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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was doing my standard hills today. I felt my chain pressure drop to zero, and I looked down. Parts were literally falling off the bike.

When I pulled over, I found my rear derailleur on the road, the RD hanger broken in half, two spokes broken, my RD cable wound very tight into my rear cassette, and my right chainstay torn up. My RD must have shifted into the spokes, breaking them and demolishing everything else in a horrible cascade of events. I was able to set up a one gear fixie for the ride home, where honest to god, I just cried.

I am so pissed off, because the gears had given no indication of problems over nearly 4k miles, and I wasn't straining when climbing nor shifting. I don't have a plastic derailleur protector between the rear cassette and spokes, but may have to add that to my major rebuild.

How do you get over such a catastrophe???
 

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felt35 said:
Was doing my standard hills today. I felt my chain pressure drop to zero, and I looked down. Parts were literally falling off the bike.

When I pulled over, I found my rear derailleur on the road, the RD hanger broken in half, two spokes broken, my RD cable wound very tight into my rear cassette, and my right chainstay torn up. My RD must have shifted into the spokes, breaking them and demolishing everything else in a horrible cascade of events. I was able to set up a one gear fixie for the ride home, where honest to god, I just cried.

I am so pissed off, because the gears had given no indication of problems over nearly 4k miles, and I wasn't straining when climbing nor shifting. I don't have a plastic derailleur protector between the rear cassette and spokes, but may have to add that to my major rebuild.

How do you get over such a catastrophe???
Either repair the damage or replace the broken bits. Then get back to riding. It's the only way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
alienator said:
Either repair the damage or replace the broken bits. Then get back to riding. It's the only way.
But to look down and see parts falling off your bike is just horrible. I don't care about my body when I fell over, but my bike is my pride and joy. It's as if my own child suffered a serious injury. I've orderd a new DR, cable, spokes, hanger, and chain. i just don't look forward to the chore of rebuilding this and knowing it can happen again.
 

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felt35 said:
But to look down and see parts falling off your bike is just horrible. I don't care about my body when I fell over, but my bike is my pride and joy. It's as if my own child suffered a serious injury. I've orderd a new DR, cable, spokes, hanger, and chain. i just don't look forward to the chore of rebuilding this and knowing it can happen again.
It won't happen if the limits on the RD are set correctly. If you were able to shift the RD into the spokes, then the limits were set way off.

Also, if the bike was assembled by someone else, you should take it to them, cuz they did a piss poor job of tuning the drivetrain.
 

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Here is another possibility. Your chain rivet wasn't properly installed, and the rivet came out and locked in to the RD. And then, your pedalling force ripped the hanger, and the RD went through your wheels.

I've seen this happening before. It's a very simple thing, but you'll be amazed how many people don't know how to do this right.
 

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You also better check that chainstay

Not sure what your frame material is, but if your chainstay was "torn up" you better be sure the frame is ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
cthomas said:
Not sure what your frame material is, but if your chainstay was "torn up" you better be sure the frame is ok.
It's aluminum. I don't know how to test the chainstay to determine if this is just cosmetic or a terminal event for this frame. I'm SO unhappy. UNBELIEVABLY unhappy. I just cannot express how melancholy I am over this whole episode.
 

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chances are your chainstay just got the paint scratched off. unless the chainstay is badly dented, don't worry about it. the rear derailleur hangar is usually replaceable - they just unbolt the broken one and bolt a new one on; should cost you less than 20 bucks. if the person assembling the bike was competent, you do not need the plastic spoke protector.

you might have accidentally dropped the bike on its side and bent the derailleur hangar, in which case this would be your fault. alternatively, the mechanic who worked on it might not have got the limits right when he worked on it (there are screws that limit how far the derailleur travels when it shifts). you say the bike is 4000 miles old, did you take it in for a tune-up?

I'm sorry about this mess, but these things do happen sometimes. at least this isn't a $6000 carbon frame - your chainstay might be broken completely instead of just scratched. bikes that are ridden will almost always get scratches. best to take a deep breath, and take it in to the bike store.
 

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Yeah, aluminum should be ok...

Painful, but a new derailleur hanger and some TLC and you should be back on the road. Keep your chin up. Bad as it seems, it could have been worse.

Hang in there.
 

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Hmmm... regarding the cause - it seems unusual to have this happen due to limits after 4k miles. Is/was the bolt holding your derailleur hanger to the frame tight? I a loose one once - it wasn't loose enough to let me shift into the spokes but could that have been the cause?
 

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Care to explain how it would work its way out like that? Seems like it wouldn't suddenly happen after thousands of miles on the road. Just curious.

LBK said:
Here is another possibility. Your chain rivet wasn't properly installed, and the rivet came out and locked in to the RD. And then, your pedalling force ripped the hanger, and the RD went through your wheels.

I've seen this happening before. It's a very simple thing, but you'll be amazed how many people don't know how to do this right.
 

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Hopefully the damage on the stay will be behind the crank. With some touch up paint you probably won't notice it.

Any chance of posting a picture of the damage to make sure your frame isn't damaged to the point that it should be replaced? Is so, maybe Felt has a crash replacement program.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Juanmoretime said:
Hopefully the damage on the stay will be behind the crank. With some touch up paint you probably won't notice it.

Any chance of posting a picture of the damage to make sure your frame isn't damaged to the point that it should be replaced? Is so, maybe Felt has a crash replacement program.
Come to think of it, I did have a fall about one week earlier, and I may have, in retrospect, bent the rear DR hanger just enough to cause this overshift problem. I have learned a few lessons:

1) After every fall, check the rear DR to make sure it's still aligned.
2) I will fall at least once a year, and if I cannot accept that, I shouldnt' be biking.
3) Turn the L screw tight until the chain rubs, then 1/4 out and that's as far as I'll loosen it.
4) Use a plastic protector just in case.

I've orderd the DR hanger from derailleurhanger.com and the other $200 in parts from Performance bike. An expensive fix, but I love the bike, and I'll just have to rebuild and start over. A royal pain, but it IS part of biking and I have to accept that.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Something very similar happened to me last year; the cause was not overshifting (which should be impossible if your drivetrain is adjusted correctly; if you were doing hills and nothing was hitting the spokes, it shouldn't just "happen"), but rather a broken chain, as others have posited. What happened was that an outside plate of one link popped off the pin, so the link opened but the chain remained intact. I was spinning hard uphill, so when the link hit the rear der. it hooked it, and the force of pedaling pulled the derailleur into the spokes. I managed to stop before breaking spokes or dinging the frame, but I had to replace the derailleur, as well as the chain. Funnily enough, I was running a SRAM powerlink, but the chain broke at another point; I think it was just bad luck. It happens, you gotta just pick up the pieces (literally) and get on with it. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I went out to my garage and saw my bike today. No chain, no DR, no hanger, no wheel, no shifter cable, just bare as a baby's bottom. It looks VERY sad to be sitting with all these missing parts and dings all over it's body, unable to go for a spin on Mother's day. It just seems to have a sad look. All alone, sitting, longing to be ridden again... :=(
 

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That's why you need more than one bike!

You guys are nuts though, worrying more about your bike than body. I'd rather have had to replace all that stuff then replace my teeth from faceplanting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Einstruzende said:
That's why you need more than one bike!

You guys are nuts though, worrying more about your bike than body. I'd rather have had to replace all that stuff then replace my teeth from faceplanting.
I have a Cannonale R2000 as my back up, but it doesn't ride near as nicely as my Felt due to carbon fork and seastays. I love them both, but the Felt is my main ride.

Bodies heal, bikes need repair. Even when I broke my hip after a fall in a paceline at 27 mph, I was more worried about my bike than my body. I guess that's how it gets when you are really in love with cycling.
 

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alienator said:
It won't happen if the limits on the RD are set correctly. If you were able to shift the RD into the spokes, then the limits were set way off.

Also, if the bike was assembled by someone else, you should take it to them, cuz they did a piss poor job of tuning the drivetrain.
same problem climbing hill to return to home fixed chain and used rear dearilleur from spares parts bin and new rd hanger from lbs
 
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