Author Topic: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet  (Read 1358 times)

It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« on: February 24, 2019, 01:41:21 pm »
My ride today, was either a disaster or a blessing in disguise and highlights not to be to complacent of success or how much can go wrong between now and crossing the finish line in Rambouillet or being a DNF.

Fitted a new chain on Friday onto my chosen ride for PBP, my veteran from 2015. Since January 1st,  I have clocked up a just over a 1000 miles on it getting it ready, ie for comfort mainly. Yesterday on it, I was getting a mystery rattle on it whilst on the small chain ring and presumed it had something to do with the new chain, maybe worn chain rings, or gearing out of sync. On getting home, everything looked OK and nothing seemed amiss.

Today, I got up early, to get one of my other bikes out to prepare for my ride, but decided to ride my "PBP bike" one last time with a small saddle adjustment before putting it away till July when I would finalise getting it ready for PBP with some long rides.

30 miles into my ride, the rattle I had the day before was non existent, odd?, but as I went round a corner there was a loud crack and the back end became uncontrollable but managed to stay on. Checking the back wheel, it looked like a wheel bearing had gone as it was all wobbly with side to side movement. I decided to ride home slowly as my circuit I was doing meant I was only 5 miles from home. After a short distance I thought, it cannot be a wheel bearing it has to be something else. On checking the bike again, I discovered the chain stay had snapped where it is fixed to the drop out. Perhaps it was partly cracked the day before and it was flexing a bit.

How I see it now is, if I had put my bike away till late June or July time, the chain stay would have broke then leaving me only weeks or less to replace the bike, or use one of my others and either option would have left little time to really get used to it for very long rides. Or if I had not done the mileage I had done this year on it and left it to later, it could have snapped on PBP and I could have easily been a DNF

So, a trip to the shop this week and see if its repairable as its only the join that has gone, but can you trust it not to happen on the other side? or a new frame as it should have a life time guarantee that TREK has on its frames.

Maybe the morale is, a brand new bike for PBP is the best option, otherwise, you never know when your old "veteran" from many long distance epics is going to give up the ghost with fatigue.

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2019, 03:23:41 pm »
In preparing for rides like PBP I prefer to ride the same bike in build up as well.  Regularly riding a bike you get a good feel for how it (and you upon it) is running.   I will then do a shakedown ride about three weeks out then do any final component replacements and adjustments at least two weeks out, then do some final rides to make sure everything is good.  I tend to avoid making any further changes less than two weeks out.  That way the bike is the least of my worries.

Having said that my frame broke last year (same place as yours has) which meant I rode the Highlands 1000 on a borrowed bike with less than five weeks to dial it in.  So I rode the 1000 with nothing more than 200s in my legs.  It was fine but it was nice when I built up the free replacement frame after.

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2019, 03:37:13 pm »
Out of interest, what material and how old?

I concur with Phil - the idea of doing PBP on a bike other than the one you've been riding all year is very odd!

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2019, 06:01:47 pm »
Out of interest, what material and how old?

It was a Trek aluminium, bought in 2012, 9676 miles. As a rule it is my winter bike but also use it as a lightweight tourer on odd occasions. It only got drafted into PBP 2015 as I broke my selected bike I had been riding all year 4 days  before a qualifying "600", furthest I had been on this one was about 76 miles but found it ideal for long distance. The break looks like a bad joint which has just come apart and no shearing of metal etc.


mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2019, 06:51:05 pm »
Out of interest, what material and how old?

I concur with Phil - the idea of doing PBP on a bike other than the one you've been riding all year is very odd!
Except PERHAPS if you've bought an identical spare and shakedown-tested it. I think I grudgingly admire anyone that dedicated.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2019, 08:30:42 pm »
I had only done perhaps 300km on my new fixie in 2011 by the time I got to the start line. Fixies are low-risk though, in terms of things that might break. I spent a long time yesterday replacing the rear hydraulic caliper on my bike for this year that failed after probably 600km of riding.

If you get a new bike just before PBP there's a significant risk of being caught out by the other end of the bath-tub curve. At least you have plenty time to source a replacement and get it broken in.

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2019, 08:36:11 am »
Out of interest, what material and how old?

I concur with Phil - the idea of doing PBP on a bike other than the one you've been riding all year is very odd!
Except PERHAPS if you've bought an identical spare and shakedown-tested it. I think I grudgingly admire anyone that dedicated.

Matt, you can grudgingly admire me at last! I have two identical Specialized Roubaix that I can alternate between. I rode the 2015 PBP on Roubaix 1 and the 2017 LEL on Roubaix 2.

New bikes can be risky. I bought a new Dawes Audax Supreme shortly before the 2007 PBP and both cranks came off in the pouring rain in the middle of the last night because the two little Allen bolts had loosened despite me checking their torque before leaving home. I just put it all back together again, tightened the bolts with my multitool and it was fine for the rest of the ride. I put Loctite thread lock on every bolt on the bike now.


LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2019, 09:25:04 am »
At PBP07, fidgetbuzz brought a brand new bike to me the evening before the 84hr bike check. Mostly, things stopped loosening and going out of adjustment by Brest but I was on tenterhooks most of the way round for the next thing going wrong.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2019, 10:30:04 am »
A few months before LEL 1997 I crashed my Pinarello. So I ordered a Bioracer frame which I received a few weeks before the start. I could only test it on short rides though. So I ended LEL after 1400km with 3 balls.

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2019, 10:33:55 am »
I think I grudgingly admire anyone that dedicated.

I'm so desperate for Matt's grudging admiration that I'll put my case forwards.

Two identically setup machines, except for one key factor of one being geared and the other being fixed.

Fixed one has orange bar tape and silver stem to help me remember I am on it (gears has black tape and stem).  Equally, it has a good in-built reminder mechanism if I do choose to try and stop pedalling on it......

Gears did 2011 PBP
Fixed did 2015

I think my fitness is such that I will be taking gears in 2019.


Sooooo Matt, do I get even a smidgen of grudging admiration?

Please?

My life is empty without it.

Truly.
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2019, 10:49:04 am »
Sooooo Matt, do I get even a smidgen of grudging admiration?

Please?

My life is empty without it.

Truly.
weeeeell, this is quite a conundrum for early on a Monday morning. You see:
- you two both have good claims. But;
- there is only so much grudging admiration to go round.

Once you grudgingly admire a number of things, it gets spread too thin, and just becomes a sort of " meh - noted." (possibly with a simultaneous gallic shrug, which is not available on this keyboard). I think you're both worth more than that.

Perhaps another grizzled old(ish) randonneur has some GA to spare?

Or perhaps something else could better fill this hole in your life - a puppy?
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2019, 11:15:22 am »
I was going to offer Marcus some grudging admiration, but then he said he was going on gears this year.

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2019, 11:16:49 am »
Or perhaps something else could better fill this hole in your life - a puppy?

There's no point getting a puppy if you require your admiration to be grudging.

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2019, 12:09:49 pm »
Or perhaps something else could better fill this hole in your life - a puppy?

I have taken your advice - here he is.



I've called him Matt obviously.

I was going to offer Marcus some grudging admiration, but then he said he was going on gears this year.

Never rule anything out (but I do think it more likely that I will bring gears this time).
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2019, 12:18:57 pm »
I've called him Matt obviously.
I'm sure you'll both be very happy! be sure to only ever reward him grudgingly, no matter how loving he seems. It's for the best.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2019, 12:22:48 pm »
I have two non-identical bikes set up (or soon will be) as rideables for PBP this year — three if I include the bike I rode LEL on in 2017, also non-identical to the others.  The only common factor will be swappables, like the saddle, Carradice, pedals and lights.

So, probably not enough there for Matt's grudge ... although all three are fixed, so there's a possibility Rob might have some grudge to spare  ;D

But purrrlease* save the puppies!  ::-)



* That is NOT a cat reference, either — dislike the beasts.
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2019, 12:53:48 pm »
I have actually just remembered that I have 2 identical bikes - both Dolan FXEs.   I commute and train on one and the other is the audax bike.   I could swap between the 2 at pretty short notice.   The nice one has slightly better componentry and my lighter wheels but most important bits are interchangeable.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
  • 3x Brimstone ancien 3x Pendle/Tan Hill DNF
    • CET Ride Reports and Blogs
Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2019, 03:06:40 pm »
At least with PBP you have a fair chance of being able to get something fixed at one of the controls.  In 2007 a rail snapped in my saddle at about 5am between Carhaix and Brest.  After a laborious 60km riding partly out of the saddle and partly as if I had a BMX saddle, I managed to get a new saddle fitted in Brest. 
Eddington Numbers 122 (imperial), 167 (metric) 511 (furlongs)  110 (nautical miles)

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2019, 03:30:58 pm »
With some seatpost designs, you can shift a saddle forward by 5-10mm and continue riding without problems until you can replace the saddle.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
  • 3x Brimstone ancien 3x Pendle/Tan Hill DNF
    • CET Ride Reports and Blogs
Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2019, 04:37:25 pm »
That was plan A.  Unfortunately where it cracked meant that it wasn't possible to shift the rail to a point which clamped both sides of the crack.  It did add a degree of epicness to the one day in 2007 when the weather wasn't being epic.  ;D  And the Selle Italia saddle they fitted turned out the style I've stuck to since as the 600km return trip on a brand new saddle gave very little new grief to the hindquarters.
Eddington Numbers 122 (imperial), 167 (metric) 511 (furlongs)  110 (nautical miles)

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2019, 05:33:59 pm »
With some seatpost designs, you can shift a saddle forward by 5-10mm and continue riding without problems until you can replace the saddle.

After PBP'15, the rail on my Swift cracked as I was riding from the Velodrome to my hotel. Shifted the saddle forwards and got back to Dieppe the following day without trouble

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2019, 09:39:59 am »
I had only done perhaps 300km on my new fixie in 2011 by the time I got to the start line. Fixies are low-risk though, in terms of things that might break.

My PBP bike was stolen a few months before PBP 2011 so I had to order a new one with the insurance claim, it came through a week before PBP after a few frantic pleading calls to Condor.

I got to ride it 20km before giving it to someone to take to Paris in their van (I was flying there). At the other end I got to ride it just 4 times between the start and the hotel I was staying in giving me a grand total of ~60km on the bike before starting PBP. It turned out fine.

In 2009 Panoramix got to ride my Aravis for ~30km or so before riding the whole of LEL on it as his Fratello had suffered from the infamous Crack'o'doom: https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=21872.0
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2019, 05:43:51 pm »
Stop it you lot!  You are scaring the living c**p our of me
While my Audax bike will get the full once over before PBP - new tryres, tubes, cables brake blocks, cassette and chain, bar tape, and a good clean with a buff up with Pledge (other buffing up polishes are available)
Off course, this will be done with enought time to do some bedding in miles, and maybe the odd KM too.  :)

Re: It's a long way to crossing the finish line in Rambouillet
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2019, 06:01:32 pm »


Matt, you can grudgingly admire me at last! I have two identical Specialized Roubaix that I can alternate between. I rode the 2015 PBP on Roubaix 1 and the 2017 LEL on Roubaix 2.

How do you know which is which?