Thursday, August 02, 2012

I Was Prepared!

So good.
Wednesday. You know what that means if you are a regular reader here. Testing stuff out in the woods, that what. Yesterday it was all about the new Ergon SM3 Saddle and the RST First suspension fork.

I decided that I wouldn't go all out and take this new stuff to Camp yet. I may have needed to tweak the saddle position, or the suspension settings, so going all the way to Camp just to potentially spend a bunch of time tweaking wasn't sounding like such a great idea.

So I headed off from the home base to hit George Wyth and see how things felt. On the way over, I felt pretty stretched out, but given that I hadn't hit good single track yet, I decided to wait before pulling out a wrench. Once I hit the trails, it felt pretty good, but I was still thinking of inching that saddle forward a bit. The suspension felt awesome though. No need to touch that.

The trails were now packed in a bit better after the recent rains. That made for excellent, fast riding. I was having fun out there. I went all the way back in to the new bits west of Alice Wyth Lake. Coming back over the itty-bitty arched bridge, then a bit further and....

Rut-row! (click to enlarge)
I made a stupid mistake and compounded by my use of a light weight carbon fiber post, I ended up breaking out the wrench all right! I wasn't fully clipped in after negotiating a big fallen branch, and the next bump I hit snapped off the seat post at the clamp with a loud "pop"!

Fortunately I could remove the seat clamp and had a bit of the frayed, sharp ends of the carbon fiber sticking out. Enough to get a hold with if you had the proper tool. I happened to have "that" tool.

Going back to my last attempt at the Dirty Kanza 200, I stocked my Osprey Raptor 10 hydration pack with everything one might need to get back up and running from a mechanical in the remote Kansas countryside. I figured later that I may as well leave it all in there, as I often ride alone, and/or out in the remote Iowa countryside. One of the tools I packed was a small needle-nose Vise-Grip pliers. I did this for times a hex nut might get rounded off, or for bending a hangar back straight. This time it was useful for removing a severed seat post in a frame!

Operation successful. The patient will survive!
My plan was to use the remaining seat post in the bike so I wouldn't have to stand and pedal the 8-ish miles back home. But first, I would have to get that stub of post out of the frame. Some deft wrench work saved me the prospect of a standing 8 mile ride in the end though.

As it was, I had about a three inch deficit in saddle height, which was interesting to ride home! But, I did make it home, and all was well.

Okay, so as you may have been guessing by now, the next seat post I grab from the stash will not be a carbon fiber one! I'll stick with metal this time, thank you very much, and I'll be a bit more careful when re-mounting the bike next time. I feel pretty fortunate that I got away with this one with no physical injury and a way to repair the problem enough to get me back home. I also am really glad I was prepared for this, even though a broken seat post was the furthest thing from my mind when I stuck those pliers in my hydration pack.

That's why I was super stoked when I remembered I had that tool along with me. I guess it's true what is said sometimes- "You just never know...."


RANTWICK said...

Good on you, man. I've been feeling kind of silly lately for carrying all kinds of tools in my panniers that I never use. A bunch of weight, waiting for repairs I've never had to do.

Thanks for the post... I think I'll leave those tools in my bags.

Guitar Ted said...

@RANTWICK: Well, you know what they say, "If you have it, you'll never need it, if you don't have it, you'll wish ya did someday."

But yeah, it would seem silly to many to carry around a needle nose Vice Grip pliers!

blackmountaincycles said...

Another option, if you didn't have the tool and you needed to ride out of the location, would have been to push the carbon section into the seat tube.

Hook said...

Glad you got through that unhurt! A broken off, jagged shard of carbon fiber sticking up where your saddle should go- that could have been all kinds of worse. I'll stick with metal seatposts too, thanks...

Salmon said...

I am wary of the carbon seat post.  A friend had one, goes to pick up his bike from the shop, the seat post has been changed from his carbon one, when he inquires as to why they show him a report/receipt from the Emergency Room with the words "lacerated scrotum" on it.  One of the guys was test riding his bike, went off a curb, post broke and then.... pain.

ThisOneToo said...

I'm interested to see what you think of the Ergon saddle. I got the SM3 pro two weeks ago and I'm still on the fence. It's a great looking saddle and I know this sounds dumb, but I don't know where to sit on it. It has some weird ridges.