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L Tecolote, not to worry, I’ve bent my quota of derailleurs and yours too so you should be OK. That risk (which renders the bike inoperable) is mostly if you have to go off rode and hit a rock or branch the wrong way. I suppose it can happen on-road too in a fall, but mostly it is an off-road risk. My thinking is that come SHTF, some of us might choose to take trails at times rather than roads, either to get to resources somewhere in the woods or to travel more secretively. A skinny wheeled off road bike just isn’t going to do that at all.

Because of maintenance considerations, the simpler the bike the better. Derailleurs can’t be repaired even at a bike shop nor are many of us able to repair disc or hydraulic brakes ourselves. They might trying bending the derailleur back into position but my experience is it still won’t work right and then it gets replaced anyway. If a shock absorber fails it might be an annoyance but you can live with that, though you will work a bit harder pedaling if you are bouncing up and down. I erred on the side of buying a bit better quality bike which came with better components and then just trusted to bike shop to use proper replacements. I didn’t do that kind of repair myself and can’t give good advice there, beyond you get what you pay for if buying a new bike. I would go with no gears if buying another bike. It is a trade-off of functionality/capability versus maintenance considerations when you can’t just swing by a bike shop.

At grades such as you note, few of us are going to pedal our way up so don’t feel bad. My days of doing that are over. I would add that there is a danger of flipping over going down such a grade as well from either hitting your brakes too hard or just hitting a stone you didn’t see. There is no shame in walking your bike sometimes. In fact it might be a sign of intelligence.

I’ve never seen one of those pack/honey badger wheels, but I like it. I can see where they could really come in handy. And yes, getting out of dodge could be a very long walk so best to ease the physical burden of carrying stuff. It wouldn’t be as steady as say a garden cart, but it’ll be easier to maneuver in many places and you could go off-road with it.