My Broken Bike – 3 days of de pain

So – last week was a great week of training, up until the point where I got to Stone Mountain and shifted into the big ring and my shifter crapped the bed. WTF? This is not good. I guess you cannot expect delicate internals, sweat upon my be a sweating freak to last forever? Anyway – I disconnected the cable and rode home (after actually finishing my ride).

I made plans on sunday to fix my bike. It’s going to rain, right? Nope – no rain, beautiful day to have a broken bike… Le Sigh. After a trip to the shop, I started by pulling off the cables and such, and changing to some NOS 105 levers meant changing to NOS derailleurs. It also uncovered a thing I forgot I “had” … a broken rear derailleur hanger. It was cracked – I broke it all the way off. Another trip to the shop.

Great – all that is going well… I decide it is a good time to pull the cranks and get everything all super clean. Oh, this is gonna be nice.

After getting all the cables on, including the internal ones, I go to put ferrules on my cables. Since I worked on bikes a lot and now – they changed things and Shitmano has gone ferrule-less. The cables I had came with them, but they didn’t fit. To the shop I go to complain – but came home understanding. Joy.

Get the bike ALL put together and realize SRAM and Shimano need different length chains. I completely mis-judged this, need chain pins because that’s how things go now days. Back to the shop …. great, 4 trips in one day?

I finalize everything and ride it and feel a clunk. UGH… I re-seat the bottom bracket again – and again. I bug Barman – he says do it again. I do and it gets worse. I suck.

I decide my problem is ALL my seating tools or lack there of. I fashion a bearing press out of parts from Home Depot and it works very well.

Clunk… Clunk… WTF?

I decide Ghetto-Press v 1.0 isn’t good enough, so I head back to Home Depot and get stuff to make v 2. MUCH improved, but you guessed it…

Clunk… Clunk…

I dork with it a lot longer and break a bearing – don’t ask – I’m not ready to discuss that yet. Finally I say “this is driving me crazy” and Barman says “Let somebody else fix it.” I take it to Snyder Cycles – which if you are near Tucker is about the only shop you need to deal with – period. David works on it for a while and installs a new bottom bracket and it clunks.

We try about a dozen things and it gets better, but I can still feel it, but I need to ride. I go home and try to ride and within a mile its making enough noise to make me want to beat oncoming traffic. I go home and think what else changed – maybe the cassette and chain are mad at each other…. try another wheel


The bike shop hinted it was my frame – the aluminum shell falling out or some such shit I just didn’t want to hear. I stared at my bike, about to go bike shopping and said “The only thing I havent changed is the frame and the crankset – I don’t have a frame… I have a crankset.”

Let me cut this short …. HOLY CRAP – it fixed it!

So … lets recap …

5 trips to the bike shop, 2 trips to Home Depot

+ 105 Shifters
+ 105 Front Brake
+ 105 Derailleurs
+ New (old) Zipp carpet fiber bars
+ New tape
+ New Chain
+ New derailleur hanger
+ All new cables
+ Two new bottom brackets
+ Temporarily new crankset
+ White seat because I am vane and got it for $20 (Fizik Alliante)

All that and my bike still isn’t happy – because I’m anal and my legs cant stand 175 circles, they can only stand 170 mm circles. Not 167.5… not 172.5… 170. That is all they like. Well, I do have hopes of warrantying my crankset – it should NOT bend like that, probably something way wrong with it – so I don’t want to spend $200+ on a crankset. I need something that isn’t ghetto…. cuz I aint ghetto (unless you are talking about my bottom bracket bearing press). I search and search – and my main man Stratton from Starlite Bikes comes through with a take-off for $50 delivered. By Saturday – my bicycle should be at one with the universe.

I did take it out for a 36 mile ride last night, and outside of the cranks feeling funky from being long, she’s working better than ever. I routed my cables very meticulously this time and I am much happier with her. I’m glad…. I don’t have another bike search in me!