Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Let's Hope Nothing Important Falls Off

How do you keep going if you leave this behind on the road?

I would think this would be a ride-stopper, if you left it behind on the road

I found a derailleur pulley, and a quick release skewer nut, laying in the bike lane, and both of them seemed to me like parts that you can't just let fall off and keep on going. The ride stops here, no? End of the road! Stop right there! You ain't going anywhere, bub! I could theorize about ways to improvise and continue on without these (can't think of any), but the real point is: why leave these behind on the street? How could you not notice that they fell off? I am kind of interested to see what a derailleur does with only one pulley, true, I've never tried it, not sure if this was an upper or lower, maybe with some types of derailleurs you could find a gear that would let you keep going, unless the derailleur itself came apart totally. But a skewer nut? Maybe that's something you notice catastrophically only: if it comes off, you're going down, front wheel anyway, lawyer lips or no, and calling for pickup or worse. So, to try to end this on a happy thought, the only happy scenario I could come up with was someone was carrying his bike clamped down on a carrier in the back of a pickup truck, and the axle nut vibrated loose, and bounced into the bike lane. Still not sure about the pulley, though. I think I will check a few more fasteners before heading out today, just to be sure. Don't want anything important to fall off. Get up. Go ride.



  1. Ha! My son and his wife moved to San Francisco last summer. My wife and I flew up to see their new neighborhood in November, and my son and I did a ride across the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito one morning. Here is a picture of us just starting out (, and here is a picture about 15 minutes later after his derailleur exploded on the climb up to GG (
    We ended up finding all the pieces and reassembling it and finishing the ride. It was a blast.


  2. For one derailleur pulley, see

    I made it in even without the pulley. The QR is not something that has ever happened to me.

  3. Steve, wow, it is possible! Not advisable though.

    jt, it looks like maybe I would have to be your facebuddy to view those pix. Two (possibly three) incidents of derailleur explosion while on the road though. Maybe as Steve says in his post, "check derailleur bolts once in a while" should be part of an "ABC" pre-ride check.


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