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BIKE (MIS)DIAGNOSIS, IT HAPPENS 04.01.2020


If you are an ardent fan of the saddle, you are not a stranger to mechanical failures of your bike when they decide its time to dent your pocket in necessary or unnecessary repairs. At times, an issue can look so complex that you give in into the pressure of quick repairs or an overhaul of the whole system. Such instances revolve around the drivetrain which is the mechanical function of the chain’s movement on the sprockets and rear derailleur pulleys. Unlike the brake system, in its case it’s usually the brake cable, the drivertrain works interdependently with the various peripherals of the bicycle. This is the major section of the bike’s powerhouse. The crank system normally takes a while to be damaged from extensive riding and wearing out of the chain, but the cassette or block wheel take the heat of the wear at a much faster rate.

An illustration of the parts of a bicycle chain


Yesterday on my commute to the city, Tourist’s drivetrain exhibited a hiccup on His drivetrain. After every two crank revolutions, there it was, jumping off the upper black pulley. Because I was in a rush to beat the day’s schedules, I was unable to set time aside even for 30 minutes just to give my cherished BEAST an overview analysis. This would have saved me from spend on a new block wheel, which I found out the hard way where hell snapped free. Leaving Haile Selassie Avenue and entering Uhuru Highway on the innermost lane, my pedal-stroke finally made the damage worse and the upper pulley was ripped off its place. The now freed gage side was trying to cut the rear spokes, I had to brake very hard to spare Beijing from more damage. Good thing the traffic was halted and I could cross over into the park side. Now, onto the job I was supposed to do in the morning, I was focused on shortening the chain and converting my steel hard tail into a single speed. I used a used straw gathering dust on the grass to tie the now ruined derailleur onto the chain stay. After two failed tests to get the chain to stay on 48*24, the revelation of the real problem stared at me point blank. One inner attachment that holds the roller had cracked and was pulled under the intense pressure of my aggressive pedal-strokes. Give credit when its due, The Tourist is the ultimate badass. I push Him further than any of His siblings (Bikes) because He was made to be a tank.


So now my cost would have been just a chain but now half of the drivetrain must be purchased. A new chain and derailleur and since the block wheel has about 3,000 kilometers on its teeth, it may be wise to spare the new parts the stressful integration of old and new. Besides, Flight 2 Naks Vegas Tour is in a month’s time. It would be very disheartening having a snapped block wheel spring 120 kilometers from Nairobi at 6pm. I have had such instances in the past, I would not want such to happen on a day waited upon to be the best saddle day only for its magical flame to be whiffed out into incapable bike repairs.

Best believe me when I tell you that I am most heart-broken when Tourist is off the road than any of the other bikes. Call me crazy but after 8 and a half years, 44,000 kilometers of adventures and struggles plus achievements few would believe, you may excuse me for feeling such pain.

A new rear derailleur and MTB block wheel chain. Already bought the Block wheel




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