I took my bike in for a tune-up (which is covered under the one-year maintenance warranty from Missing Link, where I bought it) yesterday. I was told that my rear brake pads needed to be replaced. This was somewhat surprising in that I had only ridden the bike for about two months. My old bike had been going on the same rear brake pads for about five months, and weren’t at the point of needing to be replaced. I’ll never know for sure, but it’s quite possible that the condition of the brakes played some role in my accident. I’ll have to watch my brake pads more carefully from now on.
Monday morning as I was running to catch a bus to class, it occurred to me that I might be better off biking at a leisurely pace than chasing after buses. After buying a new helmet last night, I left home this morning on my bike about twenty minutes before class started. This allowed me plenty of time to get to campus even though I was leaving close to twenty minutes later than I would have to catch the bus.
Things didn’t go quite as planned. As soon as I shifted gears, I started hearing the chain rubbing against something. The sound seemed to be coming from the rear, but beyond that, I couldn’t tell much. I stopped a few times along the way, but the noise persisted, except at the highest gears. Fortunately, I was still able to get into class almost on time.
I had previously given the bike a cursory inspection and concluded that it hadn’t been damaged in the accident, but this morning, I noticed that, in fact, the derailleur was badly scratched. The scratches, I reasoned, wouldn’t be likely to affect the functionality, but if the derailleur scraped against the ground, something could easily have bent and caused the chain to come in contact with something it wasn’t supposed to. A quick look in a bike maintenance guide suggested that it was probably the hanger that was bent.
I ordered a new hanger after some unsuccessful attempts to bend the hanger back into shape. Until it arrives, I’ll be using my secondary bike or taking the buses.