We are having technical difficulties… please stand by

June 17th, 2008 by becky

On our way from Port Darlington to Presqu’ile provincial park (about 6 km outside of Colborne) my gear shifter decided to seize up. I had been having intermitting issues with it getting difficult to shift, which we thought was related to the breaking-in of the new Roloff Hubs. Unfortunately, I’m now in a position where I can only just change gears. I must stop the bike and force a change of one or two gears. This isn’t really workable.

Scott made an attempt to fix things, but we didn’t have a torx screwdriver with us. When we arrived in Colborne the hardware store was closed. We stopped by the library and asked about accomodations for the night. Unfortunately, the B&B that was in town had closed, so the nearest accomodation was 16 km away in Brighton. So, we preparted for the slog to Brighten .. as we were leaving town, I notice a man in his garage cleaning a motorcycle. I figured someone with two motorbikes must have the necessary torx screwdriver, so I sent Scott over to ask. Fortunately, Eric had one.

Scott tried to figure out what was wrong, read the manual, and discovered that there was nothing else he could do without additional parts. The problem appears to be in the twisth shifter itself – a part that is not user serviceable :( … Eric offered us a ride into Brighton (he has a nice pickup truck), which we decided to accept – it was already 7:30 pm and I didn’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with a malfunctioning bike. Once we reach Brighton, we realized the hotel was busy and likely did not have Internet. Also, Brighton was still in the middle of nowhere. When Tracey (Eric’s wife) offered to take us to Trenton instead, I accepted. Trenton is likely to have a rental car place (if necessary). So, Eric and Tracey dropped us off at the Comfort Inn in Trenton near the 401. Thank-you ever so much Eric and Tracey – your help is greatly appreciated.

Scott says:

Perhaps life-savers would be a bit of an exaggeration, but the rescue from Eric and Tracey was a bright spot in a day which was getting progressively more frustrating.  Thanks guys!

Scott has now contacted Keith, the bike mechanic at Bicycle Man (where we bought the bikes), but unfortunately, he has not seen this problem before. So, we are now in the process of contacting Roloff. Since it is night there, we’ll get the letter off to them tonight and hopefully have an answer by the morning. I’m hoping there is something we can do that will allow us to continue our trip. If not, we will rent a truck and head home to await parts (no point in waiting 3 days for parts here, when we are so close to home).

… please stand by …

2 Responses to “We are having technical difficulties… please stand by”

  1. Richard Guy Briggs Says:

    Hi Becky, Scott,

    I’ve had the same page open to one of your blog postings since before you left and have been updating it but saw no updates so assumed you hadn’t been posting! I was alerted you had a Rohloff issue, so figured out I’ve had the wrong url open and missed all your postings since you started… I’ll go back and read them when I get a chance.

    As for your Rohloff problems, please don’t hesitate to give me a call if you have any more of them. I’ve had my hub completely apart and fixed many cable issues since I got mine with my Greenspeed tandem and can probably walk you through most stuff on the phone. http://tricolour.net/rohloff.html I carry a torx driver for those rare times I need it. I can advise on other tools helpful for that hub. Did you by any chance get a Schlumpf Speed Drive to go with it? I can help you there too. :)

    I hope I don’t see you at home to get your problem sorted!

    Good luck!

  2. scott Says:

    Thanks Richard!

    Clearly I should have talked more to you before we left about the Rohloff – when I last looked at your tandem in detail, I was much less educated about such things, so didn’t realize you had one…

    I had a helpful chat with Stuart from Rohloff in Germany this morning, but don’t have a solution yet.

    It looks very much like the problem is in a customization HP Velo made to the shifter so the entire barrel rotates, and not just the triangular shifter portion. Now that we’re in for the night, I’ll take the shifter apart and see if I can figure out what’s going on.

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