reckons that being able to fix mechanicals with whatever you can find on the side of the road is good for you. Not that any of us should wish mechanical problems on the other, but the willingness to find creative solutions to issues is such an important part of long distance riding.

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A. I actually teach a class called "The Organic Mechanic," where I fix
my bike from junk found on the side of the road. Knowing how your bike
works makes it easier to decide how to fix things. I still carry a
basic tire pump, inner tube and a few special wrenches.
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Old 12-03-17, 11:54 PM   #3
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I had a cassette body that was broken in half. I kept thinking there was something wrong with my rim. Which ended up with me over-tightening my spokes and breaking a spoke on PBP. So I finished with no rear brake. I used another wheel for a while, and then replaced the rim on the PBP wheel. Rode a 300 and 400 with it before I finally figured out the cassette problem.

I carry a fiberfix spoke and a spoke wrench now.
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Old 12-04-17, 12:21 AM   #4
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I've had a similar problem!

My friend @TimmyT and I were riding a century out on Long Island. Maybe 40 miles out my bike got hard to pedal and then just stopped. Rear wheel wouldn't turn. Even removing it from the frame was difficult. With the wheel off the bike, the axle wouldn't turn. I adjusted the cones out a bit and it seemed okay.

We rode on.

But 25 miles later the same thing happened again. The cones had now damaged the axle threads pretty badly, and to fix that I took the axle all the way out. While I was messing with that, Tim looked at the wheel and figured out that the real problem was my free hub was loose. It was unscrewing itself as I rode.

Well that's easy to fix if you have a 10 pm Allen wrench... but I didn't.

The bike I was riding, however, had Weinmann 610 centerpull brakes, held on with 10 mm nuts. I took the whole brake bolt off the front brake, and took the nut off the rear brake. I locked the two nuts together on the brake bolt to give me an emergency 10 mm allen wrench, with which, with my crescent wrench, I was able to tighten the freehub.

After reassembling the hub, with no new grease and buggered axle threads (don't even think about dirty balls), and reassembling the brakes, we rode on. Didn't finish until after dark, but we finished.

Moral of that story? If you convert a 7 speed hub to 8 speed, make sure you tighten the new freehub pretty dang tight.

Last edited by rhm; 12-04-17 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 12-04-17, 07:48 AM   #5
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Many years ago I had the nds side of a nutted crankset loosen up while in the middle of a long ride. I managed to pedal mostly one legged to an Autozone where I begged to borrow a 14mm socket and ratchet - tightened things up enough that the crank stayed on until I replaced it months later.

I sorta didn't learn my lesson with that experience though. The next year I had the same thing happen on a different bike - I had put a tiny ratchet and 14mm socket in my saddlebag but the cranks I was riding were 8mm hex fixing bolt. I was so ready, had the bike locked into a stop sign and my tools all laid out when I went to tighten the fixing bolt and felt like my brain missed a shift on seeing the 8mm hex. I was training for my first century and was several miles between towns in the rolling green veldt between Atlanta and Athens, GA. No cellphone signal, the only businesses I had passed had been abandoned service stations and I hadn't seen a house in a while.

I had a cheap performance bike brand multi-tool but it only had 6mm hex, I fussed around with different combinations of jamming the tool into the 8mm opening but couldn't get good torque. Eventually I realized I could jam everything together using the 6mm and a bunch of tiny pieces of gravel. It worked well enough to get me home wherein I bought a torque wrench and have not had any issue since then.

Lately I've been having issues with the NiMH batteries in my lights failing. I was out riding around south of Dallas Georgia where there's pretty much nothing. Late autumn makes for long and very beautiful sunsets in this part of the state. As it gets darker I'm rolling along and switch on one of my two headlights - get a very dim beam. Hmm I had just taken the batteries off the charger 3 hours earlier before I left. I make the incorrect assumption that the batteries are bad and have self-discharged in the short time off-charger and unused.

I try my other light and it's the same thing. Well hell now I have to try to ride the next 4 hours with minimal or no front lights. My rear lights are fine so I decide to just keep going with my weak, ineffectual front lights. After about half an hour the lights suddenly flip to full brightness. I'm scratching my head here but that's fine with me I guess. I make it home and after some reading it seems the cold weather affects the batteries and reduces the ability to output high-draw power. Running them in low mode allowed the internal resistance to heat up the cell enough to start putting out the higher pull for my lights to go into high mode. I could have done the same thing by putting the cells next to my body and heating them that way.

This is my third fall/winter season on these batteries and I had not had this problem previously so it seems to be an age/quality issue. I replaced with better batteries and added some lithium batteries as backups as well as another light, just in case.

Other than that I've only really had spokes and three frames cracking but those were closer to home and although stressful, fairly simple rides back.
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Old 12-04-17, 08:00 AM   #6
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I was smiling as I was reading the cassette locknut story in post 1 above, because a similar thing happened to me.

This past spring I went on a five day tour with my new Lynskey Backroad. I normally do not carry things like cassette tools on day rides, but when I go on a bike tour I carry spare spokes, cassette tool, etc. Even though it was only a five day trip, I brought the same kit I would bring for a month long trip. The Lynskey has replaceable rear dropouts. The reason for that is that you can remove the dropouts for a conventional wheel and replace with dropouts for a through axle setup, you buy the frame with the option that you want. Lynskey makes the dropouts. The drive side dropout is also the derailleur hanger and I was carrying a spare derailleur hanger.

Those replaceable dropouts are held in the frame with two small screws (I think they are M4). The screws are threaded in from the inside, between the dropouts. One of those screws started to unthread during my tour. For several miles I thought that the odd noise I heard that sounded like a chirp was ground nesting birds. But eventually I concluded the noise was not wildlife but was from my bike. But I could not figure out what it was. Later, I found that when I backpedaled, the freehub did not spin freely, but instead had some resistance to it. I was less than 10 miles from where I planned to spend the night so I kept going, planning to diagnose it at the campsite. A few miles later, just before I started to go down a steep hill I suddenly felt like the rear wheel was braking when I was not applying the brakes. This was serious, so I immediately stopped before starting down the hill. Pulled the handlebar bag and all four panniers off the bike, flipped it upside down to look at it. That is when I saw that one of the dropout screws had started to unscrew, and it had dragged on the cassette lock ring for miles. But the reason for the sudden resistance that felt like braking was that the lock ring started to unscrew and jam itself against that screw. The friction from that is what felt like braking. The initial noise that I thought was birds chirping was the squeaking noise of the bolt head dragging on the lock ring.

I had the cassette tool (in the bottom of a rear pannier under a lot of stuff), got that out with the crescent wrench and tightened up the cassette. The dropout screw, the head had worn down from dragging on the cassette lockring for miles, the correct allen wrench no longer fit properly, but I got it screwed back in the best I could. Then got on my way. A few miles later in the campground, dug out my replaceable dérailleur hanger which included more of those screws, robbed a screw from that and installed the correct screw in the drop out.

When I got home, I removed the screws on both dropouts, added blue loctite to the screws and re-installed. Hopefully that will not happen again.

In the first post above, it was mentioned that the cassette tool was too large for an adjustable wrench. That also was the case with my cassette tool, but I had spent about five minutes with a file to file down two of the flats on the cassette tool until my crescent wrench fit it.

Since we are on the topic of cassette tools, I will mention that several years ago I came up with a light weight more portable substitute for a chain whip that you can use to pull a cassette if you have to. At this link:
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/8...l#post13982584
I carry that with my cassette tool when touring with a dérailleur bike.

Final thoughts - I have seen lots of bike rack bolts come loose, I always use blue loctite on rack bolts and kickstand bolts. I have added replaceable dropout and derailleur hanger bolts to the list of places where blue loctite is needed.
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Old 12-04-17, 08:23 AM   #7
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Several years ago I was riding a century. There was a small group of bikers on the side of the road looking at a bike. I stop to see if they need help. The group had concluded that an odd coincidence had occured, both shifters had broken simultaneously. That of course was so unlikely that I had to get off my bike and look too. I tried to turn the crank, and it did not want to turn. Then I looked at the drive train and realized that the bike was cross chained, the chain on the biggest front ring, biggest rear sprocket, and the chain was too short. The rider had shifted into this gear and then everything went bad for him. I told to pull the wheel out, put the chain on a different sprocket, reassemble and see if the derailleurs and shifters still worked. They did, he was lucky that jamming it up did not bend a dérailleur or do other damage. I told him to never use that gear again for the rest of the day. And I told him when he got home, go to the bike mechanic where he got the chain installed and yell at him for installing too short of a chain.
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Old 12-04-17, 10:21 AM   #8
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Moral of the story?
I was thinking the moral of the story is: do some bike maintenance once in awhile.


In case anyone is thinking that I'm being an arrogant maintenance jerk, read this: Irregular Velo Adventures: Jul-12: Epic Does Not Mean Long Nor Hard.
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Old 12-04-17, 11:20 AM   #9
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I had to tighten a loose cassette lockring once with an allen key and a flat rock. I had to stop and pound the lockring tight(ish) ever 4 or 5 miles or so. Took 3 rounds of lockring/ allen key abuse to get back home.
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Old 12-04-17, 11:41 AM   #10
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I was thinking the moral of the story is: do some bike maintenance once in awhile.


In case anyone is thinking that I'm being an arrogant maintenance jerk, read this: Irregular Velo Adventures: Jul-12: Epic Does Not Mean Long Nor Hard.
Been there, done that.

I planned a long ride with a bunch of guys from the C&V forum, a hundred miles from my house down into the Pine Barrens of NJ and back. I rode my oldest and funkiest bike. To make sure it was all adjusted etc I rode it to work (well, to the train station) the day before. Got a flat on the way home, which was odd, the puncture was on the rim side of the tube. Checked to see that the rim strip was in place, and it seemed okay, so I figured, good to go.

I got two flats on that century with the C&V guys. Both on the rim side of the tube. Hmmm. I should look at this, when I get home... right? Right.

But I forgot all about it. Another forum member invited me to do a populaire permanent the next weekend, starting from near his house, which was about 25 miles from my house. Got a flat on the way; a new hole on the rim side of the tube. Patched it. We started our ride. About halfway out, I got a flat; a new hole on the rim side of the tube. Patched it. Ten miles later, I got a flat; a new hole on the rim side of the tube. Patched it. By this time I had figured out that the plastic rim strip had a sharp edge that had gradually sawed its way through the tube over a large part of the circumference of the wheel. The guys I was riding with didn't have time for me to put in all these patches, and I assured them I could make it home... so they rode away. When I finally got to the convenience store where we'd started the permanent, I had used up all my patches and glue, used my spare inner tube, broken my pump, and my tire was flat again. I called the friend who had planned the ride; he brought me a new tube, a pump, a roll of electricians tape, some glueless patches, and a word of advice: "maintenance!" Doh. I taped over the rim strip, put in the new tube, and rode home with no further trouble, but I haven't ridden with him again. Can't say I blame him.
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Old 12-04-17, 12:10 PM   #11
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@rhm, Jobst Brandt himself had to learn that lesson (torquing down the freehub body) the hard way on a tour. 30 ft-lbs feels like a lot more than necessary when you're doing it, and I don't think it gets emphasized enough in most literature/discussions.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to remember a good personal story for this thread. Most of my mechanical issues on long rides have been mundane things like the occasional flat tire or dropped chain. Although I did learn by watching a teammate on a recent RAGBRAI that if you drop your chain to the inside, you have a chance of being able to shift it back onto the small ring by pedaling wildly while using the shifter to move the front derailleur back out toward the big ring.
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Old 12-04-17, 08:52 PM   #12
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I broke a spoke at the end of the 600k I rode in October. It was in a weird place, drive side, just the head of the spoke broke off. This week, I tried to ride a 200k, another spoke broke the same way. I'm rebuilding the wheel. I didn't do that before because the failure mode is pretty rare, usually spokes break on the non-drive side at the j-bend. So I figured it was just a bad spoke. This was a wheel with about 1000 miles on it, so very new in the grand scheme of things. Now I seem to remember that wheelsmith spokes went through a period with this exact problem.

I knew two people that replaced rear wheels on PBP. I would have been the third, but I decided not to do it because it takes a long time, the lines at the control bike shops back up.
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Old 12-04-17, 10:06 PM   #13
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The more usual thing is a broken shift cable, though I've had cassettes come loose twice - both times after a visit to a LBS, never from my own work. Loose cassettes are very noticeable IME because the shifting goes all wonky and they rattle. Broken shift cable is easy, just tie it off or jam a stick in the derailleur. I once helped a friend find his RD parts in the ditch when a pulley bolt came out. Locktite those puppies! Mild panic that we wouldn't find the parts. Not going anywhere without those pulleys! Also fixed chains for other folks by removing links. Just have to remember there'll be limits on shifting. Good to carry quick links and or chain pins.
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Old 12-05-17, 08:50 AM   #14
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Many years ago I used to carry only one tire level but could change flats relatively quick. On a long ride alone in the middle of nowhere I had a flat and the only tire level broke.
Took a lot of time, frustration and sticks from the side of the road to remove the tire from the rim. Since then I always carry two tire levers.


I also had cranks that loosen up had to be tightened by hand every few feet till I had to borrow an 8mm Allen wrench from a guy working in his garage(my multi-tool only had 6mm).

Had a brake cable broke on PBP and ended up riding in the rain till the next control with only one brake, but is was OK only descending was slow in the rain(changed the cable at the control).

One of my friends broke his front shiftier cable on a 600k. I helped him to adjust the front derailleur to small ring only, and he was spinning like crazy for the last couple of hours on the first day of a 600k. On the next day he was the fastest rider of our group and left us in the dust when climbing because spinning had caused him to recover faster
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Old 12-05-17, 06:34 PM   #15
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Most of my bikes have bar end shifters. When the cable started fraying and stabbing my fingers, I knew something was wrong. Fortunately I got home before it went so I could replace it first.
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Old 12-06-17, 09:31 AM   #16
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My mechanical issues mostly have been pretty mild.

I experienced broken rear shifter cables twice. As I was running a triple I was only down to three gears after it happened. Since then I learnt my lesson and now replace them annually.

I also had issues with bolts on my SPD shoes, twice. The first time it happen due to an accident. Moving past a queue of cars before a traffic light, I was knocked off the bike when a door suddenly opened as a rear seat passenger decided to get out to get something from the trunk. Fortunately I was not properly doored (i.e. riding into the opening door) but only knocked sideways off the bike. After sorting things out with the driver, I rode on, only to notice a km down the road that one cleat no longer worked. When I had gone down, I must have ripped a bolt out of the shoe and it had gone missing. The cleat was no longer properly secured in place. Without the locking mechanism, my shoe kept slipping off the pedal. I ended up knotting one of my spare tubes around the pedal to turn it into a rubber ball with enough friction to get me through the last 70+ km of the ride.

The second time I had SPD issues, a bolt simply came loose on its own so the cleat remained attached to the pedal when I twisted the foot to uncleat. Fortunately the loose bolt was held in place by the locking mechanism. I simply removed the bolts and reattached everything from scratch with my Allen keys. Now I try to check cleat bolt tension at least once or twice a year.

On a ride with my younger brother on one of his bikes that took us over roads paved with cobble stones, I noticed the rear wheel rubbing against the chain stays when I pushed down on the right pedal. I thought maybe the QR wasn't properly tightened and stopped. Only then did I realize that the left chain stay of the roughly 10 year old aluminium frame had snapped from metal fatigue, probably from the bumpy ride! There was not much we could do but call a relative to come and pick us up by car.

My friend Tim however rode out from Tokyo to Mt Fuji for a ride up to the 5th station hiking trail head and a hike to the peak. Somewhere during the 120 km ride out, one of the cyclists in the group had issues with his carbon frame: A crack had developed in the downtube. Rather than abandon the ride, Tim bought a roll of duct tape at the next convenience store and asked the staff for a couple of pairs of chop sticks. He taped those to the downtube around the crack, like a surgeon setting a broken bone. Apparently they made it all the way to Mt Fuji, hiked to the 3776 m high peak and got back home again. I later saw some pictures of the temporary repair, which has become legendary in the local bike scene
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Old 12-06-17, 09:45 AM   #17
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Many years ago I was riding a fixed gear experimental aluminum frame bike from the 30s. About 40 miles out on a double century weekend in rolling terrain I noticed that the bottom bracket had become loose. Not the classic loose cup sort of thing, but the frame itself had come apart and the BB was broken free from the seat tube, and beginning to break from the down tube.

Fortunately this was a Saturday, so I was able to limp to a town and find an open hardware store. We often speak of holding things together with hose clamps and baling wire, and that's just about what I did literally. I found picture hanging wire and turnbuckles and wrapped under the BB shell and over the seat lug using the turnbuckles to tension it adequately. Same process to keep the down tube secure, and then hose clamps to stabilize the whole thing.

Roughly an hour or two of work and I was good to go. At first I wasn't sure I could trust it, especially in the hills, but gained confidence fairly quickly. Finished the weekend, and ended up riding that bike a few more years until it broke in other places and I decided to call it a wrap.
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Old 12-06-17, 09:51 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
... . Although I did learn by watching a teammate on a recent RAGBRAI that if you drop your chain to the inside, you have a chance of being able to shift it back onto the small ring by pedaling wildly while using the shifter to move the front derailleur back out toward the big ring.
Scott --

Another name for the front derailleur is "chain guide". Use the chain guide by shifting it the opposite direction from which you've thrown the chain and then pedal slowly and calmly; the chain will likely catch the ring and be pulled back into usefullness.

If you've thrown the chain over the big ring and managed to wrap it around your shoe or crank, first pedal backward to unwrap it, then shift and pedal forward slowly and calmly.

I've used the chain guide trick on the flat, on descents, and even on a shallow incline. Several years ago, a cycling-fraquaintence, that used to ride with an informal non-rando group that I used to lead, was able to use the chain guide trick pedaling up a significant climb. We were all impressed that he managed to do that while his speed rapidly reduced to approx 2 mph before he got the chain back on.

Don't pedal "wildly" -- instead pedal slowly and calmly.

===============================================
Byw, Scott, for some reason I always thought you were in Arizona, but your RUSA results suggest you are an Iowan. Those results also indicate that you last completed a RUSA rodeo in 2015 (and your most recent membership expired in 2016). Just curious, your reason(s) for abandoning (if that is the correct word) the rando riding.

...M, 6218
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Old 12-06-17, 12:54 PM   #19
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Scott --

Another name for the front derailleur is "chain guide". Use the chain guide by shifting it the opposite direction from which you've thrown the chain and then pedal slowly and calmly; the chain will likely catch the ring and be pulled back into usefullness.

If you've thrown the chain over the big ring and managed to wrap it around your shoe or crank, first pedal backward to unwrap it, then shift and pedal forward slowly and calmly.

I've used the chain guide trick on the flat, on descents, and even on a shallow incline. Several years ago, a cycling-fraquaintence, that used to ride with an informal non-rando group that I used to lead, was able to use the chain guide trick pedaling up a significant climb. We were all impressed that he managed to do that while his speed rapidly reduced to approx 2 mph before he got the chain back on.

Don't pedal "wildly" -- instead pedal slowly and calmly.
Good stuff! I'm thankful that I've only dropped my chain a couple times over the years, but this gives me some "tools" in case it happens again. Being my own mechanic, I have no one else to blame if/when it happens.

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Byw, Scott, for some reason I always thought you were in Arizona, but your RUSA results suggest you are an Iowan. Those results also indicate that you last completed a RUSA rodeo in 2015 (and your most recent membership expired in 2016). Just curious, your reason(s) for abandoning (if that is the correct word) the rando riding.

...M, 6218
Don't fear, I haven't abandoned... just took a breather. After a successful 2015 rando season highlighted by finishing PBP within the time limit, cycling took a back seat to other things. We closed on a new house and moved, got officially married, etc. And then in 2016 and 2017, the spring rando seasons were over before I knew it! Now that we have friends living in the general area of the Iowa Randonneurs routes, I'm planning to get back into things. My wife will get to spend the weekend with her sister shopping and stuff while I'm out riding my bike, and then we'll have a place to stay.

Would you believe that I haven't even done a century since PBP?
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Old 12-06-17, 12:55 PM   #20
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in the rare occasion that I drop a chain, I almost always pedal it back on unless going up a steep hill. Although I threw a chain at night on a 600k and took about a half hour untangling it from the chain stay. Skipped on the back and came off on the front. I was using friction shifting on 9 speed, and was ignoring the fact that I hadn't quite gotten the derailleur adjusted to center the chain on the sprocket. Now I'm using indexed shifting and I'm pretty happy about the switch.
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Old 12-06-17, 12:58 PM   #21
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One of the riders on yesterday's brevet had an unusual mechanical issue. It seems the locknut, the one that holds the cassette together, had loosened and come all the way off the free hub body.
So you and your friends were all sharing a mass hallucination.

I've been told many times that the 40Nm torque specified by the manufacturers for cassette lock rings is way too high and a torque wrench is not necessary. Half that will do.

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Old 12-06-17, 04:31 PM   #22
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One of my friends broke his front shiftier cable on a 600k. I helped him to adjust the front derailleur to small ring only, and he was spinning like crazy for the last couple of hours on the first day of a 600k. On the next day he was the fastest rider of our group and left us in the dust when climbing because spinning had caused him to recover faster
This happened to me on our 400k last year. I do think it was part of what contributed to the last 30 miles being miserable -- my legs felt fine but I just did. not. want. to be on a bike -- I think my core muscles were being used differently spinning and I'd exhausted something I don't usually exhaust, being an inveterate masher. (I had plenty of time, so I just got off and stretched every 10 min or so, and finished A-OK, just ~45 minutes later than I'd estimated at the final control.)

Another 400k, my rear bar-end shifter broke; another rider had the good idea to try overtightening it, which successfully jammed it in the middle of the range, and I had a two-speed. That made for a lot of walking rollers on the way back, but again I knew I had enough time to do so and still finish, so I just kept moving.

The two DNF -> lessons learned: always carry a chain tool (chain snapped 11 miles into a 600k, had a quick link but had lost my never-used portable chain tool and didn't replace it), and put a snack in your repair kit to remind yourself to eat if you have to stop to fix something. (DNFed a 300k after a long saga of flats and making it to the control just before the cutoff but bonking like crazy.)
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Old 12-07-17, 01:21 AM   #23
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@rhm, Jobst Brandt himself had to learn that lesson (torquing down the freehub body) the hard way on a tour. 30 ft-lbs feels like a lot more than necessary when you're doing it, and I don't think it gets emphasized enough in most literature/discussions.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to remember a good personal story for this thread. Most of my mechanical issues on long rides have been mundane things like the occasional flat tire or dropped chain. Although I did learn by watching a teammate on a recent RAGBRAI that if you drop your chain to the inside, you have a chance of being able to shift it back onto the small ring by pedaling wildly while using the shifter to move the front derailleur back out toward the big ring.
The mechanical issue that I've encountered in a long ride is also a flat tire. It was still a bit difficult to handle since I was not familiar with the place. That experienced scares me a bit to have long rides away from home.
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Old 12-07-17, 08:08 AM   #24
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After my first stem change with a threadless headset, I was 10 miles in on singletrack when I realized my stupid error. The new stem was shorter in the clamp and the spacer stack was not enough to get it tight. Close, but not enough. Yes, stupid. I was discouraged to think of the long walk out but finally used a stick to temporarily enhance the spacer stack, was able to ride out.
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Old 12-07-17, 08:49 AM   #25
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Here's another one, that's not my story, but it is my photo.


This happened on the 400 km brevet in May. The rider in question noticed his seat getting wobbly somewhere around mile 200. On inspection it proved that his carbon seat post was deteriorating at the top. He rode to a car parts store and bought quick set epoxy and duck tape; applied a lot of epoxy and tape, as shown, and then went and ate pizza while the epoxy set.

I don't know what brand of five minute epoxy he used, but I'm guessing it was something with a working time of five minutes that reaches 'handling strength' at an hour or so, and full strength only later. He gave it some time, then rode on.

He finished.
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