The Unexpected

A disembodied body.
A disembodied body.

Gianni really took it in the shorts after trying to sneak his way along with a stealth EPMS. Like an alcoholic falling off the wagon, the poor fellow can’t quite come to grips with the comfort of his old friend, the saddle bag. The solution lies in finding a light toolkit to carry along with him on his rides, one that fits in one pocket in totality.

There is an elegance in minimalism; a small multi tool with just the right combination of appliances is a beautiful thing. Latex inner tubes are a nice way to keep the spare tube package small and light. As are some compact tire levers. Certainly luck favors the prepared, but if you follow that to its logical conclusion, you will need something more than a saddle bag to carry your workstand, grease gun, and headset press. The Velominatus maintains their bike, and takes every reasonable precaution to replace those parts that might fail during a ride. It is what we do; the bicycle is our lifeblood – care for it, and it will care for you.

An equipment failure is, however, always surprising – in particular to the rider. Take, for example, my pedal which unwound itself from the spindle this week. Normally, when you push, the pedal follows a nice arch and the bicycle goes forward. Not so, should the body no longer be affixed to the axel.Should this occur, the pedal will move outwardly rudly and inflect an unpredictable union of top tube and groin. It is remarkable how little forward momentum is associated with pushing on a pedal which is no longer attached to the bicycle. It is also, I surmise, not a particularly elegant thing to watch.

Speaking of inelegance and no momentum, I also once broke a chain link climbing a steep grade in the rain, while carrying with a heavy back pack. Should you encounter such an incident yourself, you will take note of the remarkably short amount of time it takes to stop moving forward and fall in a confused and cursing heap at the roadside.

The point is, accidents happen, and no matter how much care you take of your equipment. They will happen while out on the road, possibly while far from home. We learn from them, and we take the necessary measures to reduce the likelihood of it happening again. Take my pedal failure; I don’t plan to carry a pedal wrench in reaction to this incident; I instead have now added the pedal to my list of items to periodically check over. As for the chain, it had incurred some corrosion because I was experimenting with a lighter oil. I now take care to check for (and take seriously) signs of rust on a chain.

Be sensible, be careful. Take care of your machine. Kneel and flash the sign of the Merckx in your V-Kit before submitting to the road, and get a nice light toolkit with the right tools for the incidents that are most likely to happen. Maybe you’ll have a ride ruined through an unlucky event, but learn from it and improve your maintenance program rather than endeavoring to carry every tool known to the Velominatus.*

Vive La Vie Velominatus.

[dmalbum path=”/velominati.com/content/Photo Galleries/frank@velominati.com/Failures/”/]

*This does not apply to cases where an incident can be life threatening such as in remote mountain regions or New York City.

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97 Replies to “The Unexpected”

  1. @ToeOverlap

    @Mirko

    Chain and rear derailleur had been replaced three days before by my LBS.

    Good lawd, son. That’s some fail right there.

    Said LBS is looking either for a new mechanic or a new customer, I presume?

    The latter.

  2. Good grief, zero points so far.

    BTW, Euskatel has just been bought by Fernando Alonso. Sammyboy remains their team leader.

  3. @Weldertron

    Would it not be easier (and cheaper) to just swap out freehub bodies on the wheel between campy and shimano?

    Yes, if I was just switching to the TCR.

    But if I want to have both to ride, then I would have to get Shimano for the TCR plus switch to Shimano on the Ridley, so that would mean two group-sans and replacing a perfectly good SR gruppo.

  4. @ChrisO doesn’t he mean go with the group-san on the TCR and get Simano free-hub for your current wheels and powertap so that you can use them on either bike by doing nothing more than swapping free-hubs?

  5. @ChrisO

    I’ll be getting BB86 with my new build and have been trying to learn up.

    Apart from the adapter (Campagnolo Ultra Torque BB86 Adapter?) a number of people are recommending Loctite 641 to head off the creaks that seem to particularly affect Campag with this BB.  You probably know this already but just thought I’d mention it.  Hope it works out.

  6. @Chris

    @ChrisO doesn’t he mean go with the Group-san on the TCR and get Simano free-hub for your current wheels and powertap so that you can use them on either bike by doing nothing more than swapping free-hubs?

    Yes that would work but there are two problems for me – first, I don’t want my thought process involving which bike to ride to also include the need to swap the hubs, and second with the Powertap hub built in I’m not sure how advisable it is on a frequent basis.

    Maybe one for the more mechanically minded or adventurous but I don’t count myself among them. I’ll just fork over cash in the knowledge I at least have someone to blame.

  7. @xyxax

    @ChrisO

    I’ll be getting BB86 with my new build and have been trying to learn up.

    Apart from the adapter (Campagnolo Ultra Torque BB86 Adapter?) a number of people are recommending Loctite 641 to head off the creaks that seem to particularly affect Campag with this BB. You probably know this already but just thought I’d mention it. Hope it works out.

    OK no I hadn’t had that piece of advice but the guy who will sort it out is a pretty good mechanic and his natural preference is Campag so I’m trusting him.

    Yes that’s the adapter. I ended up finding one at Competitive Cyclist in the US, but not before placing orders with three other places (Germany, UK and CA) and then being told they didn’t actually have them.

  8. Looks like Campagnolo has their own adapter, is that what you went with?  I think they are talking about swapping the freehub, not the hubs, when switching.  That could be all kinds of a hassle depending on design.

  9. So…rookie question here.

    When I purchased my Specialized Tarmac Elite it was outfitted with Shimano 105 except for the cranks and bottom bracket which were FSA Gossamer – BB30.  At purchase I decided to swap out the FSA for 105 and I’ve always assumed that included changing the bottom bracket as well.  I don’t see much in the way of praise for BB30 on the internets so today I started thinking about my bike.

    I took a close look at it and there it was plain to see…

    “BB30 – SHIM” printed on the cup that connects the crank to the bottom bracket.

    I assume that indicates an adapter was used to mate the BB30 to the Shimano cranks?

    Is this an issue that should address?  Or can it be addressed?  Is the Shimano BB the same size as the BB30 or are bikes simply designed with a BB30 sized hole in them?

    I should likely report that I’ve had zero issues with that aspect of my bike.  I’ve put about 5000 km on the bike and the cranks still feel rock solid to me…no creaks (knock on wood).

    Enlighten me!

  10. A Shimano BB would appear to be threaded into the frame whereas the BB30 is pressed into the frame?

    Did I just get it?

  11. @kixsand

    A Shimano BB would appear to be threaded into the frame whereas the BB30 is pressed into the frame?

    Did I just get it?

    yes.

    You can run a shimano crank with the right adapter.

  12. @mouse

    @Nate

    @DerHoggz

    @Rob C
    It’s not BB30 that failed in this instance. From recollection, those Spesh cranks are fixed in the middle of the spindle similar to Campag Ultratorque. Suspect the bolt failed.

    You are correct. The pressed in BB30 held together but the crank failed in the center.

  13. @RedRanger

    @kixsand

    A Shimano BB would appear to be threaded into the frame whereas the BB30 is pressed into the frame?

    Did I just get it?

    yes.

    You can run a shimano crank with the right adapter.

    very good explanation. The BB30 is pressed in. I run external threaded BB on my Specialized. Much easier to replace.

  14. @kixsand

    There are usually three parts involved; shell (what the frame is made for), bottom bracket (bearing interface between shell and spindle), and spindle of the crank.  Shimano uses 24mm spindles, while BB30 bearings requires 30mm, so an adapter is put between them to make everything fit.  There are dedicated solutions (Praxis), that will have larger bearings and a wider bearing stance, and don’t require adapters.

  15. @TommyTubolare

    @kixsand

    You have options

    http://fairwheelbikes.com/parlee-bb30-shimano-htii-adapter-bottom-bracket-p-4500.html

    or

    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=29424

    or

    http://wheelsmfg.com/bb-30-shims-shimano.html

    Option 3 is what has been installed on my bike – the Wheels Manufacturing BB30-SHIM adapter.

    It looks like the second option would allow you to install a Shimano bottom bracket as it would change the diameter of the opening to 24mm and provide you with the threads to attach the Shimano BB.

    Does the FSA BB30 Bottom Bracket Adapter/Shimano BB5700 combination represent any appreciable improvement over my current setup?

  16. @kixsand

    No your set up is good.

    Advantage of option 3 is the price of the adaptor and possibility of using threaded Hollowtech shimano cups.

  17. @strathlubnaig

    Rear hub on DT Swiss failed, with sudden and spectacular buckle, near wore thru the tyre when it happened. Spoke key I always carry was used to counter the buckle enough to allow the wheel to turn with open brake, a few km before VMH arrived.

    Hard to say, but that, my friend, looks like a poorly maintained hub. Clean that shit daily if it rains as much as you claim.

    @DerHoggz Yes.

  18. @DerHoggz

    Looks like Campagnolo has their own adapter, is that what you went with? I think they are talking about swapping the freehub, not the hubs, when switching. That could be all kinds of a hassle depending on design.

    I just switched to a BB30 BB on the Veloforma; curious to see how it rides. I was using the Campa BB30-Ultra-drive converter and it worked perfectly.

  19. @frank

    @strathlubnaig

    Rear hub on DT Swiss failed, with sudden and spectacular buckle, near wore thru the tyre when it happened. Spoke key I always carry was used to counter the buckle enough to allow the wheel to turn with open brake, a few km before VMH arrived.

    Hard to say, but that, my friend, looks like a poorly maintained hub. Clean that shit daily if it rains as much as you claim.

    @DerHoggz Yes.

    Yes, I guess I should clean the thing more often, seeing as how our dirt eats metal like that. Guilty as charged, but I did not figure it would eat thru the hub in just 9 months.I plead extenuating circumstances, your honour.

  20. @strathlubnaig

    I’m guessing somehow the steel spoke and aluminum hub came into direct contact, and water acted as an electrolyte to facilitate galvanic corrosion.

  21. @Rob C

    @Nate

    @Rob C Friends don’t let friends ride BB30.

    This guy is a mountain goat. Not sure how many miles he had on this set.but th crank looked corroded, like he had never serviced it.

    He is re thinking his set up.

    He shouldn’t rethink his setup before he rethinks his maintenance program.

    so easy to blame the product over our own negligence.

  22. @frank

    @DerHoggz

    Looks like Campagnolo has their own adapter, is that what you went with? I think they are talking about swapping the freehub, not the hubs, when switching. That could be all kinds of a hassle depending on design.

    I just switched to a BB30 BB on the Veloforma; curious to see how it rides. I was using the Campa BB30-Ultra-drive converter and it worked perfectly.

    Irrespective of how the BB30 works (haven’t ridden it yet) it looks bloody mean. it looks Mean As Fuck.

  23. @frank

    @Rob C

    @Nate

    @Rob C Friends don’t let friends ride BB30.

    This guy is a mountain goat. Not sure how many miles he had on this set.but th crank looked corroded, like he had never serviced it.

    He is re thinking his set up.

    He shouldn’t rethink his setup before he rethinks his maintenance program.

    so easy to blame the product over our own negligence.

    I agree with you Frank. That thing was dry and corroded. I disassembled  the BB s on Number 1 and 2 today. His unexpected wont be mine.

  24. @strathlubnaig one tip for cleaning hubs – after giving the hub a decent clean, try a ride or two (preferably without company or on your rollers so no one can witness the horror) with a tiny bit of rag (1cm or so wide) tied in a very loose loop around each of your hubs – so the rag can easily move from side to side. It gives your hub a better buff than something that gives really good buffs. Super effective for silver alu, but still good on all others.

    It’s more cosmetic than anything else. And thats why it is so very important.

  25. @ChrisO

    @Chris

    Yes that would work but there are two problems for me – first, I don’t want my thought process involving which bike to ride to also include the need to swap the hubs, and second with the Powertap hub built in I’m not sure how advisable it is on a frequent basis.

    Maybe one for the more mechanically minded or adventurous but I don’t count myself among them. I’ll just fork over cash in the knowledge I at least have someone to blame.

    No problems there! The powertap (at least the G3 I had) has a natty “clip in” free hub. Zero tools, just pull it away from the hub complete with cassette attached. Snap in replacement and ride. Couldn’t be an easier hub to do it on. It would add maybe 1min to the time required to swap wheels.

  26. @Marcus

    @strathlubnaig one tip for cleaning hubs – after giving the hub a decent clean, try a ride or two (preferably without company or on your rollers so no one can witness the horror) with a tiny bit of rag (1cm or so wide) tied in a very loose loop around each of your hubs – so the rag can easily move from side to side. It gives your hub a better buff than something that gives really good buffs. Super effective for silver alu, but still good on all others.

    It’s more cosmetic than anything else. And thats why it is so very important.

    Back in the day…. all my hubs had a strip of leather permanentaly looped around them for just that purpose… gawd I sound old now.

  27. @ChrisO Are you getting 11s Shimano?  Can you just run it with Campagnolo freehubs and cassettes?  The spacing is close enough to identical to work very well.

  28. When will you start offering a Velominati kneeler on which one can flash the V-sign in the kit prior to rides?

    Does anyone service their own BB30? My cross crankset died and in putting on new ones I decided to put on new BB bearings. After looking at the tech docs I decided to let the LBS install them. Seemed like a lot of tools were required (or 1-2) that I don’t own and it was pretty complex. Maybe just scared because I’ve never worked on it before.

    A broken chain and pedal? Damn, at least you should be good for awhile. It definitely seems like when stuff breaks, it goes off the rails and a few bikes at once have problems. Nothing throws me out of balance more than have a few bikes in disrepair.

    Chains. Are you lads measuring them with a chain checker? Verniers? Just charting kilometrage and ditching them? I’ve found some chain checkers are poorly machined and tell you that even a brand new chain is 1/2 to 3/4 dead.

    This came up in Gianni’s EPMS post. What are you dudes carrying when cross training? I run tubeless and have been carrying what I carry when road riding. Overkill? I like to be self-supported, but generally I’m pretty close to home when cx riding and do carry a phone. Wondering if I could/should lighten the jersey pockets.

  29. @ChrisO

    @xyxax

    @ChrisO

    I’ll be getting BB86 with my new build and have been trying to learn up.

    Apart from the adapter (Campagnolo Ultra Torque BB86 Adapter?) a number of people are recommending Loctite 641 to head off the creaks that seem to particularly affect Campag with this BB. You probably know this already but just thought I’d mention it. Hope it works out.

    OK no I hadn’t had that piece of advice but the guy who will sort it out is a pretty good mechanic and his natural preference is Campag so I’m trusting him.

    Yes that’s the adapter. I ended up finding one at Competitive Cyclist in the US, but not before placing orders with three other places (Germany, UK and CA) and then being told they didn’t actually have them.

    What the heck was shipping to you from the U.S.?

    This might be a good time to suggest we implement a worldwide network of pals who are willing to buy/pick up/purchase something that is in their neck and ship to someone in another neck of the woods. I’d still like to get some of the light products from Lumisash in NZ but they won’t/didn’t ship to the U.S.

  30. @Marcus

    @strathlubnaig one tip for cleaning hubs – after giving the hub a decent clean, try a ride or two (preferably without company or on your rollers so no one can witness the horror) with a tiny bit of rag (1cm or so wide) tied in a very loose loop around each of your hubs – so the rag can easily move from side to side. It gives your hub a better buff than something that gives really good buffs. Super effective for silver alu, but still good on all others.

    It’s more cosmetic than anything else. And thats why it is so very important.

    You, good sir. Are on fire.

  31. Doesn’t “ride for the unexpected” simply mean watch the line, watch for bottles, watch for potholes, watch for dogs, watch for crashes, watch for attacks, watch for who is answering those attacks, watch yourself answering those attacks. And finally watch for any mechanical inspection and repairs at home before the next ride.

  32. @frank

    @frank

    @DerHoggz

    Looks like Campagnolo has their own adapter, is that what you went with? I think they are talking about swapping the freehub, not the hubs, when switching. That could be all kinds of a hassle depending on design.

    I just switched to a BB30 BB on the Veloforma; curious to see how it rides. I was using the Campa BB30-Ultra-drive converter and it worked perfectly.

    Irrespective of how the BB30 works (haven’t ridden it yet) it looks bloody mean. it looks Mean As Fuck.

    Is it just me, or does your RD look way too stretched out? It’s like the chain is on the top cog. Probably just the angle and light. (sexy as fuck though).

  33. @Ron

    What the heck was shipping to you from the U.S.?

    This might be a good time to suggest we implement a worldwide network of pals who are willing to buy/pick up/purchase something that is in their neck and ship to someone in another neck of the woods. I’d still like to get some of the light products from Lumisash in NZ but they won’t/didn’t ship to the U.S.

    This – BB86 UT Integrated Cups. Two little pieces of plastic and aluminium which have cost me slightly over US$100. Made in Italy, bought from the US and used in the UAE. Globalisation at its finest. Without them everything else is useless.

    The good news is that the rest of the stuff is here. I ordered the chainset elsewhere and it has already arrived (imagine that Wiggle !) so as soon as the frame arrives it can be built up.

    On the shipping idea, yes that would be nice but I believe UPS or someone does a similar service called Ship and Shop or something like that. For a relatively small fee you get an address in the country or countries of your choice so stuff can be shipped there and it is actually a UPS address so they get it and then ship it onwards at normal rates.

  34. @scaler911

    Agree it looks funny in that shot, but the length is fine; if anything its longer than I like because I ride 25T cassettes even though I run the chain to accept a 26T.

    After a few rides this week, the chainset is rad, BB30 seems rad too. Sure, the smaller bearing may mean shorter life but bearings are cheap, and service is easy, so that’s preferable to me to another option without knowing if there are other downsides.

    The bigger axel and possibly stiffer crank arms over the Record UT system is noticeable in the fist pedal rev – everything is just very tight.

    Not that I’m going faster or anything, or that the Record crank was soggy, but this setup just feels…tighter. Less slop, very direct. Totally stoked. I also have Q rings for it that I may try out, but I’m scared that if I like them I’ll want them on all bikes.

  35. @ChrisO

    What I like about that system is there is no screwing in of the UT cups on top of that system. It works great; holding onto mine in case I don’t like the BB30.

  36. Starting point or template for avoiding “The Unexpected”;

    Found this here.

    Best done the day before the ride, with a quick check of the tyres before heading out the door.

  37. @frank : looks like an alloy Cervelo S1 you have there? Or had? Sorry, am a bit late to this party.   Either way, one of my all-time favourite bikes, even though I’ve not owned one yet. I had its TT sister , the alloy 3SL – also with Campy Record gruppo, and am permanently on the lookout for a 58cm S1 now. Arguably a modern classic of the racing bicycle artform?

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