I am struggling and looking for some thoughts on what to do.
About a year ago I purchased my dream bike and started to plan a dream ride. It is what I trained for and was really looking forward to. The ride was supposed to happen last weekend. It was going to be 1 way 80-100 mile gravel ride over a mountain pass to my favorite brewery and a weekend away in a hotel with my wife.
A few weeks ago the shifting on the front of the bike went to the dumps and the bike started throwing the chain off the cranks both ways. Went to the shop on a Saturday. One ride later on Sunday happened again. Back to the shop who was very apologetic and got a more senior mechanic. Next day on a training ride same thing. Back to the shop and I am now working through drive train warranty. The last answer from the shop was “don’t call us for updates we will call you. It could be weeks it could be months and you have no bike till it is fixed”.
I am left without my bike and the reality is that my ride as planned is cancelled. While I do have a winter bike it is not really up for this ride. I live in the Seattle area, and this was an over the mountains ride so I realistically have this and next weekend as options. I am going to admit I am struggling. This ride has become more than a motivation to train. It was my stress release and what I was looking forward to get me through some other very stressful life events.
I know this happens and I need to suck it up and find another ride to do. However, I am feeling a bit down and abandoned at the moment.
Most other people would not get why a ride was that important. So I thought I would come here for ideas on how to get back something to end the season on.
I think a lot of us have been in similar situations.
What worked for me is to set a new goal immediately: same ride, different date in my case, but it could be something completely different: could even be a non-cycling goal. I’m now toying with the idea of doing a 100km (60mile) session on a row trainer. Sort of a knighthood without the rewards really…
I take advice from Tapers: “focus on the things that you can control”
Easier said than done, but very useful. I found that it also applies to all other life events.
FWIW: Sounds like you’re out of time, but if it was a malfunctioning front derailleur, one option would have been to buy a new one, have it installed, and deal with the warranty later. If the original then got replaced under warranty, you could sell it and recoup part of your cost. It would have cost some bux, but you still would have been able to do your trip. If it was a problem with the frame, i.e. a broken or loose FD mount, that’s another story. A potential solution might have been to rent a bike.
Thanks for the thoughts. I am trying to come up with a new goal. However, I am struggling to find anything else that has the joy and pleasure. What I wanted was to be outside on the mountains doing a ride that was just a bit beyond my comfort level.
I did think about buying a different derailleur. However, I am really at this point debating selling the bike and giving up. After so many issues on such an expensive bike I am just not sure I can trust anything to not let me down on the roads and trails I planned to ride.
After initially reading your topic title, I thought your bike was stolen. So reading the whole post, I felt a bit of a relief that it’s not as bad. Anyway, somehow I am sure it feels even worse for you. I can very much relate to your situation. This summer, I had planned a pretty epic trip to the Tyrolian Alps together with a friend of mine. But two days before packing my bags for it, I got a cold which took me out for several days and so I had to cancel the whole trip. Eventually, the whole thing ended my cycling season early because mentally, I was done for the season since I figured how long it would take to get back in shape - and well, that would be around now - with no season left.
I tried to deal with it by focusing on another bucket list event, which helped me get back to training with a purpose. Although it now seems I will not do that specific event, I am now planning to try the epic s***t I planned for this year in the following summer. And until then, I hope to do at least one cycling vacation in the warmth during the northern hemisphere winter.
I cannot suggest anything specific to you, @MichaelG. But I got over my disappointment by planning new things. And for what it’s worth - if I purchased a bike that had let me down so quickly, I would very much try to get a refund and opt for another one.
Would you consider removing the front derailleur and completing the ride with the chain on the small front gear? For the mountain sections, that would certainly work as you would have the best possible gearing for climbs. For descents you would still have gravity helping and might not miss the big gear much - use the time for recovery. If you had a long flat section and wanted the big gear, you could pull over and manually shift the chain by creating some slack in the rear derailleur. I know this is not ideal … however it might just give it that little bit of suffering to make the victory taste just a little sweeter.
As @Saddlesaur said, buy a new derailleur at a local shop and go do your ride. I wouldn’t let a $50 to $100 part ruin what I spent months on. If your shop can’t make a new one work find another shop or take matters into your own hands. Download the installation manual, and follow the instructions EXACTLY. They’re generally pretty good. I’ve had shops do pretty bad jobs on FD’s, because they take patience to get exact. Get yourself a quicklink tool too, and a couple of quick-links. The worst that happens is you’re out $75 or whatever, have a spare, and you gave it a try.
The price of that particular part notwithstanding, I can’t (won’t) afford parts with prices that would prevent me from my life if they broke. In the end the point is the fun, and time is more important than everything else, but yes, I agree, it’s not $100.
This is nuts! Front mechs are not rocket science. A “good” shop should be able to sort this issue out in no time. Worst case, a new SRAM AXS Rival front mech (lowest AXS tier) is around £150 in the UK and I certainly wouldn’t abandon my dream ride for the sake of that! They are also very quick to install since there are no cables and the setup is trivial with shop tools.
The shop telling you that your bike will be out of action for weeks/months is ridiculous given your circumstances. Find a new shop!!
Note: As they said they are working through warranty with SRAM, I am presuming it’s not a frame issue causing the problem. A frame issue would be far more difficult to resolve quickly.