(Another) Sedona Update

Ever since the Sedona was put back into service after suffering from a broken axle, I’ve put over 30 miles on the bike. How has it been holding up?

Yes, you read that right – since the bike was fixed (see this post) I’ve put 34 miles on the bike (as of the time I’m writing this.) So, how has it been?

For the most part, uneventful. I’ve tried to get out and ride every decent day, although this past week I didn’t really have many chances to do that due to being busy. I was going to create a series of posts titled “Quarantine Rides” to journal my daily rides, but I decided against it as not much happens on them. (After all, it’s not like I’m riding across the country or something.)

On one of my recent rides, I visited a lake in our town.

I did set a goal: I’m hoping to ride 100 miles in my year-to-date total by May, when I have to return home (and therefore, put the bike in storage until August.) So far, I’m 7/10 of the way to my goal – 30 more miles to go.

Mechanically, I’ve had to deal with a couple of issues with the Sedona, despite supposedly receiving a tune-up when it was being repaired.

The major problem is the gear slippage. If I put a lot of effort into pedaling (i.e. climbing a hill) the chain will slip, causing the bike to shift erratically. This issue is especially problematic when I’m trying to climb steep hills and I’m not in first, second or seventh gear on the rear. Any other gear on the rear will slip, so I try to keep it in either second or seventh gear.

The bike has had this problem for a while, and I completely forgot to bring it up with the bike shop owner. The issue has, actually, got worse. On a couple of rides last week I had to actually pull over and fix the chain on the side of the road, as it had slipped off the gears completely. (Thankfully, this was a fairly easy repair.)

The other issue isn’t a mechanical issue – but my headlight broke. The strap on the Bell Lumina Hi-Lumen headlight finally snapped, after being stretched on and off multiple times. Thankfully, the light itself works – despite being thrown from the bike after hitting a slight bump. But the light is slightly useless without the strap. The taillight is still fine. I hope to eventually get a better headlight that actually mounts to the handlebar, instead of relying on a rubber strap to keep it tight (which doesn’t work that well, and isn’t very robust.) The head/taillights don’t get used very much, since I rarely venture out after dark.

Other than the gear slippage and the “broken” headlight, the Sedona has been holding up. The ghetto tubeless tire, for those wondering, has also been holding up perfectly fine and has been retaining air pressure decently.

Update: 4/10/2020

As soon as you fix one thing, another thing breaks.

Yesterday I was riding when I heard the dreaded hissing of a leaking tire. I wasn’t too far from home so I decided to try to get home quickly. But, as luck would have it, that wasn’t going to happen. I was held up at an intersection, where the tire deflated.

The culprit? A long nail…

The nail that brought an abrupt end to my ride…

The nail didn’t just pop a hole in the tube. It ripped a large tear in the tube, which was too big to patch. My guess is that when I hit a slight bump before the intersection, the nail must have moved around and tore the hole – causing the tire to quickly deflate. The nail went right through both sides of the tube.

I had to do a roadside repair – thankfully I had my spare tube with me. When I got home, I took the tire back off to do a closer inspection of the tire just to make sure everything was fine.. The nail must have went through the sidewall of the tire and tore a hole in it.

The tear on the outside of the tire casing…
…and the inside.

This tear, unfortunately, wasn’t the only thing wrong with the rear tire casing. There was also a gash on the inside. Strangely, I haven’t noticed that gash before – and it was nowhere near where the nail entered the tire. In fact, I don’t believe there has been any puncture in that area.

The mysterious gash. I have no clue what caused it.

While the hole isn’t huge and wasn’t causing the tube to bulge out too much, even at 55 psi, the tube was still visible and there was still a slight bulge. I decided to play it safe and put a “poor man’s patch” on it. I cut a piece from the popped tube and taped it over the hole. I put three layers of Gorilla Tape over it. I also put one layer of Gorilla Tape over the gash. The patch offers quite a bit of extra reinforcement to that part of the tire.

I rode it today at 60 psi and it held fine. Time will tell how well the jury-rigged repair lasts. I’m worried more about my patch possibly rubbing a hole in the tube.

After applying the patch to the casing, with the tire inflated to 50 PSI.

However, it looks like the rear Schwalbe Marathon is already toast thanks to a nail.

I’m at 85 miles this year… 15 more miles to go until I hit my goal.

Update: 4/18/2020

I hit my goal! Today’s 6 mile bike ride put my annual total at 101 miles.

The damaged rear tire (see above update) has been holding up fairly well. I revised my original repair. First, though, I decided to see how bad the carnage was before revising the repair.

The carnage without the fix. Yikes!

Yikes! At 40 PSI, the tube is slightly bulging out the tube, which is to be expected with a tear like that. If I kept inflating the tube to 60 PSI, it would’ve expanded or (likely) popped with a loud bang.

My revised repair just added one more layer to the original repair. While the original repair held up, I thought this repair would add some additional rigidity to that area. I placed a piece of cloth between the cut tube and the tear.

The tire has been holding 60 PSI flawlessly since. Speaking of that, I’ve been riding with 50 PSI front/60 PSI rear. This pressure combination is slightly better, although a little more harsher ride on bumps and stuff. The front ghetto tubeless has been holding flawlessly.

On a recent ride, I did have to make a “road-side repair.” However, it had nothing to do with the tire. The chain slipped off the front sprockets (strange) and got caught. After some elbow grease on a sidewalk with the bike upside down, I was able to break the chain free and got it back on the front sprockets again. I haven’t had any issues since.