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  1. #1
    Professional Crastinator
    Reputation: Fleas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Bad Tandem Shifting: A Cautionary Tale

    ...or "I Fixed it With a Hammer"

    We haven't been "tandeming" very often of late so we were infinitely thankful when a friend took our daughter to their house while we took a lap of the Manatoc MTB Festival race course.

    Welllll, not quite a full lap.

    This course is old school, fall line hiking trail. Lotsa G-outs. Lotsa eroded root clusters.

    My wife and stoker kept telling me through the pedals that we were going to hit every hill climb with 110%.

    We are not terribly strong, but we made some bodacious climbs. We stalled on one climb where the 2.3 High Roller in the rear took 2 cranks and just dug a hole. On another, we stalled and I locked up the brakes and we slid backwards about 4 ft. anyway.

    Well, with all the short ups and downs I found myself in the wrong gear coming out of a rather abrupt transition in one of those G-outs. We leaned hard on the pedals, but we weren't making much progress so I wrenched on the ol' 8-speed Grip shifter and KA-Pow! the chain separated right at the power link.

    No knee caps or shins were damaged, but we took a break and sorted out the drive train. The link wasn't looking bad, so I just hitched it up and we went on our way. ...riding slightly more cautious as we gradually increased the stress on the drivetrain.

    We found that 1st and 2nd would not hold the chain. Ohhh, some awful sounds were heard both from the cassette and from my beloved stoker.

    We rode off course to refill water and check our drivetrain once again. Found that 1st gear was bent so that it wouldn't hold the chain and the chain could not climb into 2nd gear. Feeling wimpy thereafter - like finishing the course in 3rd gear, or worse, walking(!) - we decided to return to camp and have some pale ales.

    Today, I was able to hammer the old riveted, steel 1st gear back into shape and we are ready for the next outing. Got 3 different knobbier tires to pick from as well.

    So, lesson to be learned: Just because you can shift 4 gears at a time, doesn't mean you should.
    (Actually, I already knew that, but these shifters have worked in some awful scenarios in the past. I guess I got greedy and lazy at the same time.)

    XT rear derailleur is only a little worse for wear.

    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Definitely done that, fleas--at the cost of a new cassette.

    Another mark against independent coasting way to regulate your stoker's mashing other than a voice command for shifting, which is not quick enough IMO.

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