We got something like four or five inches of snow between Wednesday and Thursday mornings – and it’s messy. Winds with gusts up to 40-mph (that’s real damn fast in km/h) have blown snow back over the roads and with temps in the mid-to-low teens, everything slicked up instantly. The kids haven’t had school for two days. Surprisingly, though, the ride into work both mornings (and on the way home) was actually pretty good. The expressways were clear. Everything else sucked.
Wednesday, between snow storms, I called the owner of the local shop and told him about my front derailleur hanger problem. He was sympathetic and suggested I bring my 5200 in to see if they could find a solution other than “living with” the chain dropping into the bottom bracket when shifting from the big to little ring, in the two biggest cogs in the back. On one hand, I was () that close to installing a chain catcher and just calling it good… On the other, if you can fix a bike without adding weight, the solution must be explored.
Well, kinda. The fix worked – it’s just too expensive for the normal person to want to afford it, unless money isn’t really an object. The answer is to weld some stainless steel wire to the bottom of the derailleur cage and file the mounting hole down 3 mm so the derailleur fits as it should. It’s a little less than an hour’s work for an experienced welder, so you’ve gotta figure the cost at around $120 when you include the shop mechanic’s time, maybe more in a big market. You’ve gotta ask yourself if you really want to blow that kind of money to avoid 45 grams on a $12 – $30 chain catcher you can install yourself in 15 minutes.
However, if you’re good riding buds with your local shop owner, who happens to be an expert frame-builder and brazer, and you do a veritable $#!+-ton of volunteering for the club… well, perhaps you can save a buck or two and the solution becomes worth it. Because the welding fix works.
I was back on my Trek on the trainer last night, cranking out the imaginary miles and all was well. I’m a lot happier on the Trek than my gravel bike. There’s nothing wrong with the Diverge, of course, the 5200 is simply a better all-around ride. Besides, it’s my bike-baby. And spending a ridiculous amount of money on your bike-baby – well, it’s just the right thing to do.
…You would ride, too if one happened to you.