As some of you off road riders might well know, the derailleur hanger is one of a cyclist's best and worst friends. The invention of the replaceable derailleur hanger was genius. Derailleur hangers are designed to be a bit more flexible in a crash than the bike frame itself. Reason being is that its much easier to replace a derailleur hanger than to replace a cracked frame. Makes sense right?
Well here's the problem. It sucks when you derailleur hanger breaks, because most bike shops don't maintain an active inventory of them. Again, reason being is because there are many different flavors of hangers. Some with one hole, some with two holes, some with three....you get the idea. The most challenging part is that each bike manufacturer has their own "number" associated with the hanger. To complicate it further, this number can vary depending on model and year. This past Sunday, when I snapped my derailleur hanger (for the 2nd time), you can imagine the frustration that I knew was ahead of me in order to get the replacement part.
Today, I went to the LBS to see if by chance they had any sitting around. As expected, the answer was no. Their recommendation was to buy it online and bring it in. The guy basically said its impossible to keep an inventory for them. He did offer to order one, but said that it would likely be faster to order it myself and bring it in. So that's just what I did. He referred me to the website derailleurhanger.com, which is an excellent site to match up what type of derailleur your model bike needs if/when you break it. Just to be safe and to save myself the same frustration, I ordered 2 of them. I'd note the site in case you ever break one on your bike and are scrambling to find a replacement part quickly.