Decrepit is NOT impressed with them newfangled contraptions.
This morning I was pushing my bike out of the garage, backwards as usual having pushed it in forward the night before. Usually this procedure proceeds without perfidy but I accidentally bumped the trigger shifter, causing the dérailleur to shift over a couple chainwheels. Under normal circumstances in a backwards-traveling bike, it makes a ker-blunkity sound as the chain spools awkwardly off the freewheel into the dérailleur.
It isn’t harmful and the chain thla-blunks itself right back in line with the first forward circumvolution of the chain wheel. But not this time; unbeknownst to me, the march of progress had planted a little technological booby-trap on my bicycle chain: a new type of removable link. It holds just fine when under tension but under compression, it releases. Clever!
(When did that happen? How long have I been riding around on one of those kind of chains and not noticed, using my chain tool to remove them for cleaning?)
While rolling my bike backwards my chain broke. Or more accurately, the clever little link compressed between the freewheel and dérailleur and disconnected itself, its little pieces flying off to parts unknown. I had to ride a different bike to work today.
Now I’m sure that nifty innovation is a big boost to the whippersnapper set who have not mastered the art of using a chain tool but to me it was a major inconvenience. I’ve never seen a chain do that before, and I’ve been slightly bonkers about bicycling since the year of the first Earth Day. Back then my main bike was an English 3-speed.
I fixed the chain this evening by eliminating the modernity. It’s all strong links now.