Opps I did it again

That chain ring don't quite look rightThat chain ring don't quite look right

So I don't quite understand it. Its not like I am a hulking mass as I tip the scales at a measly 150lbs. Its not like my thighs are the size of some peoples torso (just head to the track and you will see some of those folks, they are called sprinters). Its not like I even pedal in squares, believe it or not I am quite a smooth spinner.

Despite all of what I am not, somehow, through some unspeakable physics that just don't add up, I was able break a chain ring and crank spider on my first fixed gear bike. On bike that had a perfectly straight chain line, a bike that I specifically built too take a beating.

This happened some years ago. At the time I was extremely proud, and it had me sporting a shit eating grin like not other, after all it was a badge of honour so to speak. Proof that flesh can win against metal. To this very day I still have those cranks hanging on the wall.

For the longest time, I thought it was a complete freak-of-nature. A one off event that was the result of a calumniation of calamities. I was running boutique CNC cranks that were notorious for breaking (Kooka, btw are now defunct), I was running only one chain ring (the second adds structural support) and I was often putting force in the a direction opposite to what the cranks where designed to handle, which probably weakened the crank. (Remember, back in the 90's people had brakes and you only pedaled forward.)

Well now those Kooka cranks hanging on the wall have some company!

Something looks off...Something looks off...

It all happened innocently enough. I was on a training ride, slowly getting myself back into race shape for the upcoming spring series, when I was doing some speed intervals along the Stanely Park Drive. (Speed intervals work on your leg speed, the idea is to spin up to a fast cadence (i.e. an RPM of 140+) and maintain it.) I was spinning my ass off along the latter half of Stanely Park Dr. (heading back to English Bay) when I hit a rough patch along and I heard this uneasy CRUNCH!

Up close and personalUp close and personal

I look down to to my disbelief I have folded yet another chain ring, this time on my Surly Steamroller Complete. A bike that really should know better. To quote their marketing department:

It’s tough, the handling is snappy, the acceleration zippy, and it’ll take even bigger tires than we spec’d because big tires flex before the frame so they’re more comfortable and stay connected to the ground better than high pressure skinnies.

Whether you’re a neophyte looking to try ‘fixed,’ a seasoned messenger, a hipster, wonk, geek, freak, neo-zoom dweebie, or just want a simple, practical, long lasting, general-use single-speed, the Steamroller answers the call.


Anyway, I sent them an email tonight (with pictures) basically going... Yo wat up wit dis, beeeatch?


Despite different bikes, different builds, different types of cranks I do find it interesting that I have broken the chain ring in the exact same place, both times. For comparison purposes here is a picture of the original breakage

First time round, the busted Kooka crankFirst time round, the busted Kooka crank

So what can I break next?


Hows'about breaking out some real cash on a set of real cranks! I have a set of Rache Fache Turbines and after four years, perfect. Flawless - and best yet... lifetime warrantee! That, however, is me riding them, not Wease '300' Challenger, so I dunno. Maybe you would just rip the drivetrain out of a Honda if it had pedals... Keep up the good work!

from ianbikerider

Wease's picture

Hmmm... the "Wease 300" has a nice ring to it. I should start a 300 mile fixed gear race and call it that. Man that race would suck!

Speaking of racing there is the BFF fixie race here in Vancouver at the end of March... actually its on my birthday. You thinking about blowing off the dust on those Turbines and coming out now that you are located in Van once again?

And for the record it is pretty easy to have flawless RF turbine cranks when you NEVER use them you fucking poser!

one-eighth of an inch is thrity-three-point-three percent more than three-thirty-seconds.

Get a real chainring / crankset.

Wease's picture

I did after I broke the ring/cranks. BTW that is the crank/ring combo that comes with the Surly Steamroller Complete. Surly claims the bike is bomb proof... it is not.