Almost Pro Bike Mechanic


Somewhere between the ‘true confessions’ and ‘things arseholes do’ thread, post your mechanical fuck-ups here.

I’ll start.

My bottom bracket came loose the other day, so I had to remove my cranks to tighten it. Pulled out my crank extractor, wound the nut in, grabbed my 8mm hex key and proceeded wind the bolt it. Hmmm…seems tough. Kept turning. No dice. Fuck! Why is it stuck? Gave it a good heave-ho…and out comes the thread - stripped.

Get a new crank off oTai (thanks man.) Before installing I wind in the crank extractor in TO REALISE I HADN’T TAKEN THE CAP OFF THE BOLT! So I was just basically winding the bolt into the crank, not the spindle. Way to ruin a crank!

Some people shouldn’t be allowed to work on bikes.



TC: I know sweet FA when it comes to bikes and fixing them - I will do small things like change tyres but anything more than that and it goes to the shop. It is people like me that keep shops in business I guess.



I’ve had a close call with crank bolt washers staying on the crank and bearing the load of the crank puller. Nearly stripped it.

Strangely, I did dream last night that I swapped a BB (to decrease Q factor), loosely fitted up the cranks, forgot about it, then went riding and then realised I was ruining the tapers on my rare ritchey logic compact cranks.



similar bottom bracket story - was trying to get one out of the (then recently purchased) Carrera, it was in pretty tight, so we found a 2400mm long RHS beam affectionately called ‘big bertha’ which we used to slip over the spanner handle to get a bit, no, a lot more leverage. While standing on the end of it, bouncing up and down I remembered that Carrera Marble comes from Italy and that the bike probably does as well, and therefor that bottom bracket thread actually goes the other way.



Recurring nightmare? Did you wake up screaming?



Duggan & I very nearly did the exact same thing on one of my bikes. can’t even remember which bike it was now.

I’m also terrible at bike mechanics, I’ve been known to make myself bleed just by cleaning my bike & have punctured my hand trying to undo a quick link chain with a screwdriver.



Smashed a campy record headset cup in with mallet and piece of 4x2 pine. Bent the cups good and then purchased a headset press.



When I first built up my sw8 Ken pursuit, I apparently didn’t tighten the handlebar clamp quite enough. While hightailing it to the pub I fanged up onto the footpath and the bars came loose just as I was heading directly towards a couple of women. Managed to somehow not crash into them and make it look like a nonchalant MASH-style near miss. Then proceeded to shit myself.

Moral of the story: always check your bolts.



I see what you did there…



There’s nothing like fucking something up to convince you to get the right tool.



I painted my first BMX (mongoose stylus) blue without removing a single part…



Needs to be in a ‘workshop success’ thread



Lesson learnt : Watch your overspray…

Spraying Ranex on some rusted Cinelli steel stems and they cleaned up very nice. ( awesome stuff Ranex ) only to find the overspray had landed on my Extralite Black weenie wheelset and stripped the anno off in about 1000 small dots…



I think I cut my hands every time I work on my bike, even changing tubes. I’ve actually had no monumental fuck that spring to mind, but I did once forget to tighten up my skewers after doing some work, then proceeded to bin it taking off at lights (rear wheel jammed in frame, stopped me dead in my tracks) bending the left brake lever. Lesson learned.



Geezus thats good!!

My first day working in a bikeshop (front of house guy) i was asked to change a tube on a road wheel. 700x20c tire + no idea = bloody knuckles, tire still on, mechanic returning from his break and having a very good laugh.

Probably the biggest story that I have of bike mech stuff-ups (sort of) is when I tried to adjust the tension on a shimano road caliper by turning around the little plastic grommet on the return spring. Its kind of fiddly, i guess. Anyway, i did one and it was fine, did the other and couldnt get it to work, didnt have pliers that worked, was ripping up my finger tips trying to do it… it all escalated so badly that i ended up stabbing the wooden floorboards infront of me with my little awl in a ridiculous frenzy. It left a lot of marks.

Theres a reason people really love nice tools, and lots of them.

Oh, and I should add, my wife knows I’m working on bikes when she hears me scream “WHY??!!”



Gotta have a T handle and a cheater bar if you want to use those stems.



Managed to fit a 27.0mm seat post in a 26.8mm seat tube because when I bought the frame the seat post binder bolt didn’t tighten enough and a 26.8mm seat post slipped down. Got the 27.0mm post stuck and try all sorts of ways to remove it unsuccessfully. Managed to cut it up kind of. Parts (most) of it is in the seat tube, pushed further down so I could put the correct sized seat post in.



I use the long end of a hex key and clamp on some vice grips to get the appropriate leverage.

In my workshop the answer is always vice grips.



Tapped a bb in the wrong direction



I’ve done the same to tighten road brake levers.