Friday, July 8, 2011

Around the World, and a Little More

Sometimes things sneak up on you, especially when you're concentrating on something else.

Yesterday, I was chatting with my bicycle mechanic and Irregular cycling buddy Gary about something bike related, and I realized and mentioned that I probably have about 24 thousand miles on the Trek Pilot 5.0 frame.  Today, since I have the data, I decided to check the "actual" miles.  (I put "actual" in quotes because I am 100% confident that my Cateye confusers have not always recorded the correct mileage ... instead adding or missing a tenth or two here or there ... and failing to register anything when the contacts got wet in the middle of a ride or when the battery was failing ... and I did nearly half the Blue Ridge Parkway ride last September without a functioning confuser of any sort ... and there are probably other assorted causes that make the "actual" data only a "pretty good estimate".)

Twenty-six thousand thirty-four and seven-tenths miles.  26,034.7 miles.
Then I thought about exactly what on the bike, in addition to the frame, has been along for all twenty-six thousand miles.  Answer:  the fork and headset, handlebar, left brifter and the front wheel have been along for every mile or portion thereof.

The little (30T) chain ring and the large.(50T) chain ring have been along for every mile except the first 95.5 miles.  The bike came with a crap Bontrager triple and bottom bracket that were tossed after two rides (decision was made in the middle of the first ride).  The bottom bracket and middle (39T) chain ring were replaced last year.

The right brifter had to be replaced after my Sep-2009 crash.

I am now on my (I believe it is the) fifth rear wheel -- four warranty replacements because of drive side nipples pulling through the rim -- on the last replacement, finally an upgrade -- the LBS tried to get me to pay for that upgrade -- I said "No, you sold me a bike with a defective wheel as supplied by the bicycle manufacturer; they have continued to supply you with defective wheels to replace the original defective wheel; and you and they are going to continue to do free warranty replacements until you / they provide me a non-defective product."

I am not sure, but I think that rear and front derailleurs have been along for every mile.  It is possible that those were replaced / upgraded when the original crap bottom bracket and chain rings were replaced.  I am sure that the LBS manager mentioned the upgrade in the bottom bracket and chain rings and I am confident that he did NOT mention the derailleurs ... which I am confident he would have mentioned if they had been replaced.

I'm pretty sure that the brakes are original.  But of course the brake pads and cables have been replaced a few times.

Of course, the chain and cassette and derailleur cables and housing have been replaced several times.  The pedals were replaced last year.
Therefore, I'll say that the frame, the fork, the headset, the handlebar, the left brifter, the brakes and both derailleurs have been along for all twenty-six thousand miles.
Sometimes, when on a rando ride, I'll be asked what I ride on normal road bike rides.  I always answer:  "You're looking at it."

Sometimes, when on a normal (non-rando) bike ride, I'll be asked what I ride on rando rides.  I always answer:  "You're looking at it."

That flippant answer also has other uses.  For example, someone (I don't recall whom) asked what gearing / cassette I used on the Blue Ridge Parkway ride last year.  I answered:  "You're looking at it."  (Since the cassette was last changed on Jul-18-2010 ... two months before the BRP ride ... that answer was not only technically correct in terms of gearing, it was actually correct because I'm still using the same cassette (which now has a little over 8600 miles on it -- I hope it holds up for another 4 or 5 thousand or more miles).

As I was finishing up this post, and researching the mileage on the current cassette, I saw a note in my Excel log ... the upshot of which is that my front wheel was on "vacation" for 170 miles last October 30th and 31st.  That "vacation" was caused by borrowing a set of loaner wheels while awaiting delivery of the last warranty replacement rear wheel.

I'm not going to change the text above.


  1. The saddle has probably been replaced once or twice. Hope you get another 26K out of this bike.

  2. Saddle. Good grief, I forgot to think about the saddle!

    I rode the original crap Bontrager saddle that came with the bike a few times, maybe several times, but not many. My recollection is that I took that p.o.s. saddle back to the cycle shop where I purchased the bike and added it to their collection of Bontrager "new-bike-issue-saddles". I hope they properly disposed of those saddles.

    Rather than purchase a new saddle, I took the saddle off my previous bike. I rode that old saddle for another year-and-half and between those two saddles put 4860 miles on the bike.

    On Jun-28-08, I purchased a new saddle (on a test basis). I rode it three times for 123 miles. Two rides: great; half way thru the third ride: I couldn't get home soon enough.

    On Jul-06-08, traded the above-mentioned for the saddle I've ridden since then. As I type this, I have an estimated 21,189 miles on that saddle. I probably need to think about replacing it ... pretty soon.

  3. How about handlebar wrap and shellac?

  4. Andy is 99.94% pulling my leg. However:

    I haven't heard that word since my paternal grandfather died ... about 34 years ago.

    The frame has, however, received several tune-ups and cleanings at the hand of Gary Smith, whose cleaning process may include application of some protective wax.
    Handlebar wrap?

    I haven't kep track of handlebar wrappings in my Excel mileage log. However, I recall that the current outside layer of wrap was added after Alan's 2010 300 km brevet (I needed more padding / hand protection). Gary put that new wrap on top of the existing wrap which had been re-wrapped about a year ealier; that first layer of wrap had originally been put on ... probably two years earlier. The result has been much niceer to my hands.

    The current "base layer" of wrap was originally installed by the Bicycle Chain several years ago. THAT could make for a story in itself, but ... I'm not going there, except to note that the current base layer replaced the "original issue" wrap.