Catastrophic failure — that’s what they call it when something fails suddenly and comprehensively isn’t it? In this case it’s a financial catastrophe too as in common with our world’s financial institutions, I have no money. Maybe the government will bail me out?
So what happened then? Well today we thought we’d take a trip over toward Epsom Downs for a change, taking in some of our old singletrack haunts from when we used to live over toward Ashtead. It was a mechanically eventful ride and I wasn’t the only one to suffer.
Dave punctured his 29er on a long chalky descent, then managed to explode the replacement as he was fitting it. In the end, a 26″ tube stretched to fit had to do, once nerves were calmed and ears stopped bleeding.
Jez’s bike had howling brakes no matter what he did. Efforts to fettle those weren’t helped by his multitool dismembering itself in front of us. And Lee experienced Strike Three as far a his tubeless Storm Control tyres were concerned when his front wheel picked up a nasty cut that needed a messy inner tube repair.
But I saved the best until last. Running along Stane Street we had just crossed the Headley Road at the golf club and were preparing to tackle the short and sharp chalky climb up toward Mickleham. Unfortunately I picked up a fat tree branch that worked it’s way expensively into my X0 rear mech.
The inevitable result can be see on this page (there’s also some more broken SRAM X0 rear mech pictures on Flickr). It was quite messy. I’ve bent the mech hanger and shattered the carbon derailleur cage as well as bending one of the teeth on my KCNC jockey wheels. How the main derailleur faired is anyone’s guess. After receiving some mechanical action from just about every member of the riding group we managed to reduce my ‘All Mountain’ bike to a ‘Slight-Incline-If-Absolutely-Necessary’ singlespeed bike, a new niche which has every chance of catching on.
Well, it got me home at least, by which time the sobering realisation of just how much new X0 rear mechs are was starting to sink in. CRC seems to think £130 is the going rate but £180 is actually the list price. It does have an anodised gold fixing bolt… On top of that I need a new chain and a mech hanger too (fortunately, after Dave’s bitter experiences with his Five he carries a spare mech hanger or I’d have been stuffed today).
Possibly I can replace the cage separately but they appear to be £65 on their own and who wants to spend that on a rear cage, assuming the derailleur body is unharmed. And I’d still need a mech hanger and chain. Reluctantly I might have to think hard about replacing the X0 mech with a technically very similar X9 for a bargain-licious £52.
In the meantime I spent this afternoon taking the Specialized Fatboy slicks off my On-one and fettling it for the winter. It now has my old Panaracer Fire XC Pro tyres after a nauseous effort at removing the hardened latex rubber from the inside of the tyre walls which had accumulated during their UST days. Mucky, but saves weight which I then added back with the inner tubes.
I think I’ll do the sensible thing and run the hardtail for the winter. At least if I do the same thing to it the replacement costs are much less!