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stuff breaking

Old 06-11-16, 08:10 PM
  #1  
Squeezebox
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stuff breaking

So how often has something broken on your bicycle, particularly on tour? particularly an immediate break.
A bunch of years ago, on tour, I managed to throw the chain into my spokes, chewed up about 6 spokes, 2 snapped before I got to the next bicycle shop. Within 2-3 days of the incident all the chewed up spokes were replaced. Now and then a few other broken spokes for no good reason, easily replaced. Somebody rear ended me at a stop light and tacoed my rear wheel, but that was not the bicycle's fault. A few blown out tubulars because of my poor sewing skills.
I believe on the tandem forum is a thread about a cracked Al head tube. Not an immediate failure. The owner is working on the best fix.
Even Carbon which snaps in an accident will shows cracks on it's way to failure. Everything else tends to give you a bit of warning. Like cables feeling weird and stretchy. It seems most often a frame will show a crack quite a while before a failure happens.
I wish to contend that stuff seldom breaks, and if it does it usually gives you warning signs. Wearing out stuff doesn't count in this discussion.
Looking forward to your stories.

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Old 06-11-16, 10:29 PM
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saddlesores
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what do you mean by "break"?
yes, stuff breaks, sometimes without warning,
but i'm not sure you wouldn't also say it
"broke" because it wore out.

metal has a fatigue life, or whatever it's called.
can only go so many cycles before snapping.
sometimes gives warning, other times not.
the times it doesn't, i'm sure it does, but
you don't notice it without a magnifying glass
or xray machine.

examples.

blackburn lowrider snapped at lower eyelet
attachment. no warning, just snapped.
was there a slight bend or tiny crack i
didn't see as it was behind the panniers?

bontrager seat post snapped below the
clamp. don't know why. certainly no
visible or audible warning signs.

saddle rail snapped, think it may have
been a specialized model. riding down
bumpy gravel road. snap. no warning.

none of these were caused by a single
direct hit....broke or wore out?
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Old 06-12-16, 06:30 AM
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Spokes are the main one for me. I've lost shifter cables while riding, but only in my brifters because I can't see those ends (the only drawback to brifters I've encountered, but twice in twenty years on one bike isn't too bad). I had a pedal axle break--that was a bad one but I made it to town. I've always made it to town.
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Old 06-12-16, 02:46 PM
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I'll second, what do you mean by 'break'? Do you mean a rim on a brand new bike going bad after 4500 miles...4000 miles of it during the trip. If so, then yes, I've had things break on me. Do you mean welds on a rack breaking on you leaving your rack useless after 6000 miles, if so then yes. Do you mean having the rack inserts(inserts used to mount the rack to the bike, dropping into the seat stays, if so then yes.

I guess it depends on what you mean by 'break'.
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Old 06-12-16, 03:28 PM
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Don't worry about My Bike, I can and have coped with any problems that arose ..


An air distribution duct work company's welder , did frame repairs to my bike frame, made of steel, in Killarney Ireland.

did the chain into the spokes thing before I left.. purt a 'dork disc' on and it never happened again..
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Old 06-12-16, 03:30 PM
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I've had a chain damage a bunch of spoke that go ping over the next few weeks. I've also had the chain damage a bunch of spokes that didn't fail. The difference was that the failures were 14/15 guage butted and the non-failures were thicker 14/13 guage butted.
You expect cables to break but mine always fails at the same point, the braze-on cable guide under the bottom bracket. Sometimes a plastic guide is better than fancy custom-build solution.
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Old 06-12-16, 03:57 PM
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For a while I had frequent spoke problems, and it turned out I had them too TIGHT! I was always under the impression a spoke should be real firm and tight with a bit of give....but when I loosened them as suggested (about 1/2 turn) the problems went away. I carry a spare axle, freewheel remover, 1 inch crescent wrench (12 inches long...good for scaring off animals too!), chain whip, so I usually can repair even major hassles. I even use my crescent wrench to help a trucker get his lug nuts off on one of his tires. More good karma with truckers, who have always been the most respectful too bikers of all the motorists on the roadway.
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Old 06-12-16, 05:36 PM
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Mt bike brakes a lot going down hill.

I haven't broken anything on my inferior Surly LHTs. With your Trek 920, you shouldn't have to worry about anything.
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Old 06-12-16, 07:27 PM
  #9  
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I had an early Cannondale pannier support break once and I rigged a coathanger fix that held. Recently my bro-in-law's front Thule pannier broke. Mounting mechanism stayed on the bike, bag departed.



And I recently had an old Brooks Pro begin to tear while on tour and I replaced it. Been pretty lucky with mechanicals otherwise.
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Old 06-13-16, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
So how often has something broken on your bicycle, particularly on tour? particularly an immediate break.
...
Looking forward to your stories.
Anything and everything can break on a bicycle. Preventive maintenance and thorough inspections should uncover items that can become a sudden failure. None of my bikes have generated a story.

Brad
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Old 06-13-16, 07:11 AM
  #11  
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Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've never had any parts break on a bike tour. I always try to make sure that my bikes are in good condition when I take them on a tour, with decent tires, chain, cables, etc. I don't want to get stranded far from my destination due to problems that in many cases could be prevented by good maintenance.
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Old 06-13-16, 08:53 AM
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Brake and shifter cables are put under a great deal of stress, and I would recommend that they be replaced before any self-contained tour, assuming they have more than 700 or so miles on them.

Spokes, especially rear spokes, are also under a great deal of stress on a fully-loaded tour. Bring extras, or pack one of those temporary nylon spokes. Replacing one of these on the road will be a pain in the ass, especially if you have one fail on the rear drive side (near the cassette). If that's the case, you'll almost certainly need to visit a bike shop for repair, unless you have packed a chain whip, wrench, and cassette lockring tool.

I used a cheap rear rack that attached to where a center-pull brake would normally be mounted on the seatstays. Bad idea - go with a robust rack that has two solid mounting arms. A rack with insufficiently strong arms will bounce on road terrain, and eventually these arms will fail.
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Old 06-13-16, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
I had an early Cannondale pannier support break once and I rigged a coathanger fix that held. Recently my bro-in-law's front Thule pannier broke. Mounting mechanism stayed on the bike, bag departed.


I almost had this happen. The two screws that hold the mounting mechanism together don't come very tight (one had fallen out while riding). I put a drop of blue locktite on each and haven't had a problem since.
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Old 06-13-16, 11:09 AM
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Good for ya! My first bike repair guidebook said, If you maintain your bike in good condition you shouldn't need many tools. If you don't you couldn't carry enough tools!
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Old 06-13-16, 11:10 AM
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Probably every bike tourist has, at some point, had something unexpectedly break or malfunction.

I was impatient one day while leaning my bike against a post during a rest break. The bike fell sideways and my rear-view mirror snapped off. (I was carrying a replacement, so no major harm done.)

On one tour, my tires were compromised, and the chain coated in oily sticky gunk, after I rode through a patch of fresh asphalt. Fortunately there was a bike store in the next town, and the mechanic was able to clean the chain with paint thinner. I decided to replace the front tire at that time. The rear was OK enough.

On another trip, a weld snapped on the rear rack. I repaired it by wrapping the break with dental floss, and then coating the floss with a cyanoacrylate adhesive (Krazy Glue).

On Day 1 of one trip, one of the pedal straps snapped. My bad... I decided not to replace it, despite showing signs of wear, during pre-trip preparations. I learned from that experience about the value of a careful inspection before heading off. Think of it as preventative medicine for a bike.

I have been bicycle touring since the 1970s. I have never had a spoke or chain break, and never had a problem with a frame or fork. Although I have had many tire punctures, I have been luck enough not have experienced a tire blow-out.
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Old 06-13-16, 11:18 AM
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Nope. Shorts tours of moderate length only. Keep up with fixing stuff helps too.
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Old 06-13-16, 12:10 PM
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I had the top support on a Blackburn rack snap. I bet if I checked the bicycle every few days I would have found it. This was in Ireland. Luckily a welding shop was 30 miles up the road. A free fix.
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Old 06-13-16, 03:36 PM
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Actually reading some of the replies just helped me remembering one other thing that has happened...actually caused me to decide to can the trip and take the easy way home since I had the opportunity. Had pedal bearing almost seize up on me. They were awful darn close to gone by the time I got to the memorial service where I got the ride home from. I knew with all the climbing I had to be able to ride home that I wasn't about to press my luck any further. So it didn't actually break but if the bearings would have seized up it would have made pedaling awfully fun...at least I think it should have.
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Old 06-13-16, 05:39 PM
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in 30000km the only issues I had were

lost pedal end cap (and then the thread got damaged so the replacement was lost the same day I got it) but it rode 25000km more without issue, and usually full of dirt and water.

my rear wheel developed cracks around the spoke eyelets, laced a new rim on in mexico city. it was a salsa delagado which I believe had a bad run. The front wheel lasted all the way to Usuaia but was heavily dished out and I thought it might split in 2 in the last few weeks. The alex adventurer rim I laced on in mexico lasted all the way and even back to nz where its now bee laced up as my new front wheel. (the rear hub was still fine, but was smashed on the flight home!)

1 broken spoke in the front wheel. it got a small bend in it near the thread when I speed boated to Colombia, it lasted to Cusco where the cobblestones finished it off and it broke through the first thread

sidewall of the rear tyre began to bubble, I rode another 5000km before deciding to swap it out, I was then leaving peru and didn't trust it on fast long downhills. it had about 12000km or so on it anyway

I did however have some issues with the valves coming out of the inner tubes. probably age. I got to chile before needing a spare tube, then in the space of a week the valves separated from 4 tubes. You can fortunately get 700c/29 inch tubes down there without much trouble.

touring related
The pin on my park chain breaker sheared off on the 3rd use. disappointing, not major unless you need it on the side of the road as every small town has a bike mechanic, or at least a bloke with a hammer and a nail to punch it apart.

The jet unit on my msr fuel stove separated from the body in Bolivia. major pain because at the time there was only snow and ice for water. I wired the whole lot together with some wire and it lasted the rest of the trip. MSR replaced it and would have sent it wherever.

My headset waited til the very last day to wear out and work loose, but I never d anything to maintain it

I had a couple of alloy tent poles snap, probably through age, both times they snapped taking the tent down. carry a couple of steel splints I found that you can heat them up and pull them off the ends of cheap fibreglass poles, they work fantasticly)

Tent zips wore out in argentina, I cleaned them waxed them, pinched them tighter with pliers, which got them another few weeks, but I had to end up just using one door


Really not bad, they were hard miles on mostly dirt and gravel (sometimes the road was worse than a dry riverbed)
I rode a traditional lugged steel road touring bike with 70 35c tyres
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Old 06-13-16, 05:42 PM
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oh, I also snapped a metal toe cage and leatherstrap


reading back, I think most of this doesn't really count because really its wearing out. However that's the reason most stuff breaks (unless its poorly made, so avoid the cheap and nasty stuff). A regular inspection of your bike will prevent 90% of it
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Old 06-14-16, 08:12 PM
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We had one catastrophic failure on day 3 of our PCH tour last fall: the front rack. It was shocking, my partner and I were going over pavement with bumps in between each section in the evening when I watched her suddenly flip over her handlebars. The hanger connecting the two sides of the rack flipped down and stopped her front wheel, which sent her flying even at our modest pace. she was lucky to get away with some bumps and scratches and minor whiplash. Managed to fix up her bike (minus the front rack) in Hoquiam at the Vogue bike shop, so great!
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Old 06-14-16, 08:49 PM
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I've only had one thing that has ever broken - a rail on a saddle. I let myself be talked into buying what I would consider and expensive saddle and less than a year later it was garbage. So back to $20 saddles for me

The only other problems I've ever had, was always due to neglect (aka laziness) on my part. Nuts and bolts getting loose, rusted components that no longer worked the way they should, that type of thing. Things have worn out, but I can say that nothing has actually ever broken other than the saddle.
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Old 06-14-16, 09:07 PM
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Breaking things?
Yup, everything has a breaking point!
Just yesterday while crossing Main Street at a traffic light the drivechain on our tandem bike snapped in half and unceremoniously lay there stretched out in the middle of the road!
Not enougth momentum to get across the highway; we stopped and dismounted, waved the cars through the light and got out of the way.
Fortunately had a mini-chaintool. No pliers to bend the link plate back into shape. The chain pin was fine, so using a rock and cement sidewalk bashed the link plate (not a recommended procedure according to Shimano) and luckily was able to re-insert the pin place and pedaled off.
In our over quarter-million miles of tandeming in the past 41 years we've had all sort of things break including: 2 frames, one fork, cracked a few rear rims, seatrail on stoker's saddle, blown tires, broken spokes, etc.
Somehow we were able to survive OK and at ages 83 and 80 still pedal TWOgether several times a week!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 06-14-16, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Somehow we were able to survive OK and at ages 83 and 80 still pedal TWOgether several times a week!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
Man, I hope I'm you 53 years from now!
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Old 06-15-16, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Man, I hope I'm you 53 years from now!
If you ride a quarter million miles, you will be! Every octogenarian cyclist I meet says, "Don't ever stop."
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