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Back in the saddle!

by on 02/03/2014

For the first time since I was 16 I did a mountain bike race! The race was yesterday, and so much fun despite a bunch of mechanical problems. Off the starting line I was able to pull out in front and started to build a good lead until I went to shift into the large ring in the front, and my shifter gave out. I pushed and pushed, the lever would actuate but there was no resistance, the damn thing wouldn’t shift. So I had to spin my legs as fast as I could and my lead was quickly¬†gone, but it turns out my lungs and legs were also gone!

I’ve been fighting a chest cold for the past two weeks, and well I’m not even close to over it! I normally like climbing on a bike and I’m able to push myself up hills, but yesterday I was hitting my lactic threshold almost immediately so I resolved to just have fun and granny gear it up the hills. I was mostly able to fly down on the descents, but was really frustrated on flat sections when I’d max out on speed because my legs just couldn’t spin that small front chain ring any faster!

But I kept on pushing it. I didn’t realize how bad I felt until the end of the race when I met up with my girlfriend and stopped pedaling and I was actually dizzy! Jen noticed I was wobbly and didn’t look so good. All of this was a strange feeling; my first marathon in July I pushed a good 7:30 pace for most of the way, and felt fine, but here I just didn’t have anything in the tank. As soon as I finished my lungs went into full revolt and I’ve been coughing up a good bit of mucus since….


Today I was able to take the shifter apart and figure out what happened. It turns out my trip to Moab a few months back filled my front shifter cable with so much sand I could barely move the cable! Then once I pulled it out to remove the shifter I couldn’t get the cable threaded back through. Out of curiosity I cut the cable to remove the blockage, this is about 2mm of blocked cable worth of sand, the other 10 cm I just left in there and threw the housing out.


In addition to front shifter problems I had a terrible time getting the rear shifter to align properly. What ended up working was anytime I needed to shift down one gear in the rear, I had to drop two, then come back up one. Annoying to say the least. But the worst fault I’ve made in this whole process is the frame.

Earlier this year I decided to try building up a chinese knock off carbon fiber full suspension. I’ve been riding it quite a bit, and for the most part it has been fine, except when I really hammer on it. The rear triangle is so flimsy that during hard pedaling the rear wheel pulls so far to the left the chain actually becomes short enough to start skipping over the top of the gears! While doing a brake-stand the pedal will actually move 3-5 inches without the bike or rear wheel spinning event the slightest! 3-5 inches!!!! INSANE!

Last night I went online and found a replacement frame that should be here wednesday. I’ll do a full write up on the rebuild once it arrives.

I need to source some replacement parts for the front X0 trigger shifter (this drum with the now missing tab, and what it should look like)

I’m tempted to just replace the trigger shifters with grip shift. We’ll see what happens.photo 2 photo 1

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