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Why I am so careful.
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I don't mean to suggest anything disrespectful or place any responsibility, but I have been thinking this all day: The first shuttle accident was the result of temperature problems casuing a failure in a "O" ring made by Morten-Thiokol (SP?). There has been speculation that this shuttle tragedy may have been related to insulation that became detached during takeoff. Here's my point: You can never be too careful with your equipment. Last year a custer's stem snapped at the handlebar causing a serious crash on a group ride. I asked him "Did this make any creaking noises beforehand?" He said, "It has been creaking for like a month but I just snugged it up and went back out on it." I remember the helicopter crew-chiefs in the Air Force. They went over those birds with a fine tooth comb. They were so anal about preparing them I couldn't believe it. I use them as an inspiration for preparing bikes in here. When bikes break people usually fall.The shuttle thing got me thinking- I know its a stretch, but geez guys, when was the last time you checked your equipment to make sure your stem is tight, your binder bolt isn't stripped, your seatpost isn't seized? check your stuff. You take care of your bike and it will take care of you. OK, that's the end of my lecture.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Why I am so careful. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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I check my bike equipment regularly. I've also been into auto racing, go-cart racing and scuba diving. Equipment failures in any of these activities can be very serious. I've always(mostly) been my own mechanic except when dealing with individuals that I've learned to completely trust. However, no matter how meticulous, human error is possible. I once crashed my sports car racing (near you at Waterford Hills) years ago due my own stupidity in ignoring basic maintenance. Also mechanical things can break no matter how careful your maintenance is. The recent shuttle accident is tragic, but has to be expected. Modern technology is not infallible.
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Re: Why I am so careful. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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Amen. I rode for two hours yesterday in the slop - rain, road salt, sand, you name it. Spent THREE houirs today washing, cleaning, repacking, lubing, drying, tightening, truing, etc. You can never be too careful indeed. Besides PCs and super wheels and so on, one of the best things we can do for our overall racing (and one of the most overlooked) is become our own, good mechanic. None of my bikes goes more than a week without a washdown, relube and fine-toothed comb analysis. 5 years of racing (tri, road and MTB) and never had a mechanical - people talk about luck; I like to say you make your own. Keep your bike in good repair and the chances of a race day failure are almost nil.





"To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." - Pre

MattMizenko.com
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Re: Why I am so careful. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks, Tom. You just "cost" me a new front tire!

Noticed today the bead is pulling away from the rim, like a case of gingivitis. Don't want that blowing on me on a 220 km. ride tomorrow.

-David in Taipei


American's are definately infekting the world with there English grammer.
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Re: Why I am so careful. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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Amen. I can't count the number of times I've heard "I was jusr riding along..." People don't understand that they can't fool the mechanic. I know when you're not telling the truth, or when you've obviously neglected routine maintinence. Everyone would do themselves a favor if they took care of their stuff. Not just performance-wise, but also financially. They would save of expensive repair, and be safer while riding/racing their bikes.

tommy
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Re: Why I am so careful. [Tommy Nelson] [ In reply to ]
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Last year the number of terminally damaged bikes that came in to our store before Ironman was amazing. What is more amazing is the number of people who said things like "It's all ready to go, I just need it looked over real quick..." Those were the people we found with broken frames, worn out cogs and chains, two year old tires and stripped stem bolts- some people had all of them. We found five broken frames prior to Ironman last year.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Why I am so careful. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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We had a guy come in before IMLP with a cracked frame, saying just that, "it just needs a quick check over," and then got mad at us when his bike was broken and we couldn't get him a replacement faster than yesterday.
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Re: Why I am so careful. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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Words well spoken. I try my best to keep an eye on things here. I have a question though. Do you change parts based on age or when you notice problems (creaking sounds) occuring? For example, I still use threaded stems on my road bike and am always taking it out and cleaning it up. Its about 5 years old now. I intend to keep this bike for many more years and wondering if and when parts should be replaced before something goes wrong. I can't imagine what happens when my stem pops in the middle of a ride. ouch.

I live in the tropics where salt air can wreak havoc on metal.
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Re: Why I am so careful. [CS7] [ In reply to ]
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Since I'm in the military and move often, I'm always having to find new groups to ride with. I've heard several times over the years that some new group thought I was more show than go because I always show up with clean, new looking bikes. I.E., they think I don't ride much at all. On the contrary, I ride A LOT. I just keep my stuff clean and well mech'd so that I can count on it when I need to, which is any time I'm on the bike the way I figure it.

1st Place, 50-55 2018 USAT Duathlon Sprint Duathlon National Championships, National Champion; 2nd Place Overall, 2018 Virginia Duathlon; 3rd Place, 50-54, 9th overall, USAT Long Course Duathlon (Miamiman); 4th Place Masters, 10th overall, 2018 Kiawah Island 1/2 Marathon
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