Posted by: Travis | April 26, 2010

Bike (what else!?!) Update

This is from Friday evening, i just forgot to publish it until now:

It’s been a bit of a crazy week for my beloved bicycle.

I noticed a few weeks ago that my rear shifting was starting to act up – occasional missed shifts, making a lot of noise, the chain randomly deciding that about half way down the cassette was as far as it was willing to go. I tried all the normal stuff to fix it. Barrel adjustment, limit screws, cable tension (i know this is gibberish to the non-cyclists), i tried everything, but nothing worked. So i sucked it up an made a service appointment at the bike shop (this is NorCal where everybody rides, so bike shop service departments get busy and you can’t just stroll in, you have to make an appointment, in the middle of summer it can sometimes be more than a week or two in advance). Anyway, the appointment was on Wednesday of this week, so on Monday i decided to lube the chain and get the bike cleaned up a bit for the guys at the shop. I start shifting into the biggest gear to lube the chain and the cable snaps.

Awesome.

Guess that explains the bad shifting.

Wednesday morning i was working from home because Cooper had eaten something the night before that was turning his stomach inside-out, so i figured i’d take the bike over, they would have it done in a few hours and i would be out about $50, which sucks, but in the grand scheme of things isn’t too bad.

My how quickly that ‘grand scheme of things’ can change. I got a call from the bike shop saying that the way the cable broke, it damaged some parts inside the shifter and then wound its way around the cam inside the shifter. Fixing it would require the guys at the bike shop to take the whole thing apart, unwrap the cable, and put it back together, hoping that they could cannibalize some of the old parts they have laying around the shop for the ones that broke. This option was going to start at a few hundred dollars and go up from there, and only had a small chance of actually working.

Normally in this case, you would just order another part but the component makers in the bike industry reacted to the recession by lowering inventory and scaling back production. Meaning that as the economy rebounds, there’s a parts shortage and almost all the parts are being bought up by bike companies to put on the bikes they send out to bike shop show rooms. Getting a replacement part for my bike was going to take between 6 weeks and 6 months. I have one road bike, so that wasn’t an option.

The last and final option was to make a frankenstein grouppo out of parts they had laying around the shop, mostly SRAM. Since i had previously been using Shimano, that created some compatibility problems, so i had to switch out a few more parts than i otherwise would have. Two days later i’ve got my bike back with a significantly different parts build up and i’m out waaaaaaay more cash than i was expecting for a broken cable.

On the bright side, the parts that came off were getting pretty old (i would come back from long rides with black hands), and i was thinking about switching them out anyway, just…you know….on my time line, but i guess the bike was itching for some new parts.

Mark and Pam and taking care of a a friend’s dog this weekend named Raisin. Raisin is a miniature aussie, just like Cooper and about his size and weight, so we’re going to try and get them together to play this weekend. We were going to go on a hike on saturday, but it looks like that will be moving to Sunday, so i’ll be shooting down to Monterrey by myself tomorrow for a bike race. I normally race Cat 4, but this race will be a Cat 3/4 race, so it should be a little faster. I’ll be racing with teammates Robert and James, so it should be a really good time.

Now i just have to get out on the bike to make sure all the new parts work correctly and open up the legs a little so they aren’t dead tomorrow.

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