Saturday, March 24, 2012

Houston, we have a problem! A really big problem!

Nightmare, Gladys is sick.

When I was putting Gladys back together after the flight I noticed that the derailleur was loose. On closer inspection I realised that the bolts attaching it to the frame were loose. Uh oh, no they weren't, they'd been torn out. I tried tightening them up but only one bit, the other was threaded.

I could ride but only very carefully and got myself down to the mechanics at the expo. They said not to worry, it wasn't the frame that had threaded but the derailleur hanger and this could be replaced, phew I thought. Even better there was a massive Trek stand inside the expo.

The guys at Trek were amazing, I'm biased I know but you decide based on this...

They stripped the derailleur down and then set about finding a new hanger...this is where it all went pair shaped. I came back after registering for the race and saw a bunch of Trek guys looking very grave. They showed me the rear drop out where the derailleur hanger attaches, they had a high powered light shining on it and you could clearly see that the dropout was cracked right through to the bolt hole. (Gladys was so brave, she hardly said a word).

Stan, the main Trek guy that was dealing with it said he felt strongly that if they put it back together "It was likely to break during the race...but it might not". Being an optimist I said "I think it WILL last the race...but it might not"

There was much debate and then they blew my mind. They said they had a brand new medium size Speed Concept that they could lend me but unfortunately they were already lending it to another competitor, so they'd loan me a brand new Madone road bike and set it up as close to my bike as possible. I was so appreciative but I knew the bike fit was critical, I was here to compete not just complete, I thanked them profusely but asked them to just patch Gladys up and I'd risk it.

A while later they came back and said, the guy they were lending the Medium Speed Concept to is a little taller than me so they'd switch him to a Large and I could have the Medium. WOW!!!! We then started discussing the logistics, basically Gladys would need to be stripped down and things like the SRM transferred and because the stem was a different size the the whole issue of cabling came in especially as I had the Di2 and the loan bike had SRAM. They were prepared to do the switch but time just didn't allow the stem and bars to be changed. This brought the fit back into play. In the end I stuck with Gladys and asked them to patch her up and replace the damaged hanger, I'd trust Gladys to hold cracked dropout together.

Stan was brilliant, he patched her up, and took another hanger from a new bike, retuned the gears and he seemed quite optimistic that the job he'd done would hold provided I didn't hammer the gears during the race. How much did this cost me? And here's the sting...they all laughed when I asked. "Nothing buddy...just keep riding Trek!". NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE!


My Boring Triathlon Blog said...

awesome story

good luck

JohnP said...

wow great job on their part! Impressive.

Hope it holds together for you!

Simon said...


Mike said...

Good luck man! Hope she holds together.

Simon said...

Thanks Mike and JP, she'll hold, not only is she gorgeous but she's a strong girl too :)

Chris W said...

Is the shopping basket hanger OK?
I have a friend who lost their basket on a 70.3 - it was disaster, Hovis loaf, eggs and bacon all over T2
Go Gladdis, forget the worries about the derailleur, worry about the shopping basket, and the fat bloke straddling you
Go the distance.....and you to Simon
All the best, Chris

Simon said...

Thanks Chris, your words of wisdom are always a great help. All very relaxant and true except you must remember we don't do bacon.

Go Gladys Go

DRog said...

Good luck Mate!!
will be tracking you TODAY



Doru said...

That's really great customer service on their part, almost as good as Cervelo's, ha-ha.

Best of luck Simon and Go Gladys Go!

DRog said...

Nice work Simon!
excellent effort all the way around

I was following you on online...they also had the liveironman feed and the pics look awesome from Melbourne

Congrats on a great time - t10:06 is a PR yes?

Butch said...

Wow, great race time, you must have been thinking of your carbon fiber girlfriend the entire bike ride. Even more amazing the time you did with the bike mishap. Again, great job!!! Congrats


JohnP said...

b*tch where's my race report? Forget relaxing and write me sumfin' entertaining.

Also - what's next? With a killer time like that - do you think you can still improve on it? Do you even want to? Thats so damn fast I couldn't imagine what sub 10 looks like to make Kona. IT's just getting harder and harder to qualify nowadays - that Kona monkey is raping you good lol