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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've had my Goblin for over a year now and during the first year I only bent one hanger, and then only slightly. A bike shop bent it back for me and I continued to use it for quite a while, but it eventually it bent again, for no apparent reason. Since then, I've gone through four others in just a few months. Two of the replacements I tried were from from Wheels Manufacturing. One of those snapped in half for no reason the first time I rode with it, sending my derailleur into the spokes and ruining it, and forcing me to carry my bike a very long way back to the car. The other one bent when my bike fell over and snapped in half when I tried to bend it back. The other two replacements I've gone through were Airborne's, which seem to fail less catastrophically, but no less easily. I've got one from Pilo CNC on the way, which was recommended to me by my LBS.

Recently I've been riding with a friend who's faster than me, and I've been pushing myself harder, and falling more. I haven't had any serious crashes, though, I've just sort of fallen over a few times. The last time I lost traction on a steep climb, spun in place for a second, and the bike fell over while I was getting off of it, bending the hanger.

Is it really supposed to be that fragile? Is it possible that I'm not installing them correctly? Is there any kind of misconfiguration that could make them easier to bend than they would otherwise be? My LBS thinks that it's probably just a poorly designed hanger.

I upgraded to the Goblin from an old Specialized Hardrock that didn't use a replaceable hanger, so I don't know if I'm just being unusually hard on my bike, or if this hanger sucks, or if all replaceable hangers are like this, or if there's something else at work here.

Considering that I've had to buy a $70 derailleur and five $20 hangers, this trend doesn't have to continue for long before I could have just bought a new Goblin frame. If this Pilo hanger bends as quickly as the others, I think my next step will be to look for a steel one, or have one made. I'm pretty sure that none of the things that have destroyed my hangers so far would have destroyed a chainstay if not for the hanger, and even if I do occasionally destroy a frame that could have been saved by a bendy hanger, for the same money I think I'd rather replace the frame once a year than the hanger once a month.

I've been very happy with my Goblin except for this, so I kind of hate that my first post to this forum is a complaint about it, but I could really use some advice. I'd also like to know how common this experience is, and whether or not people are having different experiences with frames that use different hangers. So, how often do you bend derailleur hangers?
 

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I bent one when my chain broke and one when the bike slid out from under me and landed on the drive side. I was able to bend it back the second time.
 

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I don't intend to sound rude, so don't take it that way:

I think its you, and not the hanger or bike's fault. There are just folks that are hard on bikes. Hangers by nature are designed to bend. Otherwise you be buying a new frame or rear derailleur instead of a hanger every time you laid the bike down.

Hangers also don't fail while just riding along. You either caught a stick, or you had already bent it and then shifted the derailleur cage into the spokes, causing the damage.

For a comparison, I have damaged only two hangers in the last 10 years of riding, and I ride a lot on all types of bikes including Goblins. One happened on a Hobgoblin when I caughr a stick 3 minutes into a ride at Huston Woods 2 years ago. The other one was on a Scott Scale 10 several years back when someone overlapped my rear wheel and tore my derailleur off with their front wheel.

Jeremy
 

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I bent mine a couple weeks back (not on an Airborne bike, but it's a replaceable hanger on an XC hardtail) but it was due to a perfectly placed stick that kicked up into my derailleur cage, got sucked into a jockey wheel, and pulled the whole assembly right into my rear wheel destroying hanger, derailleur and a couple spokes. That said, It's the first time I've ever destroyed a hanger in 12 years of riding and I chalk it up as a freak incident that's just part of playing the game. Your situation does seem a bit more extreme.
 

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I find if I really try to push my pace, even on a trail that I know very well, I tend to fall on occasion. Sometimes you fall on the drive side, and replacing a $20 hanger is better than a $200 frame.

Most of the time you can bend an aluminum hanger back at least once or twice. In the event of a stick getting sucked up into the drivetrain, where the hanger will get bent in multiple directions, you usually can't. I've bent the non-replaceable hanger on my road bike several times, whether from falls or just putting it in and out of my car.

My suggestion: Back off a little bit, fall less, and maybe carry a rabbits foot or rub a buddha belly because your luck seems to be a bit on the downswing right now.
 

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I've ridden bikes for 12 years and have never bent a hanger. knock on wood. I used to race downhill back in the early 2000's. I have had a lot of rocks and sticks break rear spokes but never my hanger. a buddy of mine does a lot of hard shifting and I think this Contributes to him bending and breaking his hanger about once a Year. I would think Something weird is going on for You to break and bend the hanger So often.

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I killed two since coming back to riding in 2007. One was a fall, one was severe chainsuck.
 

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I've not had the misfortune of bending a hanger yet(I've only been riding 3 years), and I know that the guys I ride with haven't bent any in the recent past either. I agree with skyphix, maybe dial it back a little and see if that helps.
 

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I went through a rash of bent hangers myself, and have had my share of crashes to say the least, but you should do yourself a favor and pick up a Park Tool DAG-2. It has become part of my ritual, and only takes a couple of minutes to check the hanger to make sure it is straight.

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Sometimes you just have to chalk these things up to a run of bad luck. I broke two on one ride last summer and ended up coasting/walking back to my truck in the rain. Never broke one before, haven't broken one since.
I've also punched a big irreparable holes in $60+ tires with less that 100 miles on them.
If you are going to ride hard you are going to increase wear and tear on your equipment, and increase your maintenance costs. Maybe take it a little easier.
 

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Man, that has to be frustrating. But I've ridden a couple of seasons on my Goblin and had several falls including at least two on the drive side and have yet to replace the hanger. I do carry a spare but just haven't needed it yet.

Seems like an overly obvious question, but is it possible that some chain links have been removed at some point?
 

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you should do yourself a favor and pick up a Park Tool DAG-2.
Also this ^. I think every rider should have and use a DAG-2. keeping your hanger straight as part of regular maintenance will reduce the stress on it, keep your shifting nice and smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't intend to sound rude, so don't take it that way:


I think its you, and not the hanger or bike's fault. There are just folks that are hard on bikes. Hangers by nature are designed to bend. Otherwise you be buying a new frame or rear derailleur instead of a hanger every time you laid the bike down.


Hangers also don't fail while just riding along. You either caught a stick, or you had already bent it and then shifted the derailleur cage into the spokes, causing the damage.


For a comparison, I have damaged only two hangers in the last 10 years of riding, and I ride a lot on all types of bikes including Goblins. One happened on a Hobgoblin when I caughr a stick 3 minutes into a ride at Huston Woods 2 years ago. The other one was on a Scott Scale 10 several years back when someone overlapped my rear wheel and tore my derailleur off with their front wheel.


Jeremy
Thanks for the reply. I'm definitely all for using disposable hangers to save a frame, but a series of bad experiences with this one have got me wondering whether the threshold for this one is too far on the safe side. I'm aware that it could easily just be a change in the way I've been riding lately, or a series of bad luck, which is why I wanted to get some input from the people here before I decide what to do.

The one that broke immediately and for no reason had been in my backpack as a backup for over a year, and so my theory was that it had been cracked somehow before I ever installed it, maybe when I fell or dropped my backpack or something. It broke when I shifted into the lowest gear in the back, but the chain wasn't caught in the spokes. It's possible that I caught a stick exactly when I shifted, but it seemed pretty well timed with the shift. I suppose it's also possible that it went into the spokes and the force of the event ripped it out again, but my experience with that is that it's usually pretty hard to get it out of there.

That one was a Wheels Mfg. hanger, as was the other one that snapped in half on me. I think the metal that they use is too brittle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I find if I really try to push my pace, even on a trail that I know very well, I tend to fall on occasion. Sometimes you fall on the drive side, and replacing a $20 hanger is better than a $200 frame.

Most of the time you can bend an aluminum hanger back at least once or twice. In the event of a stick getting sucked up into the drivetrain, where the hanger will get bent in multiple directions, you usually can't. I've bent the non-replaceable hanger on my road bike several times, whether from falls or just putting it in and out of my car.

My suggestion: Back off a little bit, fall less, and maybe carry a rabbits foot or rub a buddha belly because your luck seems to be a bit on the downswing right now.
Do you bend them back on the trail? My solution to bent hangers has usually been to adjust the RD until I can get it to stay in a gear I like, ride back to the trail head with one gear, and have a shop straighten it. I did try to straighten one of the Wheels Mfg hangers at the trail head with a couple of pairs of channel lock pliers a friend had in his truck, but it broke in half, even though it wasn't very bent. That had me worried that any hanger would be at increased risk of snapping and taking a derailleur with it once it had been bent back, but as an experiment I bent an Airborne one to about 90 degrees and back several times. They handle that much better. I just wish they were a little tougher. I don't always have a friend with two sets of channel lock pliers, and I think I'd be a bit scared to try to bend one back my pulling on the derailleur.

While, unlike the Wheels Mfg. ones, the Airborne hangers don't seem to be dangerous to use after they've been bent, they do seem to bend easier after that. The one that I've reused so far bent the second time on a ride that had gone very smoothly. Besides the time that one snapped in half and took a derailleur with it, that's the only time that I've had absolutely no idea what caused it. I'll probably have the two that I've gone through since then bent back so that I can use them as spares.

I went through a rash of bent hangers myself, and have had my share of crashes to say the least, but you should do yourself a favor and pick up a Park Tool DAG-2. It has become part of my ritual, and only takes a couple of minutes to check the hanger to make sure it is straight.
Also this ^. I think every rider should have and use a DAG-2. keeping your hanger straight as part of regular maintenance will reduce the stress on it, keep your shifting nice and smooth.
I've ridden bikes for 12 years and have never bent a hanger. knock on wood. I used to race downhill back in the early 2000's. I have had a lot of rocks and sticks break rear spokes but never my hanger. a buddy of mine does a lot of hard shifting and I think this Contributes to him bending and breaking his hanger about once a Year.
Is it common for them to bend as a result of normal use? My shifting is usually pretty smooth, but I do have the occasional hard shift. Could that be damaging them?

I would think Something weird is going on for You to break and bend the hanger So often.
Me too! The general feeling that I'm getting from this thread is that other people aren't having this problem with this hanger. Maybe it's just bad luck, but I'm still trying to think of what else might be going on.

Man, that has to be frustrating. But I've ridden a couple of seasons on my Goblin and had several falls including at least two on the drive side and have yet to replace the hanger. I do carry a spare but just haven't needed it yet.

Seems like an overly obvious question, but is it possible that some chain links have been removed at some point?
I added a quick link, but the number of links is the same as is was when I got the bike.
 

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I usually just grab near the derailleur mount point and bend them back with my hands enough to finish my ride, then use the hanger alignment tool to get them perfect either at home or at the local shop depending on where I ride. The silver Airborne ones tended to fracture at the bend point and the wheels ones I've found a lot more durable, but also harder to bend back and more prone to actually breaking rather than bending, if they do get damaged.
 

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When initially setting the rear derailleur cable tension, chain resting at the 11-tooth cassette cog and large chainring - the cable MUST be only snug.....NEVER drum-tight. You have to remember once the chain gets shifted to the granny ring and lowest gear, there will be a tremendous amount of chain/cable tension....often what taxes the poor RD hanger.

If you cannot wiggle the bare, exposed RD cable just slightly, at its' most relaxed setting....you got it way too tight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
When initially setting the rear derailleur cable tension, chain resting at the 11-tooth cassette cog and large chainring - the cable MUST be only snug.....NEVER drum-tight. You have to remember once the chain gets shifted to the granny ring and lowest gear, there will be a tremendous amount of chain/cable tension....often what taxes the poor RD hanger.

If you cannot wiggle the bare, exposed RD cable just slightly, at its' most relaxed setting....you got it way too tight.
Very interesting! I had wondered whether or not cable tension could be a factor. I should have included that question in the original post, but it didn't occur to me last night. If it's possible that cable tension can bend hangers, then it's plausible that this has been my problem all along. Much more plausible, I think, than that I went trough one in a year and then four more in three months for no reason at all.

The one that came on the bike had what I would call a very reasonable lifespan. It bent the first time in one of two or three falls that I've had on this bike that were even remotely hard or fast. It bent the second time without an obvious reason, but it was being reused, so that's not too surprising. When I installed the Wheels manufacturing one that I had been keeping in my hydration pack as a spare, I adjusted the RD quite a bit, having changed just about every setting on it to get it to stay in a gear I liked when the first one failed. I could have messed the cable tension up then. I also replaced both derailleur cables after the failure of the second Wheels hanger, and before the two Airborne replacements failed for ridiculous reasons. It's easily possible that the cable tension is less than ideal.

I can't check now because it's in the shop having its wheels trued, but I should have it back tomorrow, if not this evening. I'll ask the mechanic what he things of my cable tension when I pick it up.
 

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Is it common for them to bend as a result of normal use? My shifting is usually pretty smooth, but I do have the occasional hard shift. Could that be damaging them?
RD hangers aren't damaged from any hard shifting.

They are damaged from the following:

1. A crash
2. Improper bike transportation
3. Stocks or other intrusions
4. The bike falling over on the drive side during storage
5. Improper adjustment (generally the L side being out of adjustment and allowing the RD to be shifted into the spokes)

Or combinations of the above.

Jeremy
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
RD hangers aren't damaged from any hard shifting.

They are damaged from the following:

1. A crash
2. Improper bike transportation
3. Stocks or other intrusions
4. The bike falling over on the drive side during storage
5. Improper adjustment (generally the L side being out of adjustment and allowing the RD to be shifted into the spokes)

Or combinations of the above.

Jeremy
What would you call improper transportation? The trails I ride most I ride to from my home, but when I go to other trails I usually just put the bike in the trunk of my car. I have a rack, but I typically only use it when I'm moving more than one bike. When I put it down on the drive side it rests on the frame, but when I put it down on the other side it rests on the rotor, so I used to put it down on the drive side. Since this stuff started happening I've been putting it down on the other side with an old shoe under the back of it so it doesn't rest on the rotor. Not exactly proper, perhaps, but it doesn't have a harsher ride than I do as the driver. Do you think that could be a problem?'

I've had the chain fall into the spokes a few times recently, but I think as the result of a bent hanger, rather than as the cause. I was less aware of it as a warning sign the first couple of times it happened, but generally the first thing I notice is some auto-shifting on the high chainring in the middle gears. When that happens, shifting into the lowest gear will cause the chain to fall off into the spokes. The last couple of times I experienced that auto-shifting I stopped and looked at it before I made that mistake, and the hanger was bent, which is why I think the few times that happened to me it was caused by a bent hanger rather than the cause of one.

What do you think about Zachariah's cable tension theory?
 

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What would you call improper transportation?
Typically transporting a bike in a car or other vehicle with the drive side down. Bikes generally don't like to be crammed into vehicles even if the drive side isn't down. They get scratched easily and other strange things happen. Vans/Minivans/etc where they can be transported upright and/or in some sort of fork mount are the exception.


I've had the chain fall into the spokes a few times recently, but I think as the result of a bent hanger, rather than as the cause. I was less aware of it as a warning sign the first couple of times it happened, but generally the first thing I notice is some auto-shifting on the high chainring in the middle gears. When that happens, shifting into the lowest gear will cause the chain to fall off into the spokes. The last couple of times I experienced that auto-shifting I stopped and looked at it before I made that mistake, and the hanger was bent, which is why I think the few times that happened to me it was caused by a bent hanger rather than the cause of one.

What do you think about Zachariah's cable tension theory?
The cable should be taut when in the smallest gear. It shouldn't be loose. I don't know what "too tight" is, as if it is beyond taut then it is starting to make it shift.

Jeremy
 
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