It is a sound to make any cyclist cringe. A bike crashing helplessly to the ground. Someone elses bike and you tut at their carelessness. When it’s your own pride and joy you hurry to the dreadful scene, shamed by your neglect.
And so it happened yesterday, I met up at St Neots Market Square with the rest of the club for the Sunday morning ride. I propped my bike against a bench to go and chat with another rider when a gust of wind sent her tumbling to the ground.
I rushed back to pick her up. A quick check over and all seemed to be in order. Or so I thought.
About 7 miles into the ride somone observed my rear mech was out of alignment. It was bent to the left at about the five thirty five clock position. I had not noticed any issues changing gears so carried on. After about 20 miles the chain was starting to skip on the 19+ teeth sprockets. Bit of a nuisance as we were riding into a 15mph headwind, but luckily I have years of Fenland miles in my legs so I’m used to a bit of wind.
Arriving home I had a proper look to see what damage had been done and it was immediately obvious the rear mech hanger had bent. I breathed a sigh of relief; I was not going to need to replace the deraileur or conduct expensive repairs.
Fortunately the rear mech hanger is cheap and easy to replace; remove the rear wheel, disconnect the deraileur then unscrew it with a hex key. Unfortunately they do not seem to be the easiest of components to source.
They seem to be the least standard piece of cycling equipment there is. For such a cheap and simple component you might naively think this would be something frame manufacturers could standardise on. Apparently not. Looking online there are a bewildering variety of them but none, that I could see, quite like mine.
I popped into Condor on the way home this evening and they advised I contact a stockist (my pride and joy is a Bianchi) with as much information about the frame as possible. In the mean time I will have to try a bit of home fettling amd see if I can straighten the hanger.