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Rear Di2 derailleur is finally done for; Yesterday’s “MTB” ride.

Monday, June 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

June
23
2014

Before yesterday morning’s ride I put my Madone in the stand in an effort to diagnose the shifting issues that I was experiencing after Sunday morning’s mechanical. I’m glad that I took the time to do this, as it became clear that the Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur was in dire straits: the bike was clearly not safe to ride. After about an hour of messing with the derailleur, I came to the conclusion that it was shot.

I enjoyed 12,500 trouble-free and reliable kilometers with this derailleur. 12,500 kilometers may not sound like much, but I put the poor thing through two hard and very damaging wrecks. I believe that those two crashes did physical damage to the derailleur (the electronics are fine), and that physical damage is probably what caused the mechanical issue I experienced on Sunday.

Yesterday I pulled the battle-weary derailleur off the bike for the final time, and will be replacing it this evening with a brand new one (click to enlarge):

Even two hard crashes couldn't stop my Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur. Despite the wrecks, I still enjoyed 12,500 kilometers of reliable service before it finally cried "Uncle!" If you think the derailleur looks bad, you should have seen my skin.

Even two hard crashes couldn’t stop my Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur. Despite the wrecks, I still enjoyed 12,500 kilometers of reliable service before it finally cried “Uncle!” If you think the derailleur looks bad, you should have seen my skin.

 

Here’s a look at the damaged cogs on the upper pulley, which I mentioned in yesterday’s blog (click to enlarge):

In this photo you can see the cog damage to the upper derailleur pulley that occurred on Sunday.

In this photo you can see the cog damage to the upper derailleur pulley that occurred on Sunday.

 

Finally, some of you have made fun of me for keeping such a clean and orderly bike shop. This photograph is for you (click to enlarge):

I grabbed this shot because some of you said my workbench is always 100% clean and organized. Not true!

I grabbed this shot because some of you said my workbench is always 100% clean and organized. Not true!

 

I know the work bench is not that bad, but it’s looked like that for about a week. That’s astonishing for me. I cleaned it up last night. 🙂

So, with my Madone out of service and my 2014 daily riding streak on the line, it was clearly time to get back in the dirt! I put my Fuel in the work stand and gave her a once-over. As I worked on my mountain bike, I realized that I was totally stoked about hitting the trails again–it really has been a long time. What can I say? The roadie bug bit hard.

Anyway, I got the truck all loaded up, excitedly jumped into the driver’s seat and, with a dumb grin on my face, turned the key… click. Dead battery. As I sat there pathetically willing the truck to start, I started doing some calculations in my head. I realized that it’s been a few months since I’ve traveled anywhere using any mode of transportation other than a bike. Oops.

I glumly unloaded everything from the truck, and did the only thing I could to keep my riding streak alive: a 50 kilometer road ride on my mountain bike. The Fuel felt like a tank compared to my Madone, heavy with slow-rolling knobbies.

I almost wrecked, too. Early in the ride I was descending a pretty steep hill, and I briefly let go of my handle bars as I instinctively shifted my grip down to the drops… which, of course, were not there. Crikey.

It was hot and windy, and I rode hard. I don’t have a power meter on my Fuel, but my average heart rate was 160 BPM, which is Zone 3 (Tempo) for me. When I finished the ride the heat index was 105° (F), and I was exhausted. Good ride, but I sure wish it had been in the woods. Today’s will be. 🙂

John Stone Fitness Comments

21 Responses to “Rear Di2 derailleur is finally done for; Yesterday’s “MTB” ride.”
  1. So I caved to your tetchy influence and got a heart rate strap for my Garmin. I see that you list your average hr at 160. This seems high. My max going over the mamas and papas, which usually leaves me pretty breathless, was only 145. Just makes me wonder about the difference.

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  2. Well, to be clear I don’t “list” my average HR at anything. I happened to average 160 BPM on yesterday’s ride, that’s all. My HR Max is currently 201 BPM, and my resting HR is 42 BPM. You can’t really compare your average HR when exercising to someone else’s average heart rate.I can literally ride for hours at 160-170 BPM (it’s uncomfortable, but I do it all the time), while others (in worse, equally good, or better shape) might average something completely different at a similar relative exertion level. A lot of it comes down to individual physiology. This is why power meters are so useful: a watt is a watt.

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  3. Note that the above is a very brief and simplified answer. Many other factors aside from physiology affect heart rate while exercising, including conditioning, temperature, hydration and so on. We can talk more next time we ride. 🙂

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  4. Murray and I do the road on out MTB’s to and from Santos whenever we ride there. It’s only about 12 miles round trip but the speed we ride that road section makes it miserable. It’s also a great warmup for the trails and once we get there we go straight into hammer mode. At the end of the ride (usually 3-4 hours) that little 6 miles home is the worst thing that happens to me all weekend.

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  5. LOL, well the 6 miles of road over there we typically ride at an average of 24-26 mph, so it’s definately miserable on a MTB, especially with no warmup! Then we usually do a couple of soft pedal laps around the parking lot and then dive into the singletrack. You are so zoned in on riding fast that the trail section feels slow even at rather astonishing speeds. Plus, Murray just flat out smashes the pedals on any bike he rides. Hes a monster (and I just try to hang on as long as I can). When he drills that 6 miles home at the end, its rare that I can even pull thru more than 1 time. Man John, you gotta do a Sunday ride with us sometime. Your new roadie power will be just what you need.

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