This week, I’ve been working on two consulting projects (good news, because we need the money; bad news, because I’m too busy to blog or do much else) and Littlest Guy and Middle Guy are getting into the school groove, which makes our mornings kind of chaotic.
TG mentioned on Tuesday that her bike had a new rattle; I went out and confirmed that the chain was a bit loose, checked to make sure the brakes and suspension were all OK, and we agreed that we’d adjust the chain and go over the bike this weekend.Wednesday, she complained about the rattle again, and so I walked her bike up and down the driveway, and heard a slight rattle from the front end. Again, headstock, brakes, all felt OK, but I suggested she take the car to work. She disagreed, and rode to work all week.
I finally got some time today, after a quick lunch with Michael Totten and Roger Simon and a Long Beach Opera event. I put the bike up on front and rear stands, pulled the brake caliper off so I could get the front wheel off – and the brake pads just fell out of the caliper.
The locating pin that held them in the caliper had vibrated loose and fallen out.
The caliper is made so that it would be difficult – but not impossible – for the pads to just get shaken out while riding, leaving the brakes nonfunctional. Fortunately, they didn’t fall out as TG rode to or from work on the crowded Harbor Freeway all week.
The point here is simple – it’s worth checking things out if they feel wrong. And until you do, it might make sense to park whatever it is that feels bad. Don’t just assume everything is OK, as I did, and in so doing put my wife at risk.
We dodged a bullet this week. We might not next time, and you might not either.