Thursday, October 7, 2010

Snap Goes The Hanger

Super nice fall morning for the ride into work today. Almost 60 degrees, sunny, changing leaves - yes please. As I was cruising along the Burke-Gilman Trail, passed a slightly chunky dude on a cool old school Gios. He jumped on my wheel and I towed him into Seattle. Waiting at a cross street, he pulled up along side and we exchanged greetings - as I watched the sweat drip off his nose.

Gios Dude said he's seen me on the trail before and usually couldn't catch me, now 2 month into riding, held on - didn't know if I got slower or he got faster. I told him he got faster (even though I'm not all that fast myself) - enjoy the day - and with that I continued to work.

Ride home was warm, much cloudier, but no rain. I left my real camera at home, so goofed around with my incredibly cheap cell phone camera. Only interesting shot posted above. I'll mess around with it some more. It's so crappy, puts a interesting spin on the results.

After stowing the cell phone/camera back in the messenger bag, continue home and hit the climb into my neighborhood. It's a decent hill, about 500 foot elevation gain in maybe a mile - it's respectably steep - and something I get to enjoy on every ride. Some days are more "enjoyable" then others.

I'm grinding my way up the hill, in the saddle, and hear a creaking noise with every power stroke - right foot only. With each stroke trying to diagnose what the hell it is - BB bearing gone bad, weird spoke noise, aliens invaded my frame?

It didn't take long to figure it out, just a few more crank revolutions - 'cause that's when my rear derailleur exploded off the frame. WTF? Closer inspection revealed a broken derailleur hanger. Freaky. I'm guessing the aluminum hanger was creaking out it's death song before shearing off. In 25+ years of riding as an (alleged) adult, that's never happened before. Damn strange. Fairly spectacular noise as it blew apart.

I'm about 1/2 mile from home, so just carried the wounded Ibis the remainder of the commute - with Sidi shoes, messenger bag full of junk - and slightly cramping lower back. Fun. I can't really complain though. After years of commuting and riding, my first mechanical meltdown - on the road anyway.

What's wrong with this picture?

Houston, we have a problem.

Lucky for me, the carbon frame Ibis has a replaceable derailleur hanger. I'll order one off the Ibis site tomorrow. I'm guessing with close to 10,000 miles on this rig, the hanger must have been flexing enough to weaken it - would have been much uglier if the frame had broken instead.

Looks like I'll be riding my old school steel Ibis until I get this back on the road. No problem there.


  1. Deja vu for me. I was passing a stocky heavier, younger man early this year every so often on the trails. He was hard at bicycling. Now he holds the title, that last time I passed him he held on to my tail, and passed me at the end, we were both flat out. I told him I will be gunning for him, I want my title back. :-)

  2. I don't think I have ever heard of a D hanger breaking on a road bike. I guess there is a first for everthing...

  3. Come on man be a Jerkcx and kick that guys butt.

  4. @MrDavey and Reynold: Nothing competitive at all, was just cruising to work. I don't care if people draft me on the trail - pretty common. I'm guilty of it myself.

    @Bikewright: Yes - quite strange. How the steep climb toasted the hanger is beyond me. My guess it flexes a bit with each shift and finally snapped. Possible it flexed enough to catch the spokes then get ripped off - don't know. No spoke damage and the wheel is true however.

    From the first creak noise to snapping the hanger - maybe 10 crank revolutions. Weird.

  5. Your pedal stroke is clearly too powerful for a derailleur. You should just switch to a 10-tooth cog single-speed set-up (with 54 chain ring) and be done with it.

  6. @Upton: Yeah, I'm quite the powerhouse (ha!). A singlespeed daily up that climb would be total torture.

  7. No school like the old school, Dan-O.

  8. @Utah!: That is true for a lot of things. I dig the newer stuff, but the old school stuff just looks right and in many cases - makes more sense.

  9. You now have a fixie, Rule 5 it up the hill man!

  10. @Zoncolan: Yeah, a carbon Ibis fixie - that's the ticket!

    Then again, maybe not...