Friday, June 13, 2008

Inspect Your Ride

Earlier in the week, I noticed this little puncture in the kevlar sidewall of my new tire. This is terrible as the tires only have a few hundred miles on them. Shortly after I noticed the damage, I read this post on the NCRANDON list from Tony G.:
It was a good thing that I did not try to ride, since yesterday my left pedal axle broke just like the right one did on the Feb 200k (10 miles from the house) and I noticed that my frame was broken about 1/3 of the way through on the downtube at the bottom water bottle hole. The look 256 pedal had 16,000 miles on it over the last 20 months and the Lemond steel frame had 18,000 miles on it over the last 25 months. Gotta get more and better miles in ;-)

Keep a close eye on your equipment when you clean it up so that failures you can see do not cause a crash or dnf, but some you just can't tell are going to happen.
This is a good reminder in the mid-point of the year to take a closer look at your equipment to ensure serviceability.

I believe you should only worry about the things you can actually control. For a cyclist, especially a randonneur, one of the most compulsory things in your control is equipment maintenance. It only takes a few minutes to inspect your equipment before a ride and may mean the difference between finishing in a taxi with a DNF or completing the ride.

On the MS150 ride, I witnessed the following mechanicals (on the first day):
  • 1 broken seatpost
  • 1 handle bar loose and freely rotating in the stem
  • 1 broken pedal
  • 1 computer not reprogrammed after battery replacement
  • 2 lost water bottle cages
  • 3 pinch flats
The majority of these problems could have been prevented with a quick once over.

RUSA Board Member Mike Dayton writes on his Research Trailer Park blog,
I’ve had very few flats on brevets (knock on wood). One reason is that I always inspect my tires before any brevet. It only takes a minute for a quick check. Do the tires look worn? Are there any big, suspicious cuts that might conceal a piece of glass or metal? If so, I fix, or switch the tire.
You can read more of Mike's post at RTP.

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