I know guys who break things. What I mean is, I know guys who, by virtue of their size, strength or hell-for-leather riding style, go through parts like a college bar through cheap, American lager. Broken pedal spindles, bent chainrings, stripped stem bolts, it’s one thing after another for them.
I’m 5′ 9″ (with the wind at my back), and I weigh 155 lbs. I’m not the smoothest on the bike, but I’m not a wildebeest either. I don’t break things. I seldom even wear things out.
The only catastrophic failures I can recall were a shattered chain and a snapped saddle bolt. I had cut the damn chain too short in an ill-advised late night build session and tried to blunder on like I hadn’t. The next night, on my way home, I felt a pop and then a jingling, like someone throwing a wind chime at a brick wall, then the pedals went slack. I looked down. I cursed. I walked home.
The saddle bolt was even better. I climbed on the bike one morning and the saddle tilted back, so I grabbed a hex key and tightened it. I left for work. About a mile into the ride the saddle slid back again, so I got off, inspected it, pulled out the wrench and tightened again. Very odd, I thought. A few miles later, and luckily on I was on a paved bike path and not on the city streets, I heard a loud pop and then the bike was rolling away from me. I landed on my butt, with the saddle still between my legs, and slid six or ten feet. The bike went on a ways before veering of the path into a bush. I laughed. It was funny. The saddle bolt had snapped in two.
This week’s Group Ride is about breakage. Are you a breaker? Are you forever replacing parts? Or do you wear things out, threads worn smooth over decades of service? Have you had any catastrophic part failures? What happened?