This post should be about my second and now truly annual Stumpjumper Day ride; but it isn’t and it is. It is about Stumpjumper Day ride, but it’s more about the old issues that came up on the ride. Issues, old issues that really set in as I coasted down the exit road on my limping Stumpjumper and came across this, before unknown to me, trail aptly named “Old Issues.”
I was looking forward to this ride, just like every other ride, because I like to ride. This ride though was going to be a little more special because I finally broke down and installed modern brake pads. I had wanted to keep the bike as original as I could, but also had to weigh that want against my want to ride the bike as well as stop the bike. Brakes worked…even with lack of toe-in adjustments of any sorts. Last year Stumpjumper Day was noisy no stop brakes, this year quiet stops with new colorful Koolstop pads. Cool.
This year’s Stumpjumper Day also had an uncool old issue surface on the first little uphill section. A broken inner chainring, a complete first for me in my life! I go for a little hard press on my leg to lift the rigid front end over a little bitty bump and wham, chains off and I have a new bruise on my knee. My thought was that the front derailleur was out of adjustment allowing the chain to just drop off, so I jogged up to the top of the hill, shifted to the middle ring to get the chain back on and off I went riding up the Dog Patch Trail. It wasn’t until I stopped at the top of the trail to adjust the derailleur that I realized I had a bit more than just an adjustment issue. I had a broken chainring, an old bike issue. I also had a vintage crankset that had all 3 chainrings held by the same set of bolts, of which, now half of them were damaged or missing. I felt lucky to have just climbed a section of trail on the middle ring without any more old issues.
So I reluctantly pointed the limping Stumpjumper back down the hill on a couple of easy pedaling trails, trying to coast as much as possible while thinking about how great the new Koolstops were working. I was also trying to glean as much fun as I could out of this botched ride by keeping to trails, rather than roads, as much as I could. The last trail possible to hit on my way down ironically named Old Issues.
I don’t know how difficult it will be to find an inner chainring for a 40 year old TA crankset. I will assume it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, as well as costly.
The big question, even if I can find a replacement part, is it time for this vintage Stumpjumper to become a wall?