Wednesday, April 23, 2008

we'll see how this goes

First time in my riding life I broke a chain while riding. I was going uphill and felt like the chain has skipped off. Lucky when it happened I was close to a bike shop and got help. The owner and mechanic knocked 4 links off and send me on my merry way. He said the drive train is still good for another 6 months although I have doubts and estimated 3 months. I have been very tentative with my commuter bike since and actually rode my race bike to work the majority of times - partly because of training and partly because I don't feel comfortable about the chain.

Last Saturday was my fourth ride after the fix. It snowed Friday night and the road was wet so I thought it might be better to ride a bike with fenders. I left the group and was on my way home. I was actually saying to myself that I should go to buy a new drive train when the chain snapped again! Stranded between Richmond and the airport I called for help using the universal repair kit known as the cellphone. While waiting for the support car to arrive I decided to try fixing the chain. The theory is that you can knock 2 more links out and at least ride home with a shortened chain. After 20 minutes of fumbling around I was at the point where I could try to put the pin back in when the support car arrives.

I bought a new drive train the same afternoon along with the necessary tools. It does look like I would need a new drive train every year so the tools are worth investing.

Last night I finally got the time to put the drive train on to the bike. The rear cassette was relatively easy once I figure out the chain whip and wrench should be position like scissor handles. Next come the hard part: the cleanup of the bike. The rear derailleur was so filthy I spent about an hour cleaning it up. The chain I bought (SRAM 991) is very easy to install because of the powerlink feature.

We will see how long this drive train will last. The previous one lasts about 13 months and the one before that about 2 years.

Today's EV count is 2: I met 2 EV guys riding.

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