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Broken spoke

Right, then…

OK, so help me out here:  Are bikes more fragile than they used to be?  I mean, in the 70’s and 80’s we used to do unspeakable shit to bikes and they kept on rolling.  Ramps, curbs, general destructive abuse – nothing phased these things.  I’ve had the Dawes now since end December and have had two problems:  1)  I stuffed the rear derailleur into the spokes and now 2) a bent rear wheel with a broken spoke.

Now, the derailleur thing, I understand, was operator error.  I guess the old bikes had pie plates on them that prevented this very occurrence and as one matured as a rider, they were able to move away from having such things and just sort of knew what they could and could not do.  I also learned that you cannot have the chain on both small cogs or both big cogs because it creates lateral stress on the chain.

Did anyone know this?  If so, when did they learn?

As for the rear wheel bending, I’m sure what the shit was going on.  I mean, did I ride over some rough surfaces?  Yeah – but I also stood in the pedals to prevent the back wheel from taking the brunt.  Was that not enough?  Am I simply too heavy for the wheel?

Admittedly, I haven’t been a “cycling enthusiast” so maybe it’s not so surprising that there’s a body of information that I have yet to learn.  I can only wonder what else is lurking around the next corner.

This also brings to light my general lack of bicycle repair and maintenance knowledge.  A couple of weeks ago, the front tire on the mountain bike went flat.  Thinking that I could handle it, I changed the tube, but as I was airing it up, I heard air escaping.  Giving up, I took it to the LBS around the corner – they informed me that the cover for the spokes had slipped off and punctured the tube.  It all seemed good when I put the tube in.

When I grew up, maintenance meant putting air in the tires then giving all the rotating equipment a good soaking with WD-40.  That was it.  Now Tahn tells me that WD-40 is hygroscopic and actually attracts moisture, thus hurting the cause.

Well, shit.  This may be a bit harder than I expected…

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