Spanner Waggling

Disclaimer – I am what you might call a bike nerd, which will likely become more apparent in this section of the blog than any other. If you just like to ride bikes and don’t really care what thickness spokes your using or what’s the best cable housing for Rohloff then don’t despair reading is not compulsory……… at least not until I find a way of enforcing it!

A new bike is about to be created

A new bike is about to be created

Bike maintenance or spanner waggling as I like to call it is a very important part of being a cyclist. It comes in many forms such as; Necessary e.g. fixing your broken bike so you can get back on the trail. Tedious giving your bike a service because you know you should even though it runs pretty well (I don’t like this type, I have a bad habit of  putting it off until something goes wrong). Evolutionary, building new bikes because one can never have enough. Finally Unnecessary e.g. putting that bit on just to see what it looks like even though you don’t plan on keeping it there for more than one ride, I confess to being guilty of this from time to time.

Fixing broken spokes on my Rohloff mid-tour

Fixing broken spokes on my Rohloff mid-tour

So I guess another disclaimer is required here. I am a pretty crappy bike mechanic. Completely self taught I know enough to get myself in to trouble then I search around for ages on the interweb in an attempt to learn enough to get myself back out of trouble again, I like to think of it as learning from my mistakes. Part of the reason for this is I am an engineer (and also a cheapskate) so I tend to have the mentality that if that little spotty kid in the bike shop can do it then I should be able to as well. Why should I pay him £15 when I can buy the tool for £10 and do it myself. It turns out this isn’t always wise, spotty kids often know a lot about fixing bikes so sometimes I have to admit defeat. This said I have built and repaired lots of bikes which have been on some pretty epic adventures…..and most of them are still working!

Slightly more major repairs at a Danish fabrication shop

Slightly more major repairs at a Danish fabrication shop

Here I plan on posting about bike building projects (there is always something in the pipeline), bodged repairs and clever little bits and pieces. I have some pretty unusual (silly) bikes and most have odd little problem solvers which I plan to post up to help others who may just be stuck in the same corner.  I have a reasonable amount of experience using a Rohloff speedhub. I have set it up in a couple of  different configurations on a few different frames. I plan on putting up more information and tips and tricks that I have learned in the process to help out other Rohloff users.

Custom Travel Troll with S&S couplers

Custom Travel Troll with S&S couplers

Recently since learning that I will be travelling for a good few years I have had my Surly Troll modified by installing S&S couplers to allow it to be packed down for travel. I have also recently purchased a road bike frame with S&S couplers installed so I hope to post more about building up and taking apart travel bikes as well.

So read on if you dare, you may learn something……most probably what not to do!


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