Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gross Negligence

This is why I need a bicycle with a belt, rather than a chain. [See previous commentary about the Novara Gotham bike.] Or a "bike butler."

My shifting has been deteriorating recently, and occasionally the chain has been jumping cogs.  It had been a month or maybe six weeks since I last cleaned the drivetrain.  (I should do it every 2 weeks; the reality is more like every 2 months.)  So I figured it was probably just gunked up; I lubed it in the morning, thinking that would tide me over 'til the weekend when I could do a cleaning/lube.  Then in the afternoon I took a couple paper towels to wipe off the excess lube.  If I had a bike butler, I'd expect him/her to have significantly higher standards.

Lo and behold, as I was wiping the chain with the towels, I encountered an obstruction - the chain was actually pretty much broken!

Yeah, I know!  GROSS!!

As far as I know, this is a first.  But it makes me a bit uneasy.  How many times have I ridden up my hill in the afternoon with a faltering chain?  How many "rabbit starts" have I done to beat the approaching traffic?!!  I'm glad I discovered the problem under such favorable circumstances.  And I'll try to make a practice of at least a quick check a little more frequently, going forward.

Chain and cassette have both been replaced.  (Some people replace the chain 2 or 3 times a year; I try to make the chain and cassette last a year... and the crank rings are typically good for a couple of years.)


Clancy Anderson said...

Yep... I just noticed my left crank arm was really loose on the way to work. A 14mm wrench is the only thing I dont' carry. Thankfully one of my coworkers carries a socket set in their car.

Unknown said...

It looks broken and dirty too. It is important to keep it clean and fit regularly to avoid problems.
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Anonymous said...

How many "rabbit starts" have I done to beat the approaching traffic?!! So do you always put others at risk with your irresponsible behavior? I think you hit it right on the head when you named this post... "gross negligence"

Bikeboy said...

Anonymous rises up in righteous indignation! Maybe I'm the only person who occasionally puts his faith into his equipment - counting on it to carry him across the street. Yes - that is negligent! But putting others at risk? Possibly. More likely it would be ME who suffers on account of my negligence, in such a scenario. (Unlike the oft-repeated scenario where a lethal missile pilot plows an innocent bystander while distracted or impaired.)