9/19/14

Race Bike damage...

"When you least expect it, expect it"....I guess.

My schedule this year at work is overloaded which means I don't have time to hop on my bike until 6 pm or later this fall semester, so I try to get what I can when I can.  Yesterday, I wanted to head out early before school to see what conditions the trails were in at Lake Ahquabi due to the upcoming race I host out there on October 5th.

So I grabbed the JET 9, loaded up the Element and headed out for a lap.  About 7 minutes into the race course loop on a benign corner my ride ended thanks to a twig that hopped up and in a brief second ripped my rear derailleur into the spokes.  "Ya gotta be kiddin' me!!!!" was my immediate response considering I really only have about 1 more race to do this season on that bike.  Why now?!!!  I guess running over thousands of twigs all season long for several seasons, I was due.  No way to get it fixed in time for tomorrow's race as I can't get all the parts in time.

I suppose this is about the 3rd time in a dozen years I've had that happen to me - and it always surprises me how quickly it happens and how fragile things are down there on the drivetrain.  The snap and break takes place quicker than you can "HEY!", so there is no stopping it from happening once the process begins.  The last time it happened to me (a SRAM X.0 rear derailleur on my Karate Monkey), it led me to choose lower end, lower cost rear derailleurs for the sheer sake of dealing with replacing a $75 part being less painful than a $200+ part.

Well, low and behold - I have been running a SRAM X.0 Black Box medium cage carbon derailleur on my JET 9 for quite a while now - and there is some serious $$$ pain involved in this loss.  The hanger was bent sufficiently...

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...and that is the low cost portion of the fix.  The hanger is $12, but the pain involved is that I have to order it which takes time - so there is no chance to get the race bike ready for Saturday's race unless by some fluke, somebody in the Des Moines area has a spare one sitting around.  I could cannibalize a rear derailleur from another bike if I had a hanger, but the good news is I have the RIP 9 and the Dos Niner I can race on Saturday.

The expensive part of the loss was the weight weenie rear mechanical SRAM X.0 Black Box Carbon bit...

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Ouch!!  I know that photo is way out of focus, but that's how everything looks to me these days without my reading glasses.  ;-)

Looks like I'll be on eBay scouting around for something comprable - or give in and purchase a lower end, lower cost SRAM 9 speed rear mechanical like I have on all my other bikes due to my previous history of having this happen that I mentioned above.  The cable housing also got damaged, so a little fix back there with the final segment of housing run is in order as well.

My ride cut short, I hiked back to the car and drove home to get ready for work.  I snuck in a ride after 6 pm at Banner Pits to make up for it on my RIP 9 to get a race speed lap in on the RIP to adjust.  It doesn't handle the same as the JET, but I am used to riding it out there so all will be well in spite of my JET being in the sick bay until all the new parts arrive.  I managed to continue breaking things at the dinner table.  I was trying to give the dogs a bowl to lick after I had finished my dinner and managed to drop it on the floor where it broke into a dozen pieces.  One of those days, I guess.

Alexa is home for the weekend and will help celebrate my 53rd Birthday.  We sat at the kitchen table last night until the late hours (she had a paper due by midnight) and I was catching up on emails, recommendation letters, school business, and what not while fighting to stay awake.  I'm not sure what is planned or on tap with the family this weekend outside of the Summerset Shootout Race, and a 1 - 5 pm rehearsal I have on Sunday.

Bon Weekend to all!  Try not to break things.  ;-)

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