It’s The Brakes, Silly . . .

This is the next chapter in the saga of my bike, Sassy, leaving me stranded in the middle of Interstate-25 on a busy Sunday evening.  At the end of that post, the bike was sitting in my garage waiting for the next steps . . .

On the advice of friends, I reached out to the BMW dealer where I had purchased the bike barely a month earlier.  My expectations were admittedly low; the bike was used and I’d owned it for about a month. What reason could they have for agreeing to fix it at their expense?  Regardless, I decided it was worth asking for help because I literally had nothing to lose at that point.  I was pleasantly surprised when they not only agreed to repair the bike at no charge, but also to come and pick it up.  Customer service is a dying art for most businesses, but not for this one!

A few days later, we coordinated the bike pick up and transport to the dealer.  The next afternoon the service manager called asking if I had made any adjustments to the brakes.  I said no, of course not.  First, I do not know how to do this and wouldn’t have attempted it alone. Second, the bike had less than 3k miles so I assumed no adjustments were needed.  They explained to me that when the bike arrived, they discovered the back brake pedal had no “play”.  In other words, they were ‘on’ all the time and anytime I touched the brake pedal, they clamped down even harder!  The slower ride with more stopping on that fateful Sunday proved to be too much. The rear brakes overheated and the brake pads ‘glued’ themselves to the rotors!  This also explains why after the bike sat for a few minutes, I could push it to the shoulder.

When the bike was repaired and I arranged to pick it up, I was a bit nervous.  Was this going to happen again?  Could I trust that my bike was now safe to ride?  My anxiety was high, I admit it.  What I didn’t yet know is that another wonderful experience awaited me at the BMW dealer.  Not only did they explain the repair in detail, they walked me through it on my bike. They also apologized, more than once, for missing this detail during the time they were checking the bike out before I purchased it.  My anxiety melted away!

Since I started riding, I have heard the advice about building a relationship with your bike.  Learn what is normal so that when something is off, you can have it looked at before it leaves you stranded (hopefully).  Since this bike was new to me, I had no idea that the brake lever barely moving wasn’t normal.  Now I know and this one won’t catch me off guard again!  I’m very grateful to have Sassy back on the road and running normally.  Here’s to many beautiful autumn days of riding before winter comes to stay.

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