A MAGNET FOR WOOD
To the best of my knowledge and understanding there is not and cannot be such a thing as a magnet which attracts wood. However, a tadpole trike seems to do a pretty good job of attracting wood (tree branches/twigs), weeds, etc. I am continually amazed at the number of times I see it happen. A trike with a 20 inch rear wheel seems to be worse than a trike with a 26 inch or a 700 wheel. That’s because they being smaller in diameter allow the rear derailleur to be down nearer to the ground making it even more susceptible to this. We need to be careful while riding so that we do what we can to prevent damage from occurring to our trikes. A tree branch can readily go into our spokes or into our rear derailleur or both. If this happens it is all to easy for damage to occur.
I had it happen to me a few years ago. I tree limb I failed to see (because I was concentrating on vehicular traffic in a street I was trying to cross) came flying up from my left front tire and went right into my rear wheel destroying a few spokes and going on into my rear derailleur. The result was instant hard braking (my rear tire slid to a stop) and the rear derailleur looked like a pretzel. It went right over into the spokes of the rear wheel. The tree branch was about 5/8 to 3/4 inch in diameter and about 30 inches long. Fortunately I was able to straighten my bent up derailleur sufficiently by hand (brute strength) to get it to work enough to ride on and eventually get back home. Upon arriving home I attempted to make a more permanent repair by taking the derailleur off and apart. I got it fairly straight but just couldn’t get it to shift quite right. It turned out that my derailleur hanger got bent some also. I took it off and attempted to salvage it. It looked pretty good when I got done with it, but it apparently wasn’t. I just couldn’t get the shifting to work as good as before. I had to order a new derailleur hanger from Catrike. I ordered a spare while I was at it. Upon replacing the derailleur hanger, the rear derailleur and a few spokes playing “pick up sticks” cost me about $90 (and that was doing it all myself). It would have been far more expensive if I had to hire it done. Although the picture below is of a diamond frame bicycle it shows a rear derailleur bent over into the spokes.
So what I am trying to say here is try to avoid running over such things. Riding alongside of another trike or bike can result in this happening as they can readily flip such an object your way. While I am discussing this an even greater concern is having a foreign object flipped up and into your eye or teeth. That could be a whole lot worse scenario than having parts on your trike damaged. I make a habit of tossing any and all such threats off of the surface of the trail while I ride along. Then I don’t have to concern myself with it and I have done a service for my fellow trail users.
If you are riding along and suddenly feel resistance while you are trying to pedal you should stop pedaling immediately and come to a stop as quickly as you safely can. Then dismount and look your trike over as it is quite possible you have picked up something in the chain/derailleur or wheel. If you continue to pedal or go further forward more damage will occur.
If at all possible it is much better to leave this matter of picking up sticks to ol’ Fido …
He gets “much o” enjoyment out of it while you won’t.
If you can manage to avoid using your trike as a magnet for wood it will better enable you to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
Posted on October 8, 2014, in maintenance/repair, riding, safety, tadpole trikes and tagged damage to rear derailleur from tree branches, damage to spokes from tree branches. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.