Friday, May 13, 2011

Equipment FAIL

What’s worse than a technology fail?  Yep, an equipment fail.  As I was riding my trainer yesterday and putting together some thoughts about a weather FAIL, I glanced down at my top tube.  And I noticed something on it.  Hmmm.  Must be some sticky drink or gu stuff dried on there....I reached down and felt it.  WTF?  It wasn’t sticky stuff.  It was rough.....maybe just the carbon clear coating coming off I am hoping.  Not the big C word.....crack. 
No, no, no.  I denied the obvious fact for an hour while I finished up my ride.  But I knew.  I had no idea how it happened.  But I knew what it was.  A crack. My heart rate and power numbers went down as my mind started whirring through what this all meant.  All I could think about was $$$$$$$$$.  I got off the bike and once again told myself it wasn’t what I knew it was.  I got a flashlight and looked up close.  Crack confirmed.
I spent the next hour crying.  This may sound strange, but I LOVE my bike.  It may be 5 years old, I may have bought it used, but I LOVE my bike.  This bike has been to Australia and Hawaii with me and California, Tennessee, Alabama, Illinois, Oregon.  I LOVE my bike.  It’s practically an appendage.  I have already spent 128 hours this year on this bike (not that I'm counting or anything).  But no longer.  I will never ride this bike again.  Wow.    
So in the midst of everything else going on (really just life in general), I have to figure out my next move.  Do I send it to Calfee and have it fixed?  What do I use in the meantime?  Is it really worth sending it off when it is old (5 years) and the maker (Isaac) no longer exists?  Will insurance cover it?  What kind of bike do I need/want?  Coach has given me a couple of options but you start talking about reach and stack and narrow and long and all I hear is wah wah wah.  It is too much for me to think about!!
I have a headache. I am still on the verge of tears.  I didn’t sleep well last night.  I’m trying to come up with a plan - one step at a time right now right?  My road bike is being released from its basement imprisonment.  I need to put a saddle on it and clean it up.  Then I’ll call insurance.  And then I’ll figure out next steps.
Make no mistake about it....I am in mourning.  I walked into a bike shop with lots of beautiful Specialized and Orbea bikes.  I did not look at one of them.  Not even a sideways glance or touch or quick component check.  I’ll look soon enough, I have a race coming up June 5!!!  


CycleDude said...


Expect you have checked this out already, but some carbon cracks can be repaired. Bike shop would be able to tell you.

Kristi McEneaney said...

Michelle: I've been reading your blog for awhile and really enjoy hearing about your adventures. I'm sorry to hear about your bike.

My husband is the head of national sales and in charge of athlete sponsorship for QR. Shoot me an e-mail at: if you have any interest in a QR - I have a little pull with him - he might be able to help work something out.

Ben S. said...

Oh man that sucks! I completely understand the grief Michelle. Wish I had a frame laying around for you to replace it with. Though if you like the groupo (shifters, derailleurs, etc) you may want to find just a frame and transfer everything that you can from your current frame over to a new one; that may save some $$ over buying a complete new bike.

If I was a betting person, I'd wager that the frame was damaged on its way back from Wildflower by TSA if you flew with it.

For fit etc - Not sure if KE has a database of frames to help you out with what will fit or not. If not - had a pretty decent list for while (haven't kept up the last couple years) and Retul has a very good one; they could scan in your current bike, find the best match, set it up and fit you to it all in one session possibly.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Some carbon cracks can be fixed, maybe yours can, I know this sucks, I would the same way you do if it happened to my bike.