Beware them that carry tools but don't use them



GinaNY

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Aug 28, 2007
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Went on a nice 60 mile ride throught the Berkshire Mountains of CT and MASS yesterday (well, it was suppose to be) with a group from the local bike club. Had a great first 25 miles, averaging about 17-18 mph, then at the top of a nice 2.5 miles descent I shifted onto the top ring, but lost the chain. So I hopped off, got the chain back on, but as I took off again, something was VERY wrong. Turns out one of the links bent. It was like the bike was possesed and it stuck and jerked every few strokes. Killed my legs after a while, so I bailed out and headed back, ended up with only 45 miles and a LOT of cursing.

But the story is, that at the rest stop a bunch of guys, who've been riding for ages, took a look at my chain and decided that if they took that link off, that I'd be good to go. So out came the tools. After a few minutes, it became clear that none of them had ever done this before. Well, they made a good try of it, but couldn't get the chain tool centered. After a few minutes I realized that if they did actually get this link out, the chances of them getting it out and back together, as sweet as they all were, were low. SO I decided that riding back was better than walking.

So now I've had my first mechanical! I think I'll be learning how to fix my bike this winter. That was ridiculous. And my average speed ended up being 15! Not what I went out for.

Any good books out there to recommend?
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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I used to carry a full kit of tools including a chain tool and crank puller in case someone needed a mid-ride repair, and then cell phones were invented and my bike got 2 lbs lighter:D .
 

sogood

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Aug 24, 2006
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kdelong said:
I used to carry a full kit of tools including a chain tool and crank puller in case someone needed a mid-ride repair, and then cell phones were invented and my bike got 2 lbs lighter:D .
Crank puller? May I assume you also carried a spare Ti/CF cartridge BB. ;)
 

DrunkenBiker

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Jun 3, 2007
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DrunkenBiker <--- off in the basement figuring out how to use the chain-tool he's had in his saddlebag for 11 months.

ha ha
 

GinaNY

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Aug 28, 2007
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DrunkenBiker said:
DrunkenBiker <--- off in the basement figuring out how to use the chain-tool he's had in his saddlebag for 11 months.

ha ha
Good way to pick up cycling chicks! If someone had been able to fix my chain I would have been SOOOOO thankful!
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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sogood said:
Crank puller? May I assume you also carried a spare Ti/CF cartridge BB. ;)
At this time, cartridge BB were just starting to make an appearance. In the olden days of cup and cone BB's, a loose adjustable cup was not all that uncommon and could be adjusted fairly easily in the field.
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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GinaNY said:
Good way to pick up cycling chicks! If someone had been able to fix my chain I would have been SOOOOO thankful!
It happened one time when I came upon a young lady who had wrecked and ended up with her handlebars 90 degrees out of whack. I fixed it for her and we rode a couple of times together before she went back to college. She was thankful but not especially grateful. As it turned out, she was gay and this was in the days before having gay freinds was considered to be cool.
 

p38lightning

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Apr 19, 2004
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And the essential message here is that it's no help carrying emergency repair tools if you don't know how to use them. I've come across guys with flats who had exhausted their supply of CO2 cartridges because they didn't know how to use their inflator. I busted off the stem on a Presta valve with my pump because I hadn't practiced using a minipump. Walked home 14 miles and learned my lesson on that one.

The same thing goes for chain tools. Practice makes practical if not perfect!
 

GinaNY

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Aug 28, 2007
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p38lightning said:
And the essential message here is that it's no help carrying emergency repair tools if you don't know how to use them. I've come across guys with flats who had exhausted their supply of CO2 cartridges because they didn't know how to use their inflator. I busted off the stem on a Presta valve with my pump because I hadn't practiced using a minipump. Walked home 14 miles and learned my lesson on that one.

The same thing goes for chain tools. Practice makes practical if not perfect!
I might pay for a private lesson at my LBS in addition to the book I just ordered. (Thanks Xsmoker!) I really don't want to walk 20 miles next time this happens - I was lucky I could ride at all!

And to think - I just wanted to learn to go fast. Now I have to learn how to fix the dern thing. grrrr...
 

p38lightning

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Apr 19, 2004
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GinaNY said:
I might pay for a private lesson at my LBS in addition to the book I just ordered. (Thanks Xsmoker!) I really don't want to walk 20 miles next time this happens - I was lucky I could ride at all!

And to think - I just wanted to learn to go fast. Now I have to learn how to fix the dern thing. grrrr...
All right you guys bear with me. I know you've seen this many times in the past! One of the great "sages" of bike maintenance and tips is a fellow named Sheldon Brown, former bike magazine columnist, and owner of a parts house. I hope that you will find this link as useful as I have over the years: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/
And while I'm at it, here's the link to Park Tools' website: http://www.parktool.com/ (They figure if you have repair help you might just buy their tools)
 

sideshow_bob

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Apr 26, 2005
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DrunkenBiker said:
DrunkenBiker <--- off in the basement figuring out how to use the chain-tool he's had in his saddlebag for 11 months.

To be fair breaking a chain with a workshop tool is trival. Doing it using the chain breaker on a multitool can be a pain in the ass, especially if the link is bent. Putting the chain back together using a pin you've pushed often won't get you all that far. If you are going to carry a chain breaker, I think it's smart to also have some kind of snap link floating around in the bottom of your saddlebag as well.

--brett
 

Bro Deal

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Jun 26, 2006
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kdelong said:
It happened one time when I came upon a young lady who had wrecked and ended up with her handlebars 90 degrees out of whack. I fixed it for her and we rode a couple of times together before she went back to college. She was thankful but not especially grateful. As it turned out, she was gay and this was in the days before having gay freinds was considered to be cool.
Hmmm. lesbian cycling chick. Was she hot? :D
 

Bro Deal

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sideshow_bob said:
To be fair breaking a chain with a workshop tool is trival. Doing it using the chain breaker on a multitool can be a pain in the ass, especially if the link is bent. Putting the chain back together using a pin you've pushed often won't get you all that far. If you are going to carry a chain breaker, I think it's smart to also have some kind of snap link floating around in the bottom of your saddlebag as well.
With the current, narrow chains I think using a snap link is your best bet. The chains are supposed to be put together with a special pin anyway. You could be careful and do it with a chain breaker, but you might not want to put a lot of stress on the chain.

I classify something like a chain problem as having such a low probability of occurring that it's not worth carrying the tool to fix it. For mountain biking, yeah, but not for road cycling.
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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Bro Deal said:
Hmmm. lesbian cycling chick. Was she hot? :D
She would have been hot if she had lost about 15 Lbs and let her hair grow out. Her straight sister was 2 years younger and she was absolutely gorgeous, engaged to a BIG guy (then worst kind), and a non-rider:( .
 

GinaNY

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Aug 28, 2007
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Bro Deal said:
With the current, narrow chains I think using a snap link is your best bet. The chains are supposed to be put together with a special pin anyway. You could be careful and do it with a chain breaker, but you might not want to put a lot of stress on the chain.

I classify something like a chain problem as having such a low probability of occurring that it's not worth carrying the tool to fix it. For mountain biking, yeah, but not for road cycling.
This is exactly why it happened to me then.:rolleyes: I could have fixed a flat!!
 

Xsmoker

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Apr 25, 2003
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GinaNY said:
I might pay for a private lesson at my LBS in addition to the book I just ordered. (Thanks Xsmoker!) I really don't want to walk 20 miles next time this happens - I was lucky I could ride at all!

And to think - I just wanted to learn to go fast. Now I have to learn how to fix the dern thing. grrrr...

So, which one did you order?
 

GinaNY

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Aug 28, 2007
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Xsmoker said:
So, which one did you order?
The first one is what I got as we have two hybrids, a mountain bike and a road bike in the house - it seemed more broad based. The Zinn is the one I wanted for me though - but it will have to wait. Should arrive any day now - it seems like its been a while... I ordered some other books to, so I'm anxious to get them!

Thanks again!