Bolts Neet To Be Tight!
Ooooh! I had one of those scary moments this afternoon. I’d just ridden up from Walker to the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative in Byker (going up Byker Bank - a 35m climb in 240m of road - who’s got legs like overcooked spaghetti now?), as I needed to pick up some new break blocks for Trixie’s front wheel.
Anyway, you know how it is in the bike shop . . . so I ended up also picking up a new skewer for the front wheel . . . and a pack of electrolyte tablets for me.
ANYWAY . . . as I was stowing the booty in my bag, I glanced at the chainring . . . and noticed that one of the five bolts was MISSING And when I had a closer look at the others, I found that one of the others was loose :-(
The prospect of the chainring coming adrift on any bike is not something I’d even like to think about . . . but on a fixie . . . it’s enough to give you The Fear. The problem was that when I’d fitted the chainring, I don’t have the correct tool (a ‘chainring peg spanner‘, apparently) to hold the ‘nut’ part, while I tightened the ‘bolt’ with an Allen key. And the evidence of today is that an old screwdriver in the slot just isn’t butch enough for the job.
But looking on the bright side, of all the places to find this sort of problem, in the bike shop is THE place to get help! The guy who’d sorted out my actual shopping went rummaging to see if they had a suitable length bolt in the spares box.
They didn’t, but he sorted me out with a nice shiny new one, which he fitted and tightened up, before checking and tightening all the others just to be sure.
Lessons to take from this?
- Well, I was damned lucky not to come a cropper. At £2.95, it’s not as if it would have cost me a fortune to do the job right in the first place. Having the right tools for the job is absolutely essential. Especially on something that’s safety-critical, like the drivetrain on a fixie (or . . . brakes on any bike - we’ve all used our teeth to tension the cable while tightening the cable grip nuts, haven’t we?).
- If you’re going to find a problem with your bike, the best place for this to happen is while you’re at the bike shop!
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 07/19/2007
- Total Time: 00:45:00.00
- Distance: 12.5 miles
- Average Speed: 16.67 mph