A shitty bike-mechanical week

So this is my last year as a Junior bicycle racer (18+ under), and I’m going off to college next year, so I figure I’ll make as much out of it as I possibly can.

The Bicycle Tour of Colorado came up, and I really wanted to go, so I got my parents to pay the ~$400 to go on it, worked ahead in my EMT-B class, wrapped up commitments around here, put a weeks worth of clothes in bags, my bike in my mom’s car, and headed off to Colorado Springs to begin my little journey.

Sunday: Long+difficult=fun ride. Good day.

Monday: After 2000+ faithful miles, by rear Conti Tubular develops a stress puncture. $60 Whatever, it was on the way out anyway. I was still able to ride to the top of Mt. Evans on a very cool mechanics own private Rolf Vector Pro. Thanks. Got sagged into Idaho Springs, replaced it with a Vittoria Rally from my luggage.

Tuesday: My left SPD cleat loses a bolt. I can’t unclip. I almost fall. Free repair w/ longer screw (many thanks, dude). Different mechanic assures: it’s good now.

Wednesday: Rest day. Remember the rest day and keep it Holy. Thou shalt not ride over Vail pass and back for good scrambled eggs. Crazy fucking ex-Marine. I wake up at 10. Read through entire Economist in one sitting.

Thurday: Cleat breaks again. Another screw. Another free repair. Again: muchos gracias.

Friday: Climbing up a 12% grade to Royal Gorge Bridge, I begin to hear a weird sound from front wheel. Pull over on bridge. FUCK! I broke a spoke. Nix that, I broke a hub. On a pair of Zipp 440’s (supposedly quality wheels), I sheared off a section of metal holding that spoke in place. I broke a Zipp hub. What… the… fuck…? Weird. Hub: at least $50 for a good one, $100 for compirable plus at least $50 for a wheel re-build. (One labor I can’t do myself)

Saturday: Cut off one day early from BTC for Mt. Evans Hill Climb race. Borrow a bike from my dad’s friend w/ Campy Record. Race goes well, but only to Echo Lake. I decide to ride to summitt for fun. I reach the grade beyond Summitt Lake, stand up to stretch for a few seconds and then: POP! Oh shit, I broke a chain. I have trouble getting unclipped fast enough. I almost swerve into an uncoming Explorer, but disaster is avoided. I pull over to side of road and find that the chain became caught in the cassette and the rear derailleur is still bolted on but torn in half, hanging by a thread of carbon fiber on one pin. It’s not even my bike. I haven’t even been able to reach the guy yet and explain. Campy 10 speed chain: $34.99. Campy Record 10 speed rear derailleur: $199.99.

Mileage: 407 miles
Week total for maintenance/repair: $394.98.
Bicycles no longer ridable: 2
Pissed off people: 3 (myself, bike owner, dad)

Hmmm… all of this comes to a mere $20,538.96 a year if I keep it up.

I’m giving up on cycling.

The reason that I truly find this so frustrating is that all of these events beyond the tire are rare. You can break spokes and break chains and crash bikes, but breaking a rear derailleur? A hub? Bizarre. And all of these things are from companies with excellent reputations for quality and durability. I sincerely hope that both Zipp and Campagnolo help me out with both of these incidents.

I wonder how much you weigh and your build.

When you get heavy set types coming in at around 12 stone or more, stuff does tend to snap.

Such riders are better off going for more spokes in the wheels,at least 32’s and better yet 36’s and leaving the 8 and 9 speed systems alone, as the chains are thinner.Wheel dishing also puts more stress on the sprocket side spokes too.

As for the hub tearing at the spoke hole, well this could be the hub to blame, but it could also be the spoke heads have the wrong bend, at any rate the hub manufacturer may well put it down to the way the wheel was built as this makes a huge differance to wheel integrity.

If your chain does the worst wheel wrap it will do your rear mech in, for amateurs racers its probably not a good idea to spend large amounts on them.

Oh wow. That stinks!

I raced in college. I wasn’t any good at it, but I had a blast. Hang in there.

(I’m having the opposite problem, BTW–My bikes are fine and dandy, but I’m having a problem with a bike mechanic!)

Oh yeah, that’s the other thing.

It was my front Zipp (no dish), and I’m 6’1", clocking in at a hefty 145 lbs.

Bummer about the bad luck laely. Keep it up though! I have put on a lot of weight after an accident in which I injured my back but biking is what keeps me sane. I raced mountain bikes back in HS and just after. The list of Shimano stuff that broke on me is too long to list.

I’m definitely not a small guy but back then I was 6’2" and 185.

As for hubs, my Chris King hubs are just bomb proof, I have had them for 6 years and >3000 miles, one teardown for cleaning and that’s it. The Magura hydraulic brakes also rock.

That’s just cycling. Stuff breaks.

These things come in waves, this spring in one month: new Campy Record BB and Cassette, repair to my right Record carbon STI (the shifter paul wore out- thankfully it was repairable unlike Shimano) and new Wipperman SS 10-Speed chain. Since then-- nothing.

The bright side is you are probably set for another year. :wink: