Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A season (and bike) of firsts

I've gotten a lot of firsts with my Jamis Exile 29'er. You know, my first single speed mountain bike and first 29 inch mountain bike. My first serious rigid mountain bike (unless you count the old Diamondback (Outlook?) I first started a little mountain biking on). Did my first 13 hour race on it and my first 24 hour race as well. First night rides, first Rosaryville rides... I think you get the picture.

All of those "firsts" can easily be rounded into the "good" category (unless you want to talk about the quality of my performance at the two races of course). A whole other set of first have also been achieved on the Exile that I wouldn't quite illuminate under such a kind light.

My first ride, both on the bike and at Rosaryville SP was interrupted midway by my first ever broken chain. The near 2 hour trek back to my car, exacerbated by the fact i knew nothing about the park definitely sucked, though luckily no serious damage was done to my body as a result of the break.

Then, my first ever broken spoke at the Leesburg Bakers' Dozen race. Not terrible and after I finished the lap the awesome guys from Plum Grove hooked me up with a loaner wheel. Again, little harm, little foul.

Next the brake line blew (first time ever for me again) out mid-lap at Big Bear during my night lap. More harmful as I was forced to rely on the front brake through all the worst downhill areas of the already difficult course. Endo city, though no broken bones so still not the worst thing ever.

Following that race, for the first time ever I had a destroyed bottom bracket. I've yet to replace that actually after an order for a replacement BB was never entered at the shop so the pedals spin almost as if I'm walking a fixed gear when it rolls.

Now, last night for the first time ever I can say that I've busted a bike frame. A steel bike frame no less...

I'll post pictures when I get a chance but essentially the down tube broke clean away from the headset and the headset also cracked in half, held together simply by the Jamis head badge decal. A couple minutes more of riding and I was set for a face plant and a frame in two pieces.

Before the ride last night at Rosaryville in meeting the legendary Ricky D of the Single Speed Outlaws, I got my first warning of the likely hood of the frame crack. 45 minutes later with the front end of the bike was shaking and wobbling all over the place I had my very own proof. Damn, such a good ride too last night to be ended mid-way through, half way through the inner loop.

Here's hoping Proteus and Jamis back up their product. Will share the pics when I get them and keep this updated on here. The worst part about the whole thing is That is my only mountain bike so I'll be off the dirt for as long as this takes. Just as I was really getting into the trail grove.


Craig Hoyt said...

Hello KMAX
My name is Craig Hoyt and I am the MTB Product manager for Jamis Bicycles. I am sorry to hear that your frame broke, and that you had some other issues. Sounds like you have had a rough year.
Have you contacted your shop yet, regarding a warranty frame?
Feel free to contact me if you have any issues,
But bringing the bike to your dealer is the first step.

KMAX said...

Hey Craig, I really appreciate you taking the time to read this post and respond. That means a lot to me.

I understand the post probably sounds like a bashing of the Exile, though I definitely don't intend it that way. I love the bike dispite the issues I've had with it. Aside from the cracked frame even, the majority of the problems are from the components, not the bike.

I do love the bike and have no plans to move away from Jamis or the Exile. I've heard the headtube strength issues have been resolved with the new frame and I fully expect to use it for years to come.

As for the broken bike, I dropped it off last night and it sounds like it will be a quick and pain free process. Thanks again!

Darren said...

Sorry to hear that, I am riding Rigid right now but on the rough stuff, that is where I have seen rigids break. let me know when your bike is back in action we will ride, good seeing you at DCCX.

KMAX said...

Will do Darren. Off to a good start so far on getting the new frame!

Yeah you guys did awesome with DCCX; everyone I talked to had a blast. Only thing that could've made it better would be if I'd gotten my butt and bike in gear and raced it...