Before I answer this question, a little background on my weekend’s ride:
This ride started out harmlessly enough. It was a nice climb up Marshall Canyon for some fun singletrack at the top of the canyon. Along the way we went through multiple tiny streams, climbed up fireroads and some singletrack. We rolled in and out of tree coverage all the way up the trail and got to the top. (Mental note, this is an excellent trail to ride during the hot days of summer… and spring and fall.) There were some steep climbs but they were all very short, which is a plus for someone who hasn’t ridden in a month! When we got to the top of the mountain we had a couple of choices to make. Of course the easy choice was taking the singletrack, hehe, back down to the main trail.
As we started down the fun singletrack I couldn’t help but think how sweet it is to ride a new trail. There are so many fun little surprises and our guide, Tim, was excellent in giving us a heads up as to what was coming up. As I got more into the singletrack I started to feel as though I was finally getting into the flow of mountain biking again. Oh, what a feeling! Then, it happened.
We crossed a mini-stream and began climbing up the other embankment when a sharp bang resonated through the forest (hyperbole). As my ears registered the sound my mind had already come to the realization that a MAJOR mechanical issue had occurred. I looked down to see… well, I don’t know what I saw. I was confused as I’ve never seen anything like this before. I jumped off the bike and ran up the embankment to a flat part of the trail. I called out loudly to Tim, now about 30 yards ahead, and moved over to the side as my buddy David rode up behind me.
What I saw appalled me and brought me to my knees, more hyperbole. If your sensitive to gruesome, broken bike components, I’d skip this next picture:
It has been officially confirmed. I’m a masher. A spinner would have gently chosen a lower gear to climb up the embankment but I’m no spinner. I held my high gear and ripped apart my front chain ring while tackling that short embankment. Since I was running a 1×9 I was also out of luck. I had no more front chainrings for my chain to run on. Off came the chain and now my pedals spun freely. I spent the rest of the riding coasting, kicking, pumping and running my way down the hill. Thankfully it was mostly downhill so I still got to enjoy the trail.
My buddy Tim, who normally rides an Inbred 29er, noticed how on his Yeti 575 (a 26″ bike) he had to pedal a lot earlier than I did when we were coasting along. He mentioned something about 29er momentum and I knew Tim was a true 29er convert.
Marshall Canyon might have won this time around but I promise you that I will be back for more.
Please note that a bashguard and new bolts were added to the Redline’s stock setup, I never had issues before with the stock ring.
UPDATE: Click here to read the probable cause of the failure.