A few thousand Kms ago my rear hub started acting like it wanted to go somewhere other than with me. When I put pressure on the pedals there was a rather disgusting auditory crack. It went hand in hand with regular slipping, sometimes just a bit of one rotation but at times it was like freewheeling in both directions. This clutch slipping, spin class action didn't happen all the time but definitely almost threw me over the bars on more than a few occasions.
I knew the cassette/hub body was shot. That was obvious but the hard part was getting a replacement. Its a proprietary part for Halo hubs. There is no walking into a bike shop to buy a new one, at least not in Mexico. I contacted Halo directly and they were fantastically helpful. It was no problem to explain my situation and have them jump onboard with sending me replacement parts ASAP. These were coming from England so I had them shipped to a bike shop way ahead in Oaxaca.
In the mean time I flushed out the hub body with WD-40 and then soaked some chain oil into its bearings. This helped a lot. The popping and crackling stayed but most the skipping stopped. I thought it was case closed and just needed to get the 1000 or so Kms down to Oaxaca. As annoying as it was, she held together and we made it down.
I hit the bike shop with my fingers crossed... No dice. Nothing ever showed. Not while we were in the city that week or ever. Halo sent it but it never made it. So very typical for the Mexico mail system, we have since learned. Halo had no tracking # and the post office and bike shop did nothing but shrug their shoulders at me. What was I to do but ride on?
We had met Wolf and Javier and really wanted to cycle south with them. My plan was to return to Oaxaca on the bus when I got an e-mail from the bike shop. I'm still waiting on that e-mail.
As the Kilometers went by it got worse and worse. Just about every time I engaged the drive train there would be a crunch and a loss of half a pedal stroke or so. I expected every day to be left stranded A.K.A having to hitch hike.
We were now so far away from Oaxaca that it was more in bus fare than the price of the new part. So I contacted Jeff in Durango and he ordered me one from BTI. This was relayed to Kelly's mother who flew down to visit on her vacation and she hand delivered it to me. It was nice to hold in my hand the one piece that would give back my faith in Samu as a reliable rig and the confidence and smoothness in my cadence. As a bike mechanic this was a long run of cruel torture- A problem with my own bike I could not fix.
Here in Cancun, the Benotto dealer turned over their shop to me. This is what I found:
Shattered chunks of steel
the remnants of my cassette/ hub body
The rat bastard on left. 3/4" wrench not actually used for anything.
new bearings ass well!
I just wanna say THANX to Halo in their valid attempt at help me out and to Jeff at Papa Wheelies for being a Pal and gophering for me. And to Kelly's Mum in hand delivering some much needed supplies to us!