||Some problems can ruin your race, others may
contribute to a serious crash. This stem was on a bike that
is meticulously maintained and ridden moderately. Simple wear
and tear in addition to other factors started these small
cracks. Eventually the stem would fail, causing the handlebars
to come off. These are the type of perfromance and safety
problems we look for in a pre-Ironman tune-up.
||A brake barrel adjuster with a cable ferrule
lodged in it was tough to spot. The brass ferrule has jagged
edges that damages cable housing. White perspiration residue
caused the brake cable to have friction resulting in poor
braking and possibly contributing to cable breakage. After
a long season of Ironman training this is what we look for.
||Corrosion on the cable clamp bolt and brake
shoe attachment bolt make adjustment difficult and can contribute
to component failures. An accumulation of perspiration and
sports drink residue make for a corrosive soup that damages
lightweight alloy components. Carrying the bike on an outside
car rack speed the process by exposing it to the elements
like rain, sun and high freeway wind speeds. This is also
something we are looking for before you take your bike to
||The brakes felt sluggish and did not return
well. This plastic bushing is supposed to be a perfect cylinder-
like a miniature black plastic paper towel roll. Instead,
wear and tear has caused the bushing to break and the brake
to become less effective. This is dangerous while cornering
and descending. On a hilly course like Ironman Wisconsin this
is an accident ready to happen. In a pre-Ironman tune-up it
is all about the details.
||It's not about the bike: The cleats on these
shoes were dangerously worn by a long season of Ironman preparation.
Each of us tend to stop with one foot down on the bike. This
is the foot where your cleat wear is highest. It is important
to inspect your shoes as well as your bike before you leave
for the big race.
||Both cleats are significantly worn but few
people think to check their cleat wear. also, seized hardware
can ruin your expensive cycling shoes. One thing you don't
want to do is switch shoes right before Ironman. In a pre-Ironman
tune-up we check your shoes also. For want of a $16 pair of
cleats your race could over. Or worse.
||The dangerous part of worn cleats is the thin
toe section. Look at the difference between the thickness
of these two cleats at the front of the cleat.
||The wear is difficult to see from above but
can result in the toe piece snapping. This would cause the
rider to suddenly unclip from the pedals. It would be tough
to finish a 112 mile bike ride with on pedal, especially after
a crash from unclipping when you least expect it.
||Bottom brackets are another source of potential
race-ending problems. This bottom bracket on a relatively
new bike was filled with sports drink residue that had entered
the frame through a water bottle braze-on hole. This likely
won't lead to failure, but may damage your frame and increase