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Mechanicals on tour

Old 11-11-19, 10:05 PM
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KC8QVO
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Mechanicals on tour

I added a second stem and dummy bar this season. The dummy bar is for a bar bag mount and additional accessory mounting on the outside. What I have come to find is the inside is a common place to stow extra spokes. However, on my bike there is a spoke rack on one of the seat stays also. When I got the bike it had the spokes in there but I ended up needing to rebuild the front wheel after running over it with my truck in the garage. In the process I pulled the spokes out of the seat stay when I was working on it and ended up never putting them back in.

I have never broken a spoke as far back as I can remember. In my BMX days I've bent rims in (just the edge wall, not a taco through the top walls), but never a spoke. In fact, thinking about it - if a spoke broke I don't think that would be a show-stopper on a trip, either. Maybe some tape or a couple zip ties to keep the broken spoke secure, but structurally I'd think you could still ride no problem. Now - if you broke 3 or 4 in a row that might be a different story.

So that brings me to my question - what kinds of mechanicals on trips would be show stoppers, aside from the obvious ones - frame broken beyond the ability to limp and no way to repair (thinking a steel frame and taking it to a muffler shop to fix a broken stay, for example - that is still "field repairable", but not convenient, so I'm not counting that as a "show stopper"), taco'ed rim, or any other broken critical part that the only way to fix is to replace?

In light of the above - is there anything that you bring along with you that may seem "extra" (beyond the common sense stuff like a chain tool, extra tube, patch kit, pump, allen wrenches) to the masses? A spare part, a special tool?

Something that caught me off guard when I got home from my last trip was, after taking my bike apart to get it in a car trunk (wheels, fenders, racks all came off/out) I found my rear hub loose upon reassembly. I did not catch it feeling "loose" when I took it off the bike so my assumption is that it became loose in transit while off the bike. Since I couldn't be 100% sure I rebuilt the hub to inspect it.

Unless a wheel was taken off on a trip and bounced around I am not sure it is possible for a hub to just get "loose", but I suppose stranger things have happened. I guess its possible bearings could wear out or races could deteriorate, but not likely unless there was a manufacturing defect. So thinking about my hub in the sense of "what would I do if I was on a trip" - I could tighten the cones finger-tight and get the tension on the bearing "right", but I would have no way to set the lock nuts. That means the tension on the bearing could certainly change. However, the finger-tight cones may still allow me to limp to a bike shop that would have the tools to set it right = still not a "show stopper", in the sense of my earlier question.
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Old 11-11-19, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
...In light of the above - is there anything that you bring along
if you're changing spokes, you're gonna need a cassette tool and a 6" crescent with a wide enough mouth to grip the tool. spoke wrench of course, and a torx tool to remove the disc brake if you haven't replaced with standard hex bolts.

you're gonna want a tire boot as you can't always find something roadside to improvise.

i ride in monsoon mud, so carry a cone wrench plus bb's and grease. if my hubs have cassette bearings, spares and hope to find a nut&bolt store where i can mcgyver a bearing press.

traveling by air, or here in asialand where it's common to throw bikes atop 19-pax buses, i like to carry a spare derailleur hanger.
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Old 11-11-19, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
i ride in monsoon mud, so carry a cone wrench plus bb's and grease. if my hubs have cassette bearings, spares and hope to find a nut&bolt store where i can mcgyver a bearing press.
Can you elaborate on your press idea? I assume you are referring to cartridge bearings? I can see pressing them in with a bolt and washer, but how do you do the reverse? For reference - I know about that method for pressing bushings on vehicle suspension parts using a large socket, but in those cases there is access to both sides and the bushing only goes in one way. With a hub that has cartridge bearings on both ends and the same diameter opening on both ends - how do you get pressure inside the hub to pull the bearings out of the hub???
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Old 11-11-19, 11:06 PM
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Not sure what you mean by the hubs came loose. Did the cone nuts get loose?

I usually carry a pretty good set up, but of the tools I have not brought are:
Cone wrenches
Bottom bracket tool
Cassette tool

Now, I'm starting to wonder if I should carry them
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Old 11-11-19, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Can you elaborate on your press idea?.... - how do you get pressure inside the hub to pull the bearings out of the hub???
the press made of threaded rod plus some washers and thick rubber bits for padding is for putting the new hub or headset bearings in.

the old ones come out with a hammer and old screwdriver.....or a rock and a chopstick.
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Old 11-12-19, 06:07 AM
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The large majority of mechanical failures I have seen myself or others have on tour are wheel related and mostly spokes with hub or rim issues were much less frequent. I generally carry a chain tool, spoke wrench, and a Unior cassette cracker to remove a cassette if necessary. I also carry a few spare spokes and the usual stuff to fix flats.

Most stuff on a bike can be fixed in a auto shop or home/farm shop in a pinch. Sometimes it may be a less than perfect fix until you get to a place with the proper tools.

Anywhere I have toured on road I would always have been able to hitch a ride to a bike shop if I had to. Sometimes it might have been over 100 miles, but in those places folks tend to be especially willing to help and offer rides or other assistance. Worst case getting to a decent sized town would allow me have a frame or even another bike shipped from home even if that was my around town beater or my MTB. In the latter case I could put the broken bike in the box and send it home.
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Old 11-12-19, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
Did the cone nuts get loose?
Mine did (front wheel) back in the day. But that was after many thousands of miles during three long tours and a lack of attention to preventive maintenance. Had a LBS work on the bike during a day off in Colorado. I think it's a non-issue if you are going out for a week or two and keep up with maintenance at home.
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Old 11-12-19, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
if you're changing spokes, you're gonna need a cassette tool and a 6" crescent with a wide enough mouth to grip the tool
The Unior Cassette Cracker has served me well with no need an adjustable wrench for any other tool to get the cassette off. I think it weighs about 1/4 - 1/2 ounce.
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Old 11-12-19, 07:19 AM
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KC, your description of your hub cones being loose was most likely simply because when the wheel was put together, the lock nut wasnt tightened properly. This touches on the whole advantage of doing your own mechanical work, and going over all parts yourself so you know how they are.
This is the great thing about bikes, its not like a car or truck engine, the various bits and bobs are fairly easy to work on--IF of course youhave the interest and apptitude.

To me, this was always a priority, to learn how to do all my own stuff, and therefore know personally how everything is, in great shape and also to know what to look for, to listen to, etc to pick up any issues well before they do become a trip stopper or an inconvenience.

I certainly have made lots of mistakes and messups doing my own mechanical work over the years, but this is how we learn, and Im sure I'll screw up again---but this is life, and the main thing is that we get better and more knowledgeable about bike mechanical work , and my experieince has certainly shown that by being knowledgeable and knowing your bike inside out, it goes a long way to REDUCING the risk of a problem.

I had a hub cone adjustment go out a bit on a trip, my first time ever, after working on hubs for decades, and Im fairly sure that I made a mistake in working on it the last time I regreased teh hub---but at least I knew what to look for, and noticed it on a day off when I go over the bike, and was able to drop into a small bike store and the owner quickly adjusted the cones, as I dont carry cone wrenches on trips---but because I noticed it early, I could have ridden on it with no problems as the cones were only loose a tiny bit--still it was my mistake that caused it.

also, checking my bike once a week and doing a good clean of drivetrain and checking everything during a break day, is a really good habit to have anyway--for checking rack bolts, everything, so that stuff that may have loosened a tiny bit gets caught before it is an issue. I also hand check spoke tensions, to at least show up an obvious diff in tension--but before a trip, I always get my wheels checked over by a good mechanic, and they will retension and do their expert aligning job on both wheels, so at least they are in great shape beforehand, and I always try to ride the bike some before the trip, to show up any issues--in case I have to take it back.
In general, if your wheelset is a good one, like your LHT's , and it gets a spoke tension going over, and you dont abuse the wheels riding hard over potholes etc, you generally have all the odds in your favour.

and yes, if a spoke breaks, its not the end of the world, and you can continue to ride.
multiple spokes break after lengthy riding with too loose spokes and too much weight, and or abusive riding or an incident like whacking into a pothole by mistake.
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Old 11-12-19, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
So that brings me to my question - what kinds of mechanicals on trips would be show stoppers, aside from the obvious ones - frame broken beyond the ability to limp and no way to repair (thinking a steel frame and taking it to a muffler shop to fix a broken stay, for example - that is still "field repairable", but not convenient, so I'm not counting that as a "show stopper"), taco'ed rim, or any other broken critical part that the only way to fix is to replace?
Not sure why the emphasis on "field repairable", since if necessary I've walked or hitched a ride to a point where I could get things fixed from there.

A few examples in reverse chronology of when they happened - not necessarily field repairable, but in most cases I got myself to place that could help with repairs and then continued the trip.
Dec 2018, crank snapped, walked ~6 miles, hitched a ride ~22 miles, took bus home to end the trip (Texas)
Nov 2017, frame cracked, was in town, welded and continued trip (Argentina)
July 2017, got doored, splitting open my pannier, walked back to town and had my pannier repaired at luggage shop to continue trip (Peru)
Oct 2016, hub stopped ratcheting, got ride to hotel/overnight, brought bike to shop for repair, continued trip; following month replaced wheel with different hub (Wyoming)
Aug 2016, hub stopped ratcheting, ride to town, new components mailed from Phil Woods, repaired at bike shop and continued trip (Canada)
June 2016, derailleur torked off frame in the mud near Arctic circle, hitched ride to Fairbanks, brought bike to shop, repaired and continued trip (Alaska)
Dec 2007, hub stopped ratcheting, hitched a ride to town, took train to end destination since close to end of trip (Thailand)
May 2004, pedal ripped out of crank, was near small town, rented van from auto dealer to carry bike to bike shop, repaired and continued trip (Tennessee)
Nov 2002, pedal snapped on Natchez Trace, cycled with one leg to Walmart, bought spark plug, cycled next two days using spark plug instead of pedal (Mississippi)
Aug 2001, frame cracked, duct tape held for 280km of cycling, flew back to US, picked up replacement bike and continued the trip (Australia)
July 2001, rim cracked near Broome, cycled to bike shop, phoned to Perth who built replacement wheel to send up via bus, continued the trip (Australia)
Dec 1997, hub stopped ratcheting, hitched a ride to town, took train to end destination since close to end of trip (Thailand)
July 1997, rim split, replace with spare wheel I had with me, continued trip (Canada)
May 1997, rim split on Alaska Highway, walked/hitched ride to motel, phoned bike shop who built new wheel and sent it up, continued trip (Canada)
Dec 1992, pedal snapped, cycled with one pedal for ~12 miles, replaced at bike shop and continued trip (Florida)

Also not sure why the aversion to a "replace" if that is what is necessary.
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Old 11-12-19, 09:10 AM
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The problem is small little things you would never think of can happen that can cause failures to occur.

In 2015 I was in AR, 2000-2500 miles into my trip when the rack insert, which holds the rack to the bike fell down into the seat stay. I ended up dragging for a very short distance the kitty liter buckets behind as I already had the other top bolt holding the rack on come out on me, sometime earlier. This happened after dark and I didn't have anything other than an old tube to hold the rack up in place. By the time I got to a hardware store the next day I had lost a third bolt down at the dropout and fortunately about an hour before I lost it I passed by a fully intact bungee cord, about six inches long, laying on the ground and for some stupid reason I went back and picked it up. The bungee cord ended up being my saving grace until I could get the hardware store and replace the bolts.

I got up into MN, around 4500 miles into the trip and found I had spokes pulling through the rim. It would be the first of three back to back wheels I would have the same problem with, premature failure due to spokes pulling through the rim...the most recent wheel, was 3400 unloaded miles before the spokes pulled through...can you say bad frame.

By the time I got into NW Ohio and stopped thankfully, earlier than planned at my mom's house, I had broken all 4 welds on the rack and was barely hanging on with anything. I ended up having to replace the rack before I could ever leave her place.

The craziest things can go wrong, and at the craziest/worst possible times. Somethings you can be prepared for, like you say a flat tire, broken spoke, etc, but something you can't even begin to predict could go wrong, like replacing 3 rear wheels on the same bike in one year...a brand new bike right before I left for the trip.
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Old 11-12-19, 09:13 AM
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I agree with adding a cassette removal tool, and I usually carry a 6" adjustable. That can change a pedal in a pinch.

Most of my tool kit is in my head. I pay close attention to the bike as I ride it. For instance, if I need to adjust shift cable tension more than once a week, I'll inspect the cable for fraying or housing failure, then replace it before it breaks. When I pump up tires, I'll check the wheels for play. I'll check the headset when stopped with the front brake on. I'll give a crank a squeeze against the seat tube once in a while to check the bottom bracket, and check pedals while I'm there.

Same thing for the motor--if something starts hurting, don't ignore it.
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Old 11-12-19, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
This is the great thing about bikes, its not like a car or truck engine, the various bits and bobs are fairly easy to work on--IF of course youhave the interest and apptitude.

To me, this was always a priority, to learn how to do all my own stuff, and therefore know personally how everything is, in great shape and also to know what to look for, to listen to, etc to pick up any issues well before they do become a trip stopper or an inconvenience.

I certainly have made lots of mistakes and messups doing my own mechanical work over the years, but this is how we learn, and Im sure I'll screw up again---but this is life, and the main thing is that we get better and more knowledgeable about bike mechanical work , and my experieince has certainly shown that by being knowledgeable and knowing your bike inside out, it goes a long way to REDUCING the risk of a problem.
That is exactly why I started the thread. It is interesting to hear of other situations others have been through on a tour. It gives me some ideas on things to look for with my own gear, but also contingencies.
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Old 11-12-19, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
Not sure why the emphasis on "field repairable", since if necessary I've walked or hitched a ride to a point where I could get things fixed from there.
I think the question now should be what my definition of a "show stopper" is. To me, I was defining "field repairable" as not being a "show stopper" because, in my perspective, and in light of my example, a welded frame after a break is "fixed' = you can continue on just as you were prior to the break.

I emphasized "field repairable" for that reason - something major that you can't continue on with until it is fixed.

The list of mechanicals in your post make me re-think the whole thought I had when I started this thread on what a "show stopper" would be - as you have apparently blazed through some pretty major mechanicals to keep on keepin' on.

Originally Posted by mev View Post
Oct 2016, hub stopped ratcheting, got ride to hotel/overnight, brought bike to shop for repair, continued trip; following month replaced wheel with different hub (Wyoming)
How does a hub stop ratcheting? The pawl/part of the mechanism that locks in the teeth as it rotates gets jammed or breaks? What was your reason for replacing the whole hub later?

Originally Posted by mev View Post
May 2004, pedal ripped out of crank, was near small town, rented van from auto dealer to carry bike to bike shop, repaired and continued trip (Tennessee)
Nov 2002, pedal snapped on Natchez Trace, cycled with one leg to Walmart, bought spark plug, cycled next two days using spark plug instead of pedal (Mississippi)
How does a pedal rip out of a crank, or for that matter - another example of yours was a crank breaking. I assume that is a crank arm = same part your pedals have pulled out of, and not the bottom bracket/axle?

Originally Posted by mev View Post
Also not sure why the aversion to a "replace" if that is what is necessary.
No aversion to replacement. Going back to your pedal and crank mechanicals - thats the only way to fix. I suppose it would be conceivable if the crank arm broke somewhere in the length of a crank arm that you could weld it together, but given that they are usually cast metal (aluminum alloy of some kind) it would be awfully hard to get a weld with the right filler metal to hold for long.
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Old 11-12-19, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
July 1997, rim split, replace with spare wheel I had with me, continued trip (Canada)
One more example to hit on - your spare rim. You carry, or at least did on that trip, a spare rim??? Obviously that trip it probably paid off, but how do you justify that as part of your stuff you carry on a trip? Its not like a tube or tire that can compact so I am curious what your reasoning is. Also - what size rim? Theres a big difference between a 20" folder and a 700c rim, for example.
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Old 11-12-19, 09:41 AM
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While not on a tour I did have an early generation mtb bull moose handlebar weld fail right at the stem. Usually a very strong union and the bike was used as a commuter. That would have not been field repairable until in a town for welding or replacement. A snapped seat post could also qualify, especially the modern ones that can't be jerry rigged. I suppose you could stand and pedal as long as possible.

With my fat bike a wheel problem could cause a longer than usual delay as most stores don't carry replacement sets of hubs or rims, in out of the way places it might even be hard to get a tire.

I have seen a pedal strip out a crank arm before on my brothers bike. Probably due to cheap metal in the crank and seizing pedal bearings. The female threads were completely gone. No idea how he did it.

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Old 11-12-19, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
The problem is small little things you would never think of can happen that can cause failures to occur.
Good point.

Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
In 2015 I was in AR, 2000-2500 miles into my trip when the rack insert, which holds the rack to the bike fell down into the seat stay.
I am trying to wrap my mind around this one. Are you saying the braze-ons were inside the stays - as in the rack bolts sandwiched the stay between the rack part and the braze-on inside/underneath the stay? All my braze-ons are outside/external to the frame metal. That is something that I have been a bit concerned with - but being they are external they are easy to see, specifically the braze-ons on the seat stays for the rear rack. Then the bottoms are straight in to the dropouts - no braze-ons.

Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
I got up into MN, around 4500 miles into the trip and found I had spokes pulling through the rim. It would be the first of three back to back wheels I would have the same problem with, premature failure due to spokes pulling through the rim...the most recent wheel, was 3400 unloaded miles before the spokes pulled through...can you say bad frame.
So the rim material is what failed, maybe due to being too soft? How many walls? Or were the nipple flanges what gave out and caused the nipple to pull through/wedge themselves through the rim hole?

Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
By the time I got into NW Ohio and stopped thankfully, earlier than planned at my mom's house, I had broken all 4 welds on the rack and was barely hanging on with anything. I ended up having to replace the rack before I could ever leave her place.
What kind of rack? All of my miles (over 3000) on the touring bike I have until this year were with a cheap rack I got for about $15 on amazon. I can't believe it lasted even the first year. It has been way over loaded. However, I wasn't doing any multi-day tours and figured I could use zip ties and/or tape to bandaid something together to get home on if I had to - never did. This year I replaced it and added a front rack - with good quality Tubus racks. I trust them a lot more now, but that's still not saying something can't happen.

Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
The craziest things can go wrong, and at the craziest/worst possible times. Somethings you can be prepared for, like you say a flat tire, broken spoke, etc, but something you can't even begin to predict could go wrong, like replacing 3 rear wheels on the same bike in one year...a brand new bike right before I left for the trip.
Thanks for the thought. Though, after the second rim I think I would have switched to a different one.
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Old 11-12-19, 10:10 AM
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For what it's worth I think the most important thing in your toolkit is your head.

For some people what's a showstopper is a minor irritant to others, or maybe even a challenge!

Nothing wrong with being prepared and figuring out what might happen.

My unusual failure was the pin holding the saddle snapped, leaving me with no place to sit. An overnight storm didn't help, but the next morning I was dragged into a farm on the side of the road and every box of old nuts and bolts were rummaged through until we could improvise something that would work. That was in Italy where I don't speak the language and they didn't speak mine.

If you read the first book my Anne Mustoe it'll amaze you. A retired schoolteacher sets off to ride around the world in the mid 80's unable to (and not intending to learn!) how to change a puncture! And she did it!

Don't overthink it.

Hope for the best.
Expect the worst.
Deal with what you get.
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Old 11-12-19, 10:11 AM
  #19  
mev
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
How does a hub stop ratcheting? The pawl/part of the mechanism that locks in the teeth as it rotates gets jammed or breaks? What was your reason for replacing the whole hub later?

How does a pedal rip out of a crank, or for that matter - another example of yours was a crank breaking. I assume that is a crank arm = same part your pedals have pulled out of, and not the bottom bracket/axle?

No aversion to replacement. Going back to your pedal and crank mechanicals - thats the only way to fix. I suppose it would be conceivable if the crank arm broke somewhere in the length of a crank arm that you could weld it together, but given that they are usually cast metal (aluminum alloy of some kind) it would be awfully hard to get a weld with the right filler metal to hold for long.
Hub ratcheting happened I believe due to two causes: (1) the internal mechanism getting fouled enough that the pawls didn't bounce back, but instead stayed depressed and (2) the springs breaking and not jumping back. Also over time the pawls/ratchets can wear down. After two failures on an extended ride across the Americas, I contacted a wheel builder and had a different wheel built up dependent on a different hub mechanism (DT Swiss hub replacing a Phil Woods and using different mechanisms).


Crank arm breaking was a bit more of a fluke and after a lot of miles. It broke next to where the toe strap went next to the crank arm. I have a suspicion a small crack developed and was latent for a while before the crank arm snapped.

Pedal ripping out of crank arm partially because I likely mis-threaded some things putting pedals on in the dark evening before.
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Old 11-12-19, 10:22 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
One more example to hit on - your spare rim. You carry, or at least did on that trip, a spare rim??? Obviously that trip it probably paid off, but how do you justify that as part of your stuff you carry on a trip? Its not like a tube or tire that can compact so I am curious what your reasoning is. Also - what size rim? Theres a big difference between a 20" folder and a 700c rim, for example.
I didn't start out on that trip carrying a spare wheel. It was more a mix of circumstances:
1) My rim cracked when I was cycling on the Alaska Highway near mile marker 500. Prior to internet being as prevalent as now - I called to a bike shop down the road and had them build a new wheel and send it up via the greyhound bus. The new wheel was a 32-spoke, not as durable as my original but was sufficient to get me down the road.
2) Once I reached Edmonton, I replaced the temporary 32-spoke wheel with a more solid 36-spoke wheel. The 32-spoke version was still good enough that I carried it with me as in photo below.
3) As I neared Corner Brook, Newfoundland I again noticed my rim was now cracked. I replaced it with the spare wheel I had with me and finished the ride in St Johns.

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Old 11-12-19, 03:18 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Good point.

I am trying to wrap my mind around this one. Are you saying the braze-ons were inside the stays - as in the rack bolts sandwiched the stay between the rack part and the braze-on inside/underneath the stay? All my braze-ons are outside/external to the frame metal. That is something that I have been a bit concerned with - but being they are external they are easy to see, specifically the braze-ons on the seat stays for the rear rack. Then the bottoms are straight in to the dropouts - no braze-ons.
No braze-ons, it is an aluminum frame so they use inserts, the same style inserts are used to screw into hold the water bottle cage to the downtube/seat tube of the bike.

Even though I have used message boards for years I'm still ignorant on how you do multiple quotes so I will leave everything below as KC8QVO posted it and comment in between his questions. My idea for making it look like a quote may work and it may not work.

So the rim material is what failed, maybe due to being too soft? How many walls? Or were the nipple flanges what gave out and caused the nipple to pull through/wedge themselves through the rim hole?
I'll fess this is one I can't answer since I don't have any of the wheels around anymore to go back and examine more closely now. The first wheel pulled through in MN and by the time I had 2000 more miles in the trip I was already getting the sense I would be lucky to make it home before I had to replace the second rim, both different rims, I don't believe they were the same make or model. I managed to get home and immediately after getting home I had to replace it and it was replaced with what was though to be a more beefy rim but it only lasted 3400 miles, unloaded before it crapped out on me. Wheel number four only got around 10000 miles before the freehub blew out on me. I've ridden just under 125,000 miles since mid-May 2011 and I have never seen this kind of predictable problems with a bike before. It's not normal wear and tear by a long shot. The original 2015 trip was 8500 miles long. When you are on a long trip like this you can't be choosy as to keep the same brand of tire, yet alone wheel, all the time. You have to learn to be flexible as you may not find the same parts in other parts of the country/other countries.

What kind of rack? All of my miles (over 3000) on the touring bike I have until this year were with a cheap rack I got for about $15 on amazon. I can't believe it lasted even the first year. It has been way over loaded. However, I wasn't doing any multi-day tours and figured I could use zip ties and/or tape to bandaid something together to get home on if I had to - never did. This year I replaced it and added a front rack - with good quality Tubus racks. I trust them a lot more now, but that's still not saying something can't happen.
I can't answer that question either. I paid around $25 for it. The second one has held up nicely. I think it was the bad luck pick of racks.
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Old 11-12-19, 04:42 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
I added a second stem and dummy bar this season. The dummy bar is for a bar bag mount and additional accessory mounting on the outside. What I have come to find is the inside is a common place to stow extra spokes. However, on my bike there is a spoke rack on one of the seat stays also. When I got the bike it had the spokes in there but I ended up needing to rebuild the front wheel after running over it with my truck in the garage. In the process I pulled the spokes out of the seat stay when I was working on it and ended up never putting them back in.

I have never broken a spoke as far back as I can remember. In my BMX days I've bent rims in (just the edge wall, not a taco through the top walls), but never a spoke. In fact, thinking about it - if a spoke broke I don't think that would be a show-stopper on a trip, either. Maybe some tape or a couple zip ties to keep the broken spoke secure, but structurally I'd think you could still ride no problem. Now - if you broke 3 or 4 in a row that might be a different story.

So that brings me to my question - what kinds of mechanicals on trips would be show stoppers, aside from the obvious ones - frame broken beyond the ability to limp and no way to repair (thinking a steel frame and taking it to a muffler shop to fix a broken stay, for example - that is still "field repairable", but not convenient, so I'm not counting that as a "show stopper"), taco'ed rim, or any other broken critical part that the only way to fix is to replace?

In light of the above - is there anything that you bring along with you that may seem "extra" (beyond the common sense stuff like a chain tool, extra tube, patch kit, pump, allen wrenches) to the masses? A spare part, a special tool?

Something that caught me off guard when I got home from my last trip was, after taking my bike apart to get it in a car trunk (wheels, fenders, racks all came off/out) I found my rear hub loose upon reassembly. I did not catch it feeling "loose" when I took it off the bike so my assumption is that it became loose in transit while off the bike. Since I couldn't be 100% sure I rebuilt the hub to inspect it.

Unless a wheel was taken off on a trip and bounced around I am not sure it is possible for a hub to just get "loose", but I suppose stranger things have happened. I guess its possible bearings could wear out or races could deteriorate, but not likely unless there was a manufacturing defect. So thinking about my hub in the sense of "what would I do if I was on a trip" - I could tighten the cones finger-tight and get the tension on the bearing "right", but I would have no way to set the lock nuts. That means the tension on the bearing could certainly change. However, the finger-tight cones may still allow me to limp to a bike shop that would have the tools to set it right = still not a "show stopper", in the sense of my earlier question.
My bike gets regular checks and wheels are built well with field service in mind(DT hubs and J-bend spokes).

If my frame fails, which is why I have either Ti or Stainless steel frames, but if they do, I'll just buy a bike or frame from local bikes shop and transfer whatever from the broken bike. I'll mail the frame back home and I'll be on my way.

I have DT Swiss hubs that you can service without any tools, I have Wolf Tooth wrench that can be used as cassette and BB tools so I can easily take the cassette open if needed. I have an extra set of hanger that I can change if I bend my hanger.

The only show stopper will be regarding my health.
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Old 11-12-19, 06:00 PM
  #23  
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From my five week tour in Canadian Maritimes this year.

Two spare tubes, patch kit, rubber gloves, one tire lever, 5mm allen wrench for my bolt on skewers. I keep a seperate allen wrench with the tubes because my other tool kit is buried in the bottom of a pannier.




Tools below. The bike I used this year has a Rohloff hub, thus the Rohloff sprocket removal tool below the spoke wrench and the lack of cassette removal tools. I packed my bike in an S&S case and that requires that I remove both crank arms, thus the crank arm puller and the S&S wrench on far left. When you are assembling and disassembling a bike that has to be packed in a small case, it is so much simpler if you bring shop sized wrenches instead of trying to do it all with a small multi-tool. Thus, I carry more tools than most cyclists. The T20 wrench is needed for some of the fittings on a Rohloff bike. The side cutter is primarily used for cutting zip ties when I unpack my bike from the S&S case, I use a lot of zip ties to pack it away. The 8 and 10mm ratcheting box wrench comes in handy for installing and removing my racks on my expedition bike.



Other spares and tools not shown, tiny little bottle of threadlocker, spare M5 and M6 bolts, spare brake cable and shift cable, brake pads for one wheel, zip ties, chain lube, roll of electrical tape, some chain links and a couple quick links. (The bike I used this year uses M6, not M5 rack bolts so I need spares in both sizes.) My spare spokes are stored in the seatpost, held in with a wine cork. That way the spokes for each of my bikes is stored with that bike so I do not get spoke sizes confused.

This is very similar to what I took to Iceland a few years ago, used the same bike on that trip too. The only difference I can recall is that I used to have self extracting crank arm bolts, but one of the self extracting mechanisms self extracted somewhere in the middle of Iceland. I now instead carry a proper crank puller.

***

I have a separate set of tools for a derailleur bike trip, my derailleur bikes are not S&S, thus no S&S wrench, no crank puller, no Rohloff specific tools, but add cassette removal tools.

If you have to pull a cassette, besides a cassette lock ring tool, you need a chain whip. Several years ago I posted a substitute for the chain whip here:
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/8...ip-travel.html

Some bikes with B&M lighting also use a T20 wrench, that size is not usually included on multi-tools. So I carry that wrench on derailleur bike trips too.

Some of my bikes use the green spoke wrench, some use the black one. I eventually gave up keeping which was which straight and now carry both in my derailleur tool kit.

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Old 11-12-19, 11:14 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
Pedal ripping out of crank arm partially because I likely mis-threaded some things putting pedals on in the dark evening before.
Yup, that happened to me. Luckily it was a test ride before starting the big trip.
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Old 11-13-19, 09:08 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by HobbesOnTour View Post
For what it's worth I think the most important thing in your toolkit is your head.
Perhaps an example:

Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
Originally Posted by mev View Post
Pedal ripping out of crank arm partially because I likely mis-threaded some things putting pedals on in the dark evening before.
Yup, that happened to me. Luckily it was a test ride before starting the big trip.
That's not to make fun of the situations, but if a cross-threaded pedal was the root of the "failure" then being a bit more proactive on the pedal install so as to avoid to cross threading could have prevented the failure.

Though, I am still not sure what to make of this one:

Originally Posted by mev View Post
Crank arm breaking was a bit more of a fluke and after a lot of miles. It broke next to where the toe strap went next to the crank arm. I have a suspicion a small crack developed and was latent for a while before the crank arm snapped.
As you say, could be a fluke. Though, I would be curious if you were checking over everything with a fine-tooth-comb routinely if a crack would have been noticeable prior to the break. But I think in there, also, is the point of how often people do intricate inspections - especially on tour when they don't have their bike apart on a stand, or maybe some do every so many miles.
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