wear and tear

by arfa   February 2, 2014  

So far this year in just under 600 miles of riding, I have had 5 punctures, destroyed a set of gatorskins (from all the crap on the roads), destroyed a chainset and derailleur as well as a bottom bracket (admittedly off road). Most of my January riding is unfortunately in darkness but I can't recall so much damage done to my bikes due to potholes, detritus, rain etc. Is it just me or is anyone else getting through more than their fair share of mechanicals?

15 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

No punctures but a new bottom bracket. My winter bike even has mudguards and gets washed once a week at least. I've never known a winter where there's just so much crap on the roads. All the rain doesn't help. Don't think I've cycled on dry Tarmac since early October!

posted by Psycling [52 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 18:30

101 Likes

The potholes are due to years of neglect and abusively lazy repairs by utilities companies, nothing new.
The crap on the road is just mud, rain won't wash it away, we need a cold dry period to turn it into dust and get blown away to fertilize gardens and farms. But cold dry weather is the one thing we have not had this winter and won't get for weeks if at all. Global Warming means crud on your bike.


I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1637 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 19:06

100 Likes

You are either doing something wrong or the bike isn't really the right tool for the job.
Apart from punctures, the carnage you're describing would be barely acceptable even after 6000 miles.

P.S. FULL length mudguards with a big front mudflap make a big difference.

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [197 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 20:55

102 Likes

2 questions: Are you using mud guards and how often are you cleaning your chain and transmission?

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1034 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 21:27

97 Likes

I clean my bikes weekly at least, hose down, wipe and re-lubricate.
The punctures are a function of hitting unseen potholes and the gatorskins getting shredded (I probably should have junked them sooner).
There is also alot of construction traffic in London at the moment and I suspect a certain amount of gunk gets dropped on roads from this.
To put it into context, I had 2 punctures in over 7000 miles....
The drive train was knackered by off roading in foul weather (on a new bike with low end components).
Time to fess up, I've never bothered with mud guards on the road as I have tended to avoid wet rides

posted by arfa [605 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 22:23

99 Likes

Full length mudguards with flaps... extra flaps too. I've gone oldschool with added flappery on my winter bike, using some 1.5mm pond liner from a sample that we had hanging around at work. Really helps to keep spray and muck off the bottom bracket/chainset area and also cuts down vastly on the amount of spray hitting my feet.

Did the same on the rear and my clubmates are impressed with the lack of spray from the rear wheel, useful when putting in grim winter miles in a group.

Twitter: @velosam

SamShaw's picture

posted by SamShaw [297 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 22:55

99 Likes

The road are terrible,i suffer punctures all the time,new chain,new cassette,new bottom bracket,rear derailleur,front derailleur all within last few months.i spend a fortune on new parts plus spending time every day cleaning my bike

posted by Shanefutcher [121 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 23:28

100 Likes

Fit some mudguards and experience the relative joy of a dry bum, drier feet, less spray in your face, less corrosive and abrasive crap on your expensive shiny bits. In my book that's a decent trade off for a bit of extra weight and a minor aesthetic hit.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1034 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 23:49

101 Likes

I use full mudguards all year. The bike I mostly use, which is the one I'am relating here, is a 531 Carlton Corsair tourer/clubman.
This year this bike has done 3000miles of general road use including a little fairly lightweight ruff stuff. I know this from the computer which is virtually always running.

I have not especially had trouble with tyres. I'am however as I research the subject becoming angry with the cycle industry concerning the longevity of chainsets.

I do not need or want 9/10/11 speed cassettes. They solve a problem that does not exist. I'am not interested in electronic gear changing. This also solves problems that do not exist and adds pointless expense and complication.

I live in mountain country and enjoy cycling up them, which I often do with loaded panniers.

So, I need a wide RANGE of gears and a reliable drive train. So I use a triple chainset driving a wide range cassette. My gears range from 24" to 116" - which is a "cor blimey" top gear that I enjoy on descents sometimes. The bottom gear equals many MTB's. and indeed "out guns" quite a few.

The cassette I use is an 8spd Sram product, which of itself, I regard as a reasonable quality product with a very good spread of gear ratios (and thankyou for continuing to produce them Sram). The chain rings are 7075 aluminium which is tempered and aged to T6 specification (also known as Zicral [which was developed in 1938 by the Japanese for making aircraft]).

I would in the normal course of things expect such a drive train to last around 2-3years.

However unfortunately both these products have a very serious design flaw. Although they are advertised - and do - run with a 3/32" chain, they are actually sized for the 11/128" chains which are run on 9spd and above cassettes. The consequence of this is that I have completely chewed up the chainset in only 3000miles.

Ideally I would like to aquire tempered steel 3/32" chain rings and likewise the cassette. I do not need all the "slick Shifting" ramps etc. (another problem that doesn't exist). An ordinary bevelled tooth changes gear perfectly well with just a little skill. These are not available (new) but are not particularly difficult or expensive to manufacture. So my next step is to find here in the UK a motorcycle sprocket manufacturer to make them for me. I bet that for the prices that are charged for the rubbish the bicycle manufacturers supply sprockets for I can have them made as "one off" cheaper. I would expect such articles to give me 4-5Yrs use fairly easily. I just might become a cycle industry supplier myself, because their would pretty much certainly be a small but steady market for such items when people discover what the original poster has.

posted by Giles Pargiter [59 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 1:08

101 Likes

Thanks for the replies, it would appear it is not just me but I probably ought to contemplate some mudguards

posted by arfa [605 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 9:00

101 Likes

arfa wrote:
I clean my bikes weekly at least, hose down, wipe and re-lubricate.

And there might be one of your problems. In weather like we've had I honestly don't think a hose down is good enough. The chain, rings, cassette and mechs needs to be degreased completely, allowed to dry and then clean lube added. Cleaning the crud from you frame is not going to remove the grinding paste from your gears. Adding new lube onto a dirty chain will not clean it.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [423 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 9:40

98 Likes

My original (10 yr old) SKS mudguards on my commuter hybrid finally packed in a couple of years ago. The new front one had a flap at the back which, after some thought, I left on but it made a massive difference to the amount of muck on the front chainrings. My other 'routine' change was to not to wait until the bike was completely filthy before giving it a clean. Made sure all the cleaning bits (hose/spray/brush/chain lube kit) were easily accessible. If the chain gets a soaking then it gets a clean (GT85/wipe/lube/wipe); couple of minutes. Had the road bike out yesterday and even though there was just a bit of 'splattering', I just gave it a quick clean which took no time at all. So far components seem to be lasting longer.

Shades

posted by Shades [255 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 11:16

100 Likes

I would simply get some Goldtec rings. Simple, tough and available in 3/32 with a minimum of profiling. If you had a much harder chain ring you would simply destroy the chain. Tempering it self will not make a steel chain ring harder it will simply improve it's tensile strength and make it less brittle, wear will not be any better as it's not case hardened. A machined stainless ring could improve hardness on the Rockwell scale but again it would be a chain killer. Stick with Goldtec or maybe Stronglite rings, use a bog standard KMC 3/32 chain for 5/6/7/8 drive trains, stick with the SRAM cassette. The only other answer is to either go for a spinny winter gear and ride fixed or switch to a planetary gear.

posted by MKultra [365 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 18:07

98 Likes

MKultra wrote:
I would simply get some Goldtec rings. Simple, tough and available in 3/32 with a minimum of profiling. If you had a much harder chain ring you would simply destroy the chain. Tempering it self will not make a steel chain ring harder it will simply improve it's tensile strength and make it less brittle, wear will not be any better as it's not case hardened. A machined stainless ring could improve hardness on the Rockwell scale but again it would be a chain killer. Stick with Goldtec or maybe Stronglite rings, use a bog standard KMC 3/32 chain for 5/6/7/8 drive trains, stick with the SRAM cassette. The only other answer is to either go for a spinny winter gear and ride fixed or switch to a planetary gear.

Thanks for that. Ok take your point on the tempering. Of course case hardened mild steel would probably be cheaper anyway. On the chain issue; Pretty good quality ones (courtesy of KMC) are available quite cheaply so changing these well inside wear limits is not a great expense to chainset life.

I have become aware that Sugino make stainless chain rings, I think primarily for Surly. These are made from 307 Stainless (pretty much the commonest type of stainless) which does have a Rockwell hardness considerably greater than 7075 T6. These are reputed to last quite a lot longer. They are also made for 3/32 chains.

Has to be said that I'am certainly making things more difficult for myself by trying to hang on to my trusted Stronglight crankset, which has an 86mm BCD. I might have to "ditch" that!

I didn't know about Goldtec rings - so I will check them out. I would rather stick with derailleurs but I have considered hub gears. Anyway thanks for the info.

posted by Giles Pargiter [59 posts]
4th February 2014 - 0:54

99 Likes

Thanks again for the replies, I have a bit more research to do beyond mudguards !

posted by arfa [605 posts]
4th February 2014 - 10:40

97 Likes