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Breaking my Chain


Yesterday’s commute into work didn’t quite go as planned.  About two miles into the ride, I started hammering through a corner to cut across a three-lane road (where traffic generally flows at 55+ mph).  As soon as I hit the major road, my chain broke, sending me into the ground.  Not sure exactly how it happened, but I managed to hit the right side of my body (particulary my hip) on the ground first, then flip over and hit the left side of my body (my hip and my elbow).  For your viewing pleasure, here’s the video:

I obviously got the hell off of that road in a hurry!  Not much blood was shed, mostly just banged and bruised up.  I didn’t realize my chain had actually broken (I thought it just skipped gears) until I got to the side of the road and reached down to put it back on the chainring.  I went and collected the chain from the road, and figured I would try to reattach it (I keep a multi-tool on my bike).  But then I noticed that I had broken the cable guide for my front derailleur off of my frame.   I decided that I just needed to walk home.  Unfortunately, walking two miles with road bike cleats isn’t exactly my idea of a good time, so I took off my shoes and walked home in my socks.  It was a long two miles!

The culprit.

The culprit.

Broken derailleur guid

Broken derailleur guid

Also managed to force my front tire almost off the rim

Also managed to force my front tire almost off the rim

I’ve got a bike race tomorrow morning (which would be my second race ever) with my company.  As long as I can just remove a link from the chain and get it back on, I’ll simply remove my front derailleur and cable and leave them off.  In the past year, I think I’ve dropped down to the lower chainring twice, so it’s not like I’ll miss it.  We can call it a strategic weight saving move.



  1. Ask an old timer what he does to prepare for a long ride, he’ll say ‘clean my chain’. Ask him what else he does he’ll say ‘clean it again’. As a serial chain breaker myself my moment of ignominy came when i stood on the pedals to sprint into town, chain snapped, sending me groin first into my top tube and across the road into a parked car….not dignified. I now listen to the old timers and treat my chain with love and affection.

  2. Ouch. That sure looked like it hurt. Hope your doing okay. Good luck tomorrow!

  3. Jill says:

    Do you always video tape your commutes? Sorry, I was laughing a bit (written from the queen of falling…bikes, trail running – whatever), but I’m glad you’re ok enough to ride today in the race. Hope it went well!

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