Cycle tour destroyer

If like me, you spend considerable time planning and preparing for a cycle tour, then you’ll be excited when the day comes to go cycle touring. Finally, a chance to escape the everyday humdrum of life, and explore the world in the best way possible: on two wheels, and under your own efforts.

Because you’re diligent, you ensured that you carry spare parts for your bike, and you probably know how to replace failed components, too. That means you’re well set for a tour, right?

The missing component

Chances are, you overlooked one critical spare part. Something that’s tiny, made of soft metal (to protect your frame) and comes in a great many shapes and sizes, none of which are compatible with any other.

Yes, I’m talking about a mech hanger here! A mech hanger is a small piece of metal that screws onto the frame of most bikes with rear derailleurs, and it is designed to deform, or even break, before damage is done to the frame.

Very frustratingly, there are seemingly a million different types of mech hangers out there, and only ONE type will fit your bike. What this means is, if the mech hanger was damaged, or broken, you will be extremely unlikely to be able to find a replacement while on tour.

That tiny component could well become the reason why you have to end your tour early, and make emergency arrangements to get you and your bicycle back home.

What can you do?

The answer is obvious: get a spare mech hanger before departing on your cycle tour. As I said before, there are a great many different shapes of these, but a good starting point to track down the correct one for your bike’s frame is this list, by Sheldon Brown.

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You could of course ask your LBA to identify and obtain the correct mech hanger for your bike’s frame. As these are so small and light, you can easily pop it in your toolkit. That way, should disaster strike, miles from anywhere, it’d be at worst an annoyance, and not a cycle tour destroyer.

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