I Break Stuff :: A Rash of Break-Ups and Bike Part Explosions

I’m a light rider. I don’t push the limits as hard as I used to. But I am a test rider, and true to my title, I tend to break stuff.

It was a warm sunny afternoon when I took to Brown Mountain to punch out some intervals on the Cannondale Scalpel. A typical ride would be up Brown Mountain Road and down El Prieto two times. However, I ran in to a bit of an obstacle. As I rode down what Google calls “Fern Road” on my way from the Brown Saddle to the start of El Prieto, I felt out of control. Loose. Aye, unstable. I slowed and dropped in to El P. It took three switchbacks for me to realize: “Houston, we have a problem”. I stopped when I had room to move off the trail to investigate. I had destroyed this wheel before, so I figured  I had a broken spoke. The wobbly feel of the rear end of the bike told me so. As I dismounted and began to tug on the wheel it moved from side to side. I tightened my rear skewer and it moved even worse. I began to look closely, investigate, peer at my spoked. Strange.

FInally as I continued to tug on the wheel I noticed, yes, it was indeed moving from side to side. The movement, however, was not coming from the wheel itself, but the frame. My jaw dropped to the ground as I saw the split in the chainstays. The carbon chainstays had become unbonded from the aluminum main frame. This was a sad day. However, I could take comfort knowing that my lack of trust and comfort on this bike was due to the frame being broken, and not so much my own inferior bike handling abilities.

Alas, I broke a frame.  A Cannondale Scalpel at that. Stay tuned for the replacement.

It was Saturday and I was joining my singlespeed friends for a singlespeed gang ride. There’s something special about riding with a group of singlespeed riders. Until your pedal explodes. See above photos. I’ve been a Crank Brothers Candy user for at least 10 years and this is the first time I’ve seen anything like this. But I break stuff, so there you go.




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