Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mechanical Woes

Kasia and I hoped to do a rather long ride today. The plan was:
  • Ride from our house to Arlington, WA (about 40 miles).
  • Ride the 37 mile loop of the McClinchy Mile organized bike ride.
  • Ride home (another 40 miles, +/-).
This was to be our March century ride and, at ~117 miles, our longest this year (and our second-longest ever).

It was not to be.

We left the house about 6:45am. About 1/2 mile from the house, something in my rear disc brake went KABOOM. The brake made a horrible grinding noise (even when not engaged) accompanied by a dreadful clang-clang-clang racket. I tried to make some adjustments on the side of the road, but no joy. We walked home.

Back at the house, I put the bike on the repair stand, pulled the rear wheel, and peeked into the brake caliper. The problem was obvious: The metal spring that sits between the pads had come loose and one section wedged between the pad and the rotor.

I pulled the pads for inspection. The outer pad was heavily worn and clearly needs replacement. The inner pad looks surprisingly good, and what's left of the spring is a tangled mess. The rotor has some new scratches, but they seem to be mostly cosmetic -- I can't feel them when scratching a fingernail across the rotor surface.

The Good

The Bad

The Ugly

I tend to keep a lot of spare bicycle parts in the garage, but I don't have spare brake pads. So now, we're sitting at home, waiting for the local bike shops to open at 10:00am. I'll buy several sets -- one to replace, one to carry in my seat bag, and a couple to keep in the garage. Just in case.

Luckily, this happened very close to home. It could just as easily have happened in the middle of nowhere.

1 comment:

Yokota Fritz said...

I hate getting sidelined by failed equipment!