Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Bike Problem

This was the problem, and I can not explain exactly how this happened. Somehow the chain wore these holes in the frame weakening it and creating the potential for it to fail while riding, especially if carrying a load. It would be real ugly if it buckled on a steep downhill speed or on the side of a steep embankment or in the middle of no where.
The 2 veteran bike mechanics I worked with had never seen anything like it and the service guy at the Rans bike factory had never even heard of this happening.
Right now I believe it was a perfect storm of a former mechanic setting bike up incorrectly initially, a possible design flaw, and some blame on the driver(me) for not noticing before it got this bad. As I think about it a lot of the damage must have happened during the 20 mile climb up to Lolo Pass, where focus was on moving forward.
The bike was ok to ride without any extra stress locally but too dangerous to take on the road again.

This is Kevin and Dave and unidentified dog at Hellgate Cyclery who went above and beyond helping me find a solution. They are the best.They made time for me during busy times 2 days in a row . Besides the big problem these guys tuned up several other parts of bike that would have become problems somewhere down the line. A rider like me and the load I am pulling beats up on a bike but right now the bike is in as a good of shape as it has ever been.

The solution was to weld a sleeve over the compromised section to strengthen it. A local bike frame builder did not want to touch it but I was directed to Metalworks of Montana and they got the job done.

This Is Jerry Frost (on the left) the shop foreman at Metalworks who also fit the job in to a busy schedule. JF and his company are also the best.
The bear is as neat in person as it is in the pic. Check it out closely , there is a lot happening with that bear.


Yesterday was a bit of a mental roller coaster when the problem with bike was discovered. Initial prognosis was unfixable here and best option was to return bike to factory in Kansas. Cooler heads prevailed and things are good now., becaus several folks went out of their way to help a sorry pilgrim from Ohio continue his journey.
If you are going to have a bike breakdown Missoula Montana is an ideal place. Lots of excellent options to choose from.
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