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Gregg Stone
Mighty Mobile Bicycle Repair
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Monday, June 4, 2012

Odd Requests

"Dude, can you help me with my sack? It's really sagging." This was my first repair request this past Sunday doing support for "Merica's Most Beautiful Bike Ride". Fortunately for him, and me, the "sack" in question was this:


This guy had about 10lbs of gear somehow crammed into this thing which proved too much for the single screw/plastic interface of the retention clip who's job was to hold all that crap up against the saddle rails. So, out came the duct tape. First job completed and I've yet to touch a tool. Nice.

Then, for the next two hours, there were a steady stream of riders with miscellaneous issues. It's common to see shifting issues and squeaky chains but this was the year of loose bars and stems. More than a couple of riders came in with handlebars twisted down at the stem. The issue on all of these was that they were carbon and had been put together with no carbon assembly paste between the bars and stem. I know this because I took the face plates off of all the stems in question and they were all dry as a bone in there. Carbon assembly paste is sort of like a light petroleum jelly with sand (or some similar small particulate) in it. The sand helps to grab onto the parts in question and give a solid grip on the components in question. This is especially important because the maximum torque on the stem face plate bolts are usually quite low in order to not crush or otherwise damage the carbon bars or crack the face plate of the stem.

Another thing I saw a few times was loose shift/brake lever assemblies. The bolts that hold the brake levers on the bars (and you on the bike while holding onto them) is concealed under the lever hood. I don't necessarily think the mechanic that "just tuned the bike last week" doesn't know where the clamp bolts are located, but he/she certainly didn't check them while "tuning the bike just last week".

This was also the year of the "cut tire". Damn. If you're riding Hwy 89 between Truckee and Squaw and you're not carrying a spare tube, you're setting yourself up for failure! Also carrying, and knowing how to use, some sort of tire boot can really save the day. Here's a youtube video of how to boot a tire. I actually didn't watch the entire thing, but the guy doing the video is from Pennsylvania so I immediately put my trust in him within the first 15 seconds and copied the link for your viewing pleasure.

Till next time. Keep it real folks.

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