Monday, June 16, 2008

Hard on Parts

Awake late, I celebrated the moment on Friday figuring if I am late, why not be really late. Not only did I decide to pack and ride the parade bike, but I took the long route to work. In doing so, I stored my key to my lock in the bag, which of course meant that I forgot the key this morning when back to riding the regular commuter.

So, into the building, up the freight elevator, and into the adjacent cube went the dirty old Quickbeam. This of course offered a key prop for part of show and tell today. There were many questions and comments having been able to see the bike that make me a bit of the "office celebrity." Okay, right, more like the company eccentric nut...

In an effort to explain the beauty of generator powered lighting, I attempted to demonstrate how wonderful it is to have lighting present whenever you need it. Spinning the wheel and attempting to show how bright my headlight was... Nothing. Oh well, the first rule of visual aids is that they never quite work when you want them to. This one bugged me though...

When I got home, I inspected a little more closely to find the cause for all the ruckus while riding. Something was rattling and I couldn't quite pinpoint it, thinking it was something to do with my handlebar mounted coffee cup. Nope:

If you look closely at the photo, you can see what appears to be the LED loose in the bottom of the inside of the light. I cannot recall what the mounting point is supposed to look like, but it appears that the LED simply broke off inside.

As impressed as I had been with this light, this is now the second one that has had a problem for me. The standlight on the first one stopped working, but the light still worked. This one, well... it no-worky.

Seriously, I really like bikes. I obsess about getting good stuff. I take "reasonable" care of things, while admittedly my maintenance has something to be desired. The toll of commuting is seriously wearing out a lot of bike parts. It'll be almost 11 months of daily commuting and I should add up the parts:

2 rims
2 Shimano Dynamo Hubs (Now on third and it is beginning to occassional pop like other two.)
2 IQ Fly head lights
1 headset
1 Phil Wood Bottom Bracket
2 Panaracer Pasela Tourguard Tires
4 Chains
1 Chainring
2 Phil Wood rear cogs
3 set of brake shoes
3 rear brake cable housings (kept cracking in the same place during the winter.)

I'm approaching 4,800 miles so far this year, 'round the point that this light was mounted. Figuring an average speed of 12mph (I'm anything but fast) and that would mean that this light has only lasted about 400 hours on the bike. Fatigue from vibration? Not easily avoidable, and with the exception of the studded Nokians, I ride pretty plump high volume, low pressure tires.


Pete said...

Wow, you're hard on equipment!

bicycletorch said...

You know, rustic roads and soupy gravel take their toll on equipment. Unfortunately, lots of riding means lots of worn out stuff. It's why lots of people work in bike shops.

Reflector Collector said...

My wife and I just had the discussion. Anyone with a passion for two-wheelers knows... The Discussion about owning too many bikes. Gasp! The horror...

While I would really like to work in a shop to keep myself stocked with parts, I am afraid that I simply wouldn't be able to make ends meet. It would be like an alcoholic working the bar. While personal recommendations do wonders, consuming too much of the product eats into the margins.

rigtenzin said...

I'd like to work in a shop too, but when I did, I complained about my lack of money.

I'm glad I read this post. My commuter is making a popping noise. It's coming from the front end. It may be the Shimano dyno hub. I'll check it out.

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