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November 7, 2020 / bikesbytesbites

RIP Terry Bicycle (1987-2020)

Terry Classic Bicycle (1987-2020)

About four weeks ago, my bicycle started making a creaking sound with every power stroke of the pedals. I checked my maintenance log and couldn’t find a date when I had paid any attention to the bottom bracket, so I figured it needed to be replaced. Sure enough, the old bottom bracket showed signs of wear, but nothing catastrophic.

However, with the new bottom bracket inserted and the cranks adjusted, the creaking sound continued. This meant further investigation. A (much) more bike-savvy friend (thanks, Ross) suggested that it might be the crank arms themselves or … a crack in the frame. Alas, it turns out that there are cracks in two of the tubes in the frameset — the top tube and the down tube. They initially looked like cracks in the paint, until you peel back the paint and see the crack in the frame.

Top tube and down tube frame cracks

My hypothesis as to what caused the damage is: my B-A-D crash, back in May, 2013. That crash landed me in the Traumatic Brain Injury Ward of Medstar Hospital for 10 days. But the bicycle had been inspected afterwards — the only obvious damage was torn handlebar tape and a bent (badly bent) brake lever, both of which were replaced. Evidently, the frame must also have taken a hit. (I thought my body had absorbed most of the shock. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the crash because: Traumatic Brain Injury.) But it took more than seven (seven!) years for the damage to the bike to manifest itself. (Frame material = steel.)

This was my favorite bike – a Terry Custom, one of the first bikes designed to fit women. The frame was just about the only original part left on the bike (ok, I think the rear brake caliper and right brake lever are original), but I’m still heartbroken. I’m on the lookout for a replacement bike or frame. Or John, at Papillon, said he could replace the tubes and rebraze the frame at a reasonable cost — come back some time this winter…

One Comment

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  1. rootchopper / Nov 7 2020 5:48 pm

    Similar thing happened to my friend Keith’s Trek. He crashed it. Years later while on a tour of the Natches Trace the top tube cracked. Sad face. Too bad you can’t get a new Terry. Their bikes

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