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  1. #1
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    bike ride mishap

    Today a buddy and I decided to take a ride and his bike wound up getting totalled about 11 miles in. I noticed early on that the rear wouldn't stay on a gear so we pulled over so I could take a look at it and noticed that the casette had a wobble to it as the rear tire would rotate which I guess made it difficult to dial in because I was unable to get it perfect (not to say I'm a pro but I was able to get my bike and my brothers pretty good) and that the FD wouldn't shift but that was a cable tension issue and I didn't have pliers on me. Anyway, later on during a downhill (spring mountain bike area for those familiar to the area) the chain somehow snapped and the RD broke completely off the frame and wrecked his bake tire. Once we got it home and got to talking about it, he told me that he had a LBS do a tune up on the bike after he bought it from target and thought since the LBS didn't get the drivetrain issues resolved that ultimately lead to the failure and is considering replacing the RD, rear tire, and chain so he can get it back on the trails. My concern with this though, is that the same issue could occur again and next time he won't be so lucky and could have a major fall. I told him that going for a used bike might be a better option but that I'd ask around as I'm no expert with this stuff.

    Anyway, I was hoping for some input as to what the best course of action would be in this situation. Also, here's a pic of the area where the RD broke off. Apparently the (flange?) actually snapped. Oh and the components involved were a shimano altus RD, Shimano vbrake shifters (pull lever and shifter all in one, not sure if thats the name of the shifter or not though) and I didn't actually look to see what the rims were.



    Thanks for any input given.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The silver thing that's broken is the Derailleur Hanger. They're replaceable, although sourcing a new one from Target or Schwinn could be difficult.

    These threads are way too much like playing "telephone." Get your friend to ask his own questions, or take it over completely.

    You shouldn't need pliers to adjust cable tension. Check out parktool.com for step-by-step, well-illustrated instructions for almost every task on a bike.

    If your friend can return the bike and start over, I think that would be best. Failing that, you need to figure out how screwed up things truly are. The rear wheel may not need to be replaced entirely, for example. While it's harder to tune an Altus rear derailleur to function correctly, it should be doable. So you and your friend need to shop for a better LBS. As a replacement derailleur, I think Deore's about as good as it gets for bang-for-the-buck. Make sure to get a 9-speed one. They're a bit more expensive than Altus/Acera/Alivio, but they do work better. Of course, they still have to be tuned correctly.

    When I saw the pic, I was going to say that "totaled" was probably an overstatement. But if it's the bike I think it is and it really needs a new wheel, it could be true...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Did you take a Target bike on the DH trails at Spring Mountain? Or did you just ride around on the Perkiomen Trail near Spring Mountain?
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  4. #4
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    From what I saw, when the RD came off it busted a few spokes on the rim. I guess totalled is an over statement on my part, from what I understand a busted spoke or two don't mean the rim needs a rebuild or that its bent and I didn't take a good look at it. And yeah, I know a bike shop to avoid now. Thankfully I never had dealings with them, I wasn't involved in the purchase or tune up or else I would have tried to steer him in a few other directions before he made a final choice.

    We were on the perkiomen trail, I'm not trying to kill him lol. forgot to specify that sorry

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Spokes are replaceable, and when they broke due to accident, if the rim's not pretty messed up at the same time, you should be able to get a perfectly serviceable wheel by replacing only the broken spokes, bringing them to tension, and truing the whole thing.

    If you can get your friend on some more serious bikes before he throws more money at this one, maybe he can skip future object lessons. Otherwise, it's his money. You're not going to convince him to spend more on a bike until he decides it's worthwhile.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Ok thanks andrw, I appreciate the advice. This has been bugging me since happened but is this kind of thing common? I know they get bent when falling and enough force is applied but have it break like that just seems odd to me. . Guess I'm a little worried it could happen to my gt lol. Or over thinking it.

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I've broken two derailleur hangers.

    I fell and banged my derailleur on something a while ago. The hanger broke.

    I got ridiculous chainsuck earlier this season, pulled my derailleur into the spokes, and the hanger got warped in the process. Actually didn't break it, but a mechanic trying to straighten it out did later. It was a pretty muddy day. (Incidentally, a good argument for not riding the trails when they're muddy.) You said that your friend was having problems with his shifting. If he shifted his derailleur into the spokes, he was exerting easily enough force to break something.

    The purpose of the derailleur hanger is to break instead of your frame having a permanently attached eyelet. Derailleur hangers cost $15-$20. Frames worth owning cost $350 and up. I'd rather mine had a derailleur hanger.

    I don't worry about my derailleur hanger randomly breaking while I'm JRA, or really under most rubber-side-down circumstances. But it's certainly not a shocking thing to have happen - they're there to break. I carry a spare now. With really badly tuned bikes, all bets are off.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    Look for rear derailleur hangars here:
    Schwinn Derailleur Hangers

  9. #9
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    Lol you make some very good points. I never comsidered him shifting it into the spokes. It'd definitely suck to ruin a carbon frame because it didn't have a hanger. As far as mud riding, my tires have no grip in mud and I don't like to leave ruts. So Ill wait it out before I ride after a rainy day. The trail I normally ride has a small downhill which runs to a small drop into a flat corner that collects water/mud. Learned my lesson that day, thought for sure I was gonna take a header into a jagged rock. As always, thanks for explaination.

  10. #10
    Rogue Exterminator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acerty View Post
    And yeah, I know a bike shop to avoid now. Thankfully I never had dealings with them,
    You must mean Target right? lol

  11. #11
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    Yeah, don't write off the LBS because they couldn't make a smooth running machine out of a product from Target. Like the old saying goes, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Or, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

    Did your buddy crash earlier in the day before the incident? He may have bent the hanger enough for the derailleur to catch the spokes when he shifted into the lowest gear.

  12. #12
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    Honestly, I have a thing about buying something from a place named "target" much like how I don't own a remington electric shaver. Until I need a spylike concealed weapon I think I'll stick to another brand.

    And not as far as I know and you do have a point.

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I was shopping at Target yesterday. I picked up a drawer unit for my bathroom and a pair of running shorts. Probably spend two or three times as much and make twice as many trips if I did Ikea and a running store.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    Target is great. I wish there was one a little closer to me.
    I hate to admit it, Walmart is great too, I buy a lot of my meal supplements there.

    That being said, I wouldn't buy a bike from either unless it was for a very little kid or a very recreational user.

  15. #15
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    Don't blame the shop. There is only so much you can do for a department store bike. But for this case, stuff happens. This kind of thing can happen to a $10,000 bike, too.

    If the der hanger gets tweaked for any reason, you are apt to shift the chain into the spokes which can cause all sorts of mayhem, as you have witnessed.

  16. #16
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    Your buddy might have put his bike down on the drive side at some point and that's often enough to bend the hangers on cheap bikes. Once the hanger is bent (leaning it against something, knocking it against something, kicking up a stick into the derailleur, and so on) then you have a good chance of letting the bike destroy its self.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  17. #17
    Just Ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acerty View Post
    Once we got it home and got to talking about it, he told me that he had a LBS do a tune up on the bike after he bought it from target and thought since the LBS didn't get the drivetrain issues resolved that ultimately lead to the failure and is considering replacing the RD, rear tire, and chain so he can get it back on the trails.[/IMG]

    Thanks for any input given.
    This alone would give me pause for concern.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  18. #18
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    We plan to do another ride this weekend, and I am gonna set him up with my brothers Trek 4500. I'm gonna take him through the beginner trail near my house. This way he can ride a better bike than he had and get to see what its like to ride a more complex trail. Times like these where I wish my only backup bike weren't a wally world special.

    Atleast we both had the chance to learn a lot from this experience.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshhan View Post
    Did you take a Target bike on the DH trails at Spring Mountain? Or did you just ride around on the Perkiomen Trail near Spring Mountain?
    My thoughts exactly. haha.

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