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One for the “Who’s your mechanic” file

I confess to not keeping up with the maintenance sometimes on the bikes. I pick the one that's working best and ride it. Sometimes I even ignore obvious problems until things go fully south on me.

So, the Big Dummy hasn't been shifting so well lately. I've ridden it anyway. It's perfect for what I need to do around town getting groceries and hauling things like The Boy. Finally, I went to fetch 'er up in the garage and noticed a flat rear tire, so I picked a different bike that day - and the next. Two weeks go by and I really need the Dummy for some projects, so I haul it down to the basement to give it the once-over. I figured out why it was shifting poorly.

Yeah, there's a big chunk missing from the 25 tooth cog. Can't say I saw that coming.

So, I threw the chain into the spokes a few times and had to pull it out like He-Man. I'm a dork. I think this might once have been a proud Dura-Ace 12-27 cassette. I have no idea why I ran it on the Dummy, but there it was. Moral 1: don't use the light bits on your cargo bike. Once I removed the debilitated cassette (whose lockring was decidedly loose - moral 2: keep the bits tight) I saw the rest of the damage.

Yeah, the spokes were all banjaxed and the wheel needs to be rebuilt. I may even have to retire that boss XT hub. Moral 3: shifting the chain into the spokes once is reason enough to have a look under the hood.

The overarching moral: I'm an ass.

Carry on with your day - and check your bolts before you go home.

Skip Bernet's avatar

About Skip Bernet

Eric is a pretty ok guy. Tall, loud, personable, slightly annoying, mostly harmless, law-abiding, easy-going, longitudinal, forthrightly wishy-washy, slightly bent, wigged out, dopey, and marginally accident-prone. He lives on cold cereal and American macro-brews while occasionally fighting the good fight. He's fallen down in front of big crowds before, and he'll likely do it again. He sometimes zigs when he clearly should have zagged.

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