Frayed brake cable on the way to work

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Claire Petersky, Apr 4, 2003.

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  1. So imagine this. After two days of not getting in a ride, you are now starting off on your bike to
    work. A few blocks from the house, you notice that your brake cable is hanging by a single thin wire
    of aluminum. What do you do?

    A. Turn around, go home, and get in the car to get to work. You'll deal with the bike with the
    frayed cable when you get home in the afternoon. It's a bummer about the ride, but you
    promise yourself at least 75 miles over the weekend.
    B. Turn around, go home, and pick out one of your other bikes to take to work. You'll deal with
    the bike with the frayed cable when you get home in the afternoon. It's not the perfect bike
    for the commute, but it's better than not riding.
    C. Turn around, go home, and replace the cable in your well-appointed, well-lit, well-stocked
    home bike shop. You are a capable wrench, and this little repair takes only a trice to
    complete. You are soon back on the road and headed out to work.
    D. The brake cable isn't entirely broken in two, and it's for the front brake, which scarcely
    counts. You decide to help at least hold the casing together with a band-aid from your first
    aid kit, and then:
    1. Ride a flat mile and a half to the nearest transit station. The bus there will drop you off
    right in front of the bike shop. You might have to wait as long as 30 minutes to catch the
    bus, but it doesn't matter, because you'll have to wait at least 30 minutes for the bike
    shop to open anyway if you catch a bus right away. But this way the bike will be attended to
    and be fine for a ride home, and you won't risk riding with a nearly snapped-in-two cable.
    2. Ride a hilly 5 or 10 miles to a further transit station. You'll take the flatter route
    alternatives so you won't strain the cable too much, and you'll ride the bus until it drops
    you off a few blocks from the bike shop. You should get there right when the shop opens.
    You'll have the bike attended to and be fine for the ride home. There's a risk with
    additional miles, but at least you get in a 25-45 minute ride.
    3. Ride a hilly 17 miles to the bike shop. You'll get in a good 75 minute ride, you'll do the
    flatter route alternatives so you won't strain the cable too much. You should get there
    right when the shop opens, because as we know, it often is just as fast to ride a bike as it
    is to take a bus. There's a further risk with even more miles. Still, you'll have the bike
    attended to and be fine for the ride home.
    E. This would never happen to you, because you would have noticed three days before that your
    cable was hanging by a thread. You would have taken in the bike to the shop or done the fix
    yourself during the two day period you weren't riding, so the bike would be in fine shape to
    ride in that day.

    Tell me which alternative you would pick.

    Which one do you think I picked?

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at:
    http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky
     
    Tags:


  2. Gary Smiley

    Gary Smiley Guest

    The correct answer is D. Brakes are like kidneys or eyeballs- you have two but you can get by quite
    nicely with one. - and - you can always fix your brake later.

    Claire Petersky wrote:

    > So imagine this. After two days of not getting in a ride, you are now starting off on your bike to
    > work. A few blocks from the house, you notice that your brake cable is hanging by a single thin
    > wire of aluminum. What do you do?
    >
    > A. Turn around, go home, and get in the car to get to work. You'll deal with the bike with
    > the frayed cable when you get home in the afternoon. It's a bummer about the ride, but you
    > promise yourself at least 75 miles over the weekend.
    > B. Turn around, go home, and pick out one of your other bikes to take to work. You'll deal
    > with the bike with the frayed cable when you get home in the afternoon. It's not the
    > perfect bike for the commute, but it's better than not riding.
    > C. Turn around, go home, and replace the cable in your well-appointed, well-lit, well-stocked
    > home bike shop. You are a capable wrench, and this little repair takes only a trice to
    > complete. You are soon back on the road and headed out to work.
    > D. The brake cable isn't entirely broken in two, and it's for the front brake, which scarcely
    > counts. You decide to help at least hold the casing together with a band-aid from your
    > first aid kit, and then:
    > 1. Ride a flat mile and a half to the nearest transit station. The bus there will drop you
    > off right in front of the bike shop. You might have to wait as long as 30 minutes to catch
    > the bus, but it doesn't matter, because you'll have to wait at least 30 minutes for the
    > bike shop to open anyway if you catch a bus right away. But this way the bike will be
    > attended to and be fine for a ride home, and you won't risk riding with a nearly
    > snapped-in-two cable.
    > 2. Ride a hilly 5 or 10 miles to a further transit station. You'll take the flatter route
    > alternatives so you won't strain the cable too much, and you'll ride the bus until it
    > drops you off a few blocks from the bike shop. You should get there right when the shop
    > opens. You'll have the bike attended to and be fine for the ride home. There's a risk with
    > additional miles, but at least you get in a 25-45 minute ride.
    > 3. Ride a hilly 17 miles to the bike shop. You'll get in a good 75 minute ride, you'll do the
    > flatter route alternatives so you won't strain the cable too much. You should get there
    > right when the shop opens, because as we know, it often is just as fast to ride a bike as
    > it is to take a bus. There's a further risk with even more miles. Still, you'll have the
    > bike attended to and be fine for the ride home.
    > E. This would never happen to you, because you would have noticed three days before that your
    > cable was hanging by a thread. You would have taken in the bike to the shop or done the
    > fix yourself during the two day period you weren't riding, so the bike would be in fine
    > shape to ride in that day.
    >
    > Tell me which alternative you would pick.
    >
    > Which one do you think I picked?
    >
    > Warm Regards,
    >
    > Claire Petersky Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at:
    > http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky
     
  3. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

    "Claire Petersky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > D. The brake cable isn't entirely broken in two, and it's for the front brake, which scarcely
    > counts.

    Well, other than that it's the primary brake you should normally be using...

    If I really had another bike ready to ride and I was just a few block from home, I'd go back for it.
    Otherwise, I'd just proceed. I can manage on one brake. Fix it when I got home after work. (Or walk
    to a downtown bike shop at lunchtime, buy a cable, and install it before leaving for home. A
    multitool and a Leatherman are always in my bike bag, although spare cables usually aren't.)

    RichC
     
  4. Dave Jackson

    Dave Jackson Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Claire
    Petersky) wrote:

    > So imagine this. After two days of not getting in a ride, you are now starting off on your bike to
    > work. A few blocks from the house, you notice that your brake cable is hanging by a single thin
    > wire of aluminum. What do you do?
    >
    > A. Turn around, go home, and get in the car to get to work. You'll deal with the bike with the
    > frayed cable when you get home in the afternoon. It's a bummer about the ride, but you
    > promise yourself at least 75 miles over the weekend.
    > B. Turn around, go home, and pick out one of your other bikes to take to work. You'll deal with
    > the bike with the frayed cable when you get home in the afternoon. It's not the perfect bike
    > for the commute, but it's better than not riding.
    > C. Turn around, go home, and replace the cable in your well-appointed, well-lit, well-stocked
    > home bike shop. You are a capable wrench, and this little repair takes only a trice to
    > complete. You are soon back on the road and headed out to work.
    > D. The brake cable isn't entirely broken in two, and it's for the front brake, which scarcely
    > counts. You decide to help at least hold the casing together with a band-aid from your first
    > aid kit, and then:
    > 1. Ride a flat mile and a half to the nearest transit station. The bus there will drop you off
    > right in front of the bike shop. You might have to wait as long as 30 minutes to catch the
    > bus, but it doesn't matter, because you'll have to wait at least 30 minutes for the bike
    > shop to open anyway if you catch a bus right away. But this way the bike will be attended to
    > and be fine for a ride home, and you won't risk riding with a nearly snapped-in-two cable.
    > 2. Ride a hilly 5 or 10 miles to a further transit station. You'll take the flatter route
    > alternatives so you won't strain the cable too much, and you'll ride the bus until it drops
    > you off a few blocks from the bike shop. You should get there right when the shop opens.
    > You'll have the bike attended to and be fine for the ride home. There's a risk with
    > additional miles, but at least you get in a 25-45 minute ride.
    > 3. Ride a hilly 17 miles to the bike shop. You'll get in a good 75 minute ride, you'll do the
    > flatter route alternatives so you won't strain the cable too much. You should get there
    > right when the shop opens, because as we know, it often is just as fast to ride a bike as it
    > is to take a bus. There's a further risk with even more miles. Still, you'll have the bike
    > attended to and be fine for the ride home.
    > E. This would never happen to you, because you would have noticed three days before that your
    > cable was hanging by a thread. You would have taken in the bike to the shop or done the fix
    > yourself during the two day period you weren't riding, so the bike would be in fine shape to
    > ride in that day.
    >
    > Tell me which alternative you would pick.
    >
    > Which one do you think I picked?
    >
    > Warm Regards,
    >
    > Claire Petersky Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at:
    > http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky

    I will guess D3.

    Dave in Minnesnowta
     
  5. On Fri, 04 Apr 2003 15:30:45 -0500, Claire Petersky wrote:

    > B. Turn around, go home, and pick out one of your other bikes to take to work. You'll deal with
    > the bike with the frayed cable when you get home in the afternoon. It's not the perfect bike
    > for the commute, but it's better than not riding.

    Since they changed the parking sticker at work to one on the ID badge rather than on the seat tube
    of the bike, I've got several options on any particular day. It's quite refreshing, having two or
    three alternate choices, all good.

    BTW - your "D. The brake cable isn't entirely broken in two, and it's for the front brake, which
    scarcely counts. You decide to help at least hold the casing together with a band-aid from your
    first aid kit" is entirely daft. The front brake is the most important one, and you can't hold a
    brake cable together with a bandaid anyway. Brake cables are IMPORTANT, and a bike with a bad cable
    belongs on deadline before the worst happens and the rider ends up on deadline.
     
  6. >Tell me which alternative you would pick.

    Well, I'm afraid I'm an E.

    >This would never happen to you, because you would have noticed three days before that your
    >cable was hanging by a thread. You would have taken in the bike to the shop or done the fix
    >yourself during the two day period you weren't riding, so the bike would be in fine shape to
    >ride in that day.

    >Which one do you think I picked?

    D, alternative 1. Although you should know that the front brake is the more important of the two,
    that you consider a bike shop as part of the picture in this case tells me that:

    A. You don't have a spare cable at home, or a second rideable bike.

    B. That you left your multitool at home and didn't have the means
    or the inclination to swap the rear cable for the front.

    Why D1? Well, D1 is an acceptable level of risk with the payoff that the bike is fixed, at the cost
    of half an hour of your time (you would have paid for the repair anyway).

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  7. Skip

    Skip Guest

    Rich says:
    > Or walk to a downtown bike shop at lunchtime, buy a cable, and install it
    before leaving for home. A spare brake cable is about the lightest possible "spare" accessory to
    carry. Don't leave home without it. Including the tools (cheap wrenches are okay) to mount it if
    needed. This isn't even an ounce. 2-3-4 grams at most? I haven't weighed.

    I have never replaced a brake cable in the field -- but I left my replacement cable with a VERY
    HAPPY fellow rider on Skyline above Los Gatos a few years ago. The thought of a 3000-foot decent
    into Los Gatos using only her rear brake didn't excite her. Buying a new replacement didn't bother
    me at all...

    As usual, I gave her my spare part with only the request to "do the same thing to another rider in
    need when you are able". Life goes on.

    - Skip

    "Rich Clark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Claire Petersky" <cpete[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > D. The brake cable isn't entirely broken in two, and it's for the front brake, which scarcely
    > > counts.
    >
    > Well, other than that it's the primary brake you should normally be
    using...
    >
    > If I really had another bike ready to ride and I was just a few block from home, I'd go back for
    > it. Otherwise, I'd just proceed. I can manage on one brake. Fix it when I got home after work. (Or
    > walk to a downtown bike shop at lunchtime, buy a cable, and install it before leaving for home. A
    > multitool and a Leatherman are always in my bike bag, although spare
    cables
    > usually aren't.)
    >
    > RichC
     
  8. Who needs two brakes? I rode for years as a kid with just a rear coaster brake. Only rarely do I
    have more than one intact cable and often none at all. I just drag my feet when necessary. I make up
    for the lack of brakes by pedaling much faster, so I get to intersections before the traffic for
    which I would otherwise have had to stop. This also helps in wet weather, as I pass by before the
    rain that would have hit me gets to the ground.

    Steve McDonald
     
  9. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > "Claire Petersky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > D. The brake cable isn't entirely broken in two, and it's for the front brake, which scarcely
    > > counts.
    >
    > Well, other than that it's the primary brake you should normally be using...

    Why "should"? I hardly ever use the front unless I need more stopping power for a sudden stop. I
    know it has more stopping power, but if I don't need it, I don't use it.

    ....

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  10. Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > BTW - your "D. The brake cable isn't entirely broken in two, and it's for the front brake, which
    > scarcely counts. You decide to help at least hold the casing together with a band-aid from your
    > first aid kit" is entirely daft. The front brake is the most important one,

    Duh. I screwed up what I wrote. The way I track it is that I know that the left hand squeezes the
    important brake, which is sort of counter intuitive, and that's the cable that was broken. I wrote
    front, meant back, which I realized later when I was admiring the new cable and saw how it was
    pulling on the rear.

    > and you can't hold a brake cable together with a bandaid anyway.

    But you can bind the housing together, which will take the strain off of the cable.

    Brake cables are IMPORTANT,

    I take it you would have chosen one of the options A - C?

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at:
    http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky
     
  11. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

    "Skip" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > I have never replaced a brake cable in the field

    Me either, which is probably why I don't carry one.

    >-- but I left my replacement cable with a VERY HAPPY fellow rider on Skyline above Los
    Gatos
    > a few years ago.

    And you're right, this is a very good reason to do so.

    RichC
     
  12. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

    "David Kerber" <[email protected]_ids.net> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    > > Well, other than that it's the primary brake you should normally be
    using...
    >
    > Why "should"? I hardly ever use the front unless I need more stopping power for a sudden stop. I
    > know it has more stopping power, but if I don't need it, I don't use it.

    "Should" because if modulating the front brake isn't a trained action, you could endo in an
    emergency stop. Overapplying the rear brake induces a skid, which is probably controllable. As a
    result, reflexive fine control over the rear brake is not something many riders acquire; the cue to
    back off is too benign. Overapplying the front is potentially more dangerous. The cue to back off is
    too scary. Intentional practice is the way to overcome this fear so that the reflex is trained up
    and available in an emergency.

    It doesn't take that long to re-train yourself, if you think about it and work on it every ride for
    a couple of weeks.

    RichC
     
  13. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Claire Petersky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > So imagine this. After two days of not getting in a ride, you are now starting off on your bike to
    > work. A few blocks from the house, you notice that your brake cable is hanging by a single thin
    > wire of aluminum. What do you do?

    A few blocks? Go back and take a different bike. (option B) Pick up a new cable on the way home.

    If I was far along, I'd just keep going. I'm familiar enough with a decent emergency braking
    manuever so I wouldn't worry much so long as I kept the speed down. There are some things you
    remember from the days of riding steel rims and getting caught in the rain.

    This manuever works as follows: Move left foot to 6 o'clock on the pedal. Take right foot and place
    it on the ground in front of the pedal; the pedal will then be on/in your right calf. Exert
    sufficient force on your right foot to stop.
     
  14. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Mike Kruger" <[email protected]> wrote in message <snip>

    > If I was far along, I'd just keep going. I'm familiar enough with a
    decent
    > emergency braking manuever so I wouldn't worry much so long as I kept the speed down. There are
    > some things you remember from the days of riding steel rims and getting caught in the rain.
    >
    > This manuever works as follows: Move left foot to 6 o'clock on the pedal. Take right foot and
    > place it on the ground in front of the pedal; the
    pedal
    > will then be on/in your right calf. Exert sufficient force on your right foot to stop.

    We alway used the seat stay as the stationary support and applied the sole of the shoe to the rear
    tire. Of course, this was always much easier on a BMX bike where the pedals were, more often than
    not, covered with a goodly amount of steel teeth for traction. Not the kind of surface you would
    want pressing into your calf!

    -Buck
     
  15. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Rich Clark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]... <snip>

    > > > Well, other than that it's the primary brake you should normally be
    > using...
    > >
    > > Why "should"? I hardly ever use the front unless I need more stopping power for a sudden stop. I
    > > know it has more stopping power, but if I don't need it, I don't use it.
    >
    > "Should" because if modulating the front brake isn't a trained action, you could endo in an
    > emergency stop. Overapplying the rear brake induces a
    skid,
    > which is probably controllable. As a result, reflexive fine control over
    the
    > rear brake is not something many riders acquire; the cue to back off is
    too
    > benign. Overapplying the front is potentially more dangerous. The cue to back off is too scary.
    > Intentional practice is the way to overcome this
    fear
    > so that the reflex is trained up and available in an emergency.

    I heard that! My first emergency stop after switching to a set of V-brakes on the front resulted in
    a dramatic over-the-bars situation. A few days of practice and I learned how to keep the brakes on
    hard enough to keep the rear wheel just skimming the pavement. Now that's maximum braking power!

    If stuck in the Alps with a broken front brake cable, I would have just swapped the front and rear
    cables so I had front brakes instead of rear. The only time I wouldn't do this is if I knew the
    road ahead was going to be slippery. It is better to be sliding around with the back tire instead
    of the front.

    -Buck
     
  16. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (Claire Petersky) writes:

    > Which one do you think I picked?

    I dunno, but I kinda like D 2.

    Another option might be to phone in to work, say you've might've been exposed to SARS, be shunned
    from there, and just skoogie around all day. Take the busted cable bike to the shop, and drag out a
    Fun Bike to tewl around on in the meantime.

    Maybe buy some Spring clothes.

    Sneak off to Hawaii :)

    Speaking of Spring: Daylight Savings Time.

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  17. Garmonboezia

    Garmonboezia Guest

    [email protected] (Claire Petersky) wrote in news:[email protected]:

    >brevity snip

    Without looking further down the thread I'd lay my money on 'C'. If I wasn't too far inbound, that's
    what I'd do.

    >front brake, which scarcely counts.
    Huh? I'd let a bad rear brake slide until I could fix it. I must have my front. I'll risk the
    fishtail to get the better stopping power, IMHO.
     
  18. [email protected] (Claire Petersky) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    >
    > C. Turn around, go home, and replace the cable in your well-appointed, well-lit, well-stocked
    > home bike shop. You are a capable wrench, and this little repair takes only a trice to
    > complete. You are soon back on the road and headed out to work.

    You obviously aren't as experienced and gifted a mechanic as I am.

    A repair like this would take a few hours, and include patching the hole I poked in the inner
    tube while replacing the brake cable (no, I don't know how I did that) and bandaging my forehead
    where the tire lever hit when it unhooked itself from the spoke while I was dismounting the tire
    to repair the inner tube which .....

    btw Never allow a shifter cable to fray inside an STI lever, unless you really enjoy picking all
    those tiny bits of wire out of the mechanism.

    PS... Why would you need brakes when there are so many cars parked conveniently along the
    roadside. As long as your bell works, you're all set.
     
  19. On Fri, 04 Apr 2003 21:08:38 -0500, Claire Petersky wrote:

    > I take it you would have chosen one of the options A - C?

    B works for me. I always have at least two bikes I can use for commuting, and my only issue (i.e.,
    the parking pass) was resolved when they changed from a decal on the seat tube to a decal on my ID
    badge, thereby allowing me to use any suitable bike as a commuter.

    IMO it's worth taking the time to get the safer ride. What's a few minutes lost (especially since I
    have flex time if I need it) compared to the weeks or months that could be lost due to a bad
    accident? Unless you're riding a coaster brake bike or a fixee, riding with only one brake is
    simply foolish.
     
  20. Bike Girl

    Bike Girl Guest

    > Tell me which alternative you would pick.
    >
    > Which one do you think I picked?
    >
    > Warm Regards,
    >
    > Claire Petersky Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at:
    > http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky

    None of the above:

    if it's a nice day, call in sick- wait for shop to open- get bike fixed- go for a nice long ride.

    If it's raining, option B.

    -=<stella>=-
     
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