Belated Saturday Night Bike Blogging: Breaking Bikes

I was riding my bike hard on Wednesday, before Thanksgiving, and despite leaving after 5:15, managed to get to work around 6:55, in plenty of time to get off my bike commuting gear, and get onto the clock before the horn sounded.

But maybe I was riding my bike too hard, because this last Monday, my chain went off the gear … off the large gear on the wheel side … and that must have been when I was pushing with enough force to loosen or damage something, because the chain derailed four or five more times on the way to work, I got to work late, on the way home it started freewheeling in certain gears, and by the time I was two miles from home it was shot.

When I took the wheel off, the gear set basically just dropped off the cassette, leaving less than half the bearings (I don’t know whether more than half the bearings are presently on the garage floor, or whether only a couple spilled out and the rest were lost earlier).

So after catching a lift on Tuesday and Wednesday, and swapping the 5-speed wheel from my old (failing) department store $55 special, to get to work Thursday and Friday, I am taking that wheel in to see if the bike store can fix it.

I guess that makes this a bike breaking open thread.

Yeah, I know, its Sunday morning … I had a headache all day yesterday, until I ate three bananas. Remember to eat your bananas, boys and girls … potassium depletion headaches are no fun …

… and the headache itself makes it harder to use the wetware to figure out what is causing the headache, even though the ringing ears are a dead give-away that should have made it bloody obvious from the time I woke up with a head-ache.

This is especially a winter cycling hazard if you ride 14 miles to work in a cold warehouse and then drink coffee at break and lunch for internal heating … just because its winter does not mean you stop sweating, and diuretics like caffeine drain potassium that much quicker …

… so for the thousands, maybe millions, out there in that boat, remember … a banana in time can save a Saturday for blogging.

Also, for those of you with the luxury of time on the computer in the middle of the workweek, what is all of this about the blog blowing up?

Is the Pony/Pie/Hide rating system too cutsie?

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    • BruceMcF on December 2, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    … I am assuming here that an Iron Pony is one of these on the left, made by the same people that make one of these Iron Horse machines on the right …


    I’ll be heading off to the store in the middle of the day, but if nobody shows up before I head out, I’ll be back by the middle of the afternoon.

  1. ahhhhh the seventies…that was the first bike I remember breaking.  More memorable than that however was the Big  Wheel  Incident!!!

    We lived on a hill that continued on past the house and drooped down to a fork in the road about 300 yeards down from the driveway.  In the middle of the fork was a steep dropoff.  We were bored and challenged eachother to see who could drop off the hill at the highest point and still make it down to the other road.

    The other guys were dropping off about 10 feet up, skidding through the shrubs and doing hockey stops on the lower road.

    It was my turn, I headed up the hill…kept going past the house and up into my neighbors driveway that provide another 40 feet of vertical.

    Away I went!  Peddling until the pedals went faster than my legs could go and then freewheeled it.  About 100 feet up from the fork, I veered right hard…sailing past trees and branches to land flat onto the road below…smashing said Big Wheel into bits and rendering my spine useless for several minutes…

    Good luck with your bike, I like working on mine it’s a good way to relax.

    • BruceMcF on December 2, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    … at the bike shop, the guy at the tech counter brought out a new freewheel, for $20, and took off the broken one for me … taking it off is the tricky part, because while it screws on in the direction that it holds still, it unscrews in the direction that it freewheels … but behind the tech center counter he had a vise and the tool to hold it still while he spun the wheel off of it.

    … which means that, yes, its just a freewheel … I didn’t realize because I broke the freewheel into two pieces, so the reason I couldn’t see how the two parts fit together was that it was one piece that didn’t fit together anymore, because it was broken.

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! … oh, no, sorry, make that …


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