If you're not going for a ride, what's the next best thing? For a lot of us, it's working on our mountain bike, be it a quick tune-up, an afternoon spend building wheels, or just catching up on some long overdue maintenance (you know who you are). Today's podcast is all about working on and repairing bikes, from the fun jobs to the dirty ones, to having to install twenty tire inserts for the Field Test, to spending ten hours installing Di2 only for it to rattle apart on the first ride, to our favorite tools, to our most embarrassing workshop injuries... Including the time some scary chemicals messed with RC's, er, "component."
What's your favorite mechanical job? Do you have a favorite tool?
THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 66 - IN THE WORKSHOP June 3rd, 2021
Has anyone seen where I put the left-handed hammer?
Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.
Another favourite almost-tool: fresh roll of blue shop towels
Least favorite maintenance job: anything headset related because I'm too lazy to remove my front caliper so my steer inevitably scratches my frame as is dangles from my bike like a lifeless body.
Oh, and RC, that Answer test track put me into the ICU for 2.5 weeks..
Favorite job: #1 building wheels (haven't been in the industry in four and I still get calls to do it). Maybe my favorite tool is my Park 4-sided spoke wrench. The thin loop one, not the heavy bunny-head-looking one. I like RC's choice of the round plastic DT wrench also.
Shop frustration stories: #1 remember when tubeless "standards" were all over the place? Mounting a Hutchinson tire on an old Stan's rim. Those old Hutch tires were 618mm for tubeless 29/700c and I'm pretty sure Stan's rims were 626mm. I got the pair on, but I'll bet they had to be cut off that rim when they were done. I did not recommend that combination, advised against it, but was still dumb enough to accept the job... Oh, and I once got DOT 4 in the eyes/mouth bleeding some old Hayes with their shitty bleed kit that would jump out of the caliper as soon as you looked at them. As much as it sucks having a whole bunch of bleed kits, at least they all pretty much work now.
Favourite tool; park tools Pro chain splitter. Can't count the number of cheap ones broken at key moments. A decent chain splitter with a floating centre guide and replaceable pins with a nice cushy handle and lots of controlled leverage makes this a job I now relish instead of dread.
Mountain bike brakes are so annoying. Not only are they inconsistent from brake to brake (same model), they all require different fittings, procedures, and tricks to get it done as best possible. Mountain bike brakes are always trying to be too light and fancy. Add 50g and make them work all the time, please.
On Mavic, I think they have moved away from sprung pawl/tooth. The latest hubs are all star ratchet style from what I have seen, which is a great move for them. Good news for us!
Also, I once had a rear flat during a XC race, stopped, removed my wheel... and had my freehub fall off into the dirt because I was missing an interference fit O-ring that would have held it in place. I lost one Star Ratchet and one spring and skateboard pushed for 20km to the finish line.
KNIPEX Plier Wrench :
- Knipex 86 03 125 (125mm Small version)
- Knipex 86 03 180 (180mm Medium Size)
- Knipex 86 03 250 (250mm Large Size)
There are more sizes but these 3 have you covered. If had to buy just one 1 for bike work, then I would for for the medium 86 03 180
If you are looking for knipex pliers and side cutters, I think there are almost 2000 types, but if want a basic set to get you going then the Knipex 00 20 11 Assembly Set is sweet.. It has regular pliers, long nose pliers and a wicked pair of side cutters.
Knipex 00 19 56 Set of 4 Circlip Pliers. Probably complete overkill but they have you covered for any clippy thing you might want.
I could bang on all day about tools.
Also a great site for German tools is www.jensputzier.com They are one of the few shops that ship worldwide out of Germany. Shipping is relatively cheap and fast with DHL. They don't have all the German tool brands but they do stock all the Knipex Tool, Heuer vices, Stahlwille, Hazet and can stock any of the Reca Green Tools on request. If you are searching for knipex tools on the site, remove all the spaces in the serial codes - for example Knipex 8603125.
And sure, it's a $20 tire lever, but no one's going to steal it out of your tool box 'cause it looks like a sex toy.
Hated Jobs; Fixing a flat after someone says, "can't you just fix it now, it should only take 5 minutes". Close second was when we had our shop basically open access to the salesfloor, plenty of neck breathers as you worked on their bike. Hate that. Leave me alone while I work.
Favorite Job; used to work at a shop that was on the Tour Divide route in CO. Always rad to see Dividers come through as by that point they were pretty in the groove of things. We'd always jump them to the front of the queue to get them rolling. I've done some interesting things with Divide bikes to make them roll again, and seen some interesting bikes.
Injury; trying to get a tubeless Ardent on a WTB rim, no levers of course. Dislocated my left thumb and had basically no grip strength in that hand for about a month. I am no longer lever-averse.
Worst one: working on Tri-bikes. Worst customers most of the time, sweat, pee, power drinks, gu... and everything you can think of on the bike.
Shop injury : fork air shaft punch a hole above my clavicule cause I forgot to release the air. I never forgot again
Good tools are always a great investment.
Check that the tube isn't pinched under the tire bead, every time, friends
I really liked the bike - it has some awesome characteristics that made it very different from most other bikes - but I don't think its appearance helped.
I had to setup the front derailleurs on mine and my partner's Zwift bikes that are on trainers - the first time I've had to deal with front derailleurs in almost ten years. It was not pretty and I felt inadequate haha
Favourite tool: Jagwire cable cutters. Not for their cable cutting ability, but for the little hole in the middle that puts a beautiful 3-point crimp into the cable end-cap.
Favourite job: Besides wheel building - the nervous thrill of cutting the steerer tube on a brand new fork. That's living on the edge.
Do it, I love that shit!
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