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Fix it

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This post is about repairing or modifying a bicycle. For other, darker uses, see "Is it fixed?" (disambiguation)

Poll choices not necessarily in order of difficulty.

I have some odd gaps – I've never taped bars or tightened a spoke! – but I'm now competent enough to have become a rare visitor to the surgery. It probably helps that my bikes are simplespeeds.

It's relaxing working on bikes, if you have the right tools. If you don't, it can quickly become the opposite of relaxing. On the other hand, there's something satisfying about trying to solve a problem...

Another day, another noise. Was it the seatpost shim? (No.) How to remove it to find out? The shim was bedded in, resisting every attempt coax it out with pliers, screwdrivers, and other questionable extraction tools. Nor did the seatpost clamp want to be used as a wrench. Then it struck me: my printer's gauge.

I used to be a typesetter, before desktop publishing came along and gave everybody the serif and sans-serif keys to the kingdom. This ruler was my going away present to myself. No mere memento, it has often come in handy, usually to guide an x-acto knife for little projects.

I slid it down through the groove in the shim, gave it a twist, then pulled up. It was the perfect size – both edges of the ruler head rested on the bottom of the shim.

If that hadn't worked, I suppose a hanger could've been sacrificed for the cause, or the pin spanner which became part of my patent pending device might've done the trick, but I like that my old printer's friend now has an honorary place in my cycling toolbox.


Fortunately bicycle repair is on my bucket list.

Apparently afraid that pedal may one day wish to part company with crank, I give it so much English a regular pedal wrench won’t Brexit it off.

1st attempt, if you don’t count removing crank+pedal and beseeching a mechanic at a bike shop to remove it for me, to be told he’d probably scratch up the crank and it would have been better not to take it off the bike and bring that instead, which wasn’t convenient:

I fashioned a Frankensteinian tool consisting of a normal human sized pedal wrench, a cut down spare part from a metal shelving unit hammered in shape to grip it, a length of wood, and lots of duct tape.

You get the idea.

Close up showing fine detail. For avoidance of doubt, it wasn't supposed to bend like that.

Bit the bullet and ordered Park Professional Pedal Wrench, shown here to scale:

The newest tool in my toolbox is also the oldest, in a way:

For over a decade now I’ve been trying to keep this Litespeed quiet:

No matter what I do, eventually it starts creaking again.

I give up.

on edit: or not


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