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  1. #1
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    What's your best 'MacGyver on a bike' moment?

    (For the non-US members, MacGyver is a TV- action guy who can use things around him or in his pockets to fix the impossible )

    I had my moment this weekend. I set-off hoping to perform a metric century (62.5miles). I got 24 miles from home and heard a 'snap' form the rear of the bike. I look down and my chain is dragging along the road. I pull over and soon realize that the rear derailleur has lost tension on the chain as the internal spring has snapped. Im 24 miles from home, its hot and Im in the middle of nowhere. I flipped the bike over and manually set the chain to big ring on the front and big cog on the rear. Still the chain is too loose. I then pull out my trusty multi-tool (thank heavens I had it with me) and start adjusting the tension screw. By screwing it in all the way the chain looked almost normal. I then tried a few gears and the only gear the chain gave adequate road clearance was in 1st and "possibly" second. Shifting to a smaller cog allowed the chain to droop towards the road - not safe.

    So I rode the 24 miles home in first gear at around 8-9mph. My legs had to spin like crazy just to keep the 9 mph average. I think that was the longest 24 miles of my life. I finished up riding 48 miles but it felt a LOT further

  2. #2
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Victoria, Canada
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    Cannondale t1, Koga-Miyata World Traveller
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    My son's M gyver moment came one spring while overhauling an acquaintance's bike.
    He realized he was out of grease so he used margarine. The weather was still cool enough that the margarine would not melt... can't imagine the mess and problems when the weather warmed up.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  3. #3
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    Upland Ca
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    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
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    The first time I ever removed and replace a chain I did a terrible job per buddy's instruction (before I had internet). He said I could remove a pin from a Shimano chain then reinstall it. NOT!

    I was on the road, didn't have my chain tool. Pin slightly slipped to one side making noise hitting the derailleur cage. I found two rocks on the side of the road and placed them together to form pliers to remove the pin. Then a third rock with a different shape to use as an anvil allowing me to press in the new pin.

  4. #4
    Senior Member REDBEARD_WS's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    ocean city, Md
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    2012 Giant Sedona ST, 2014 Specialized Hardrock 29er
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    Lol yea mine is tiny. It got dark on me commin home so I took my tac flashlight and my livestrong rubber band bracelet and looped it around to hold the flashlight on handlebars.made a damn nice flashlight commin home

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Philly
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    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
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    My rear shifter cable broke. I wedged a stick in the RD to keep the bike in a gear that allowed to me get home comfortably. It fell out a few times, but generally worked well.

  6. #6
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    My "best" would be tying off a strip of inner tube rubber to center a rear brake. Other on the road macgyvers: wrapping a paper clip around a frayed cable housing end entering a broken cable adjuster, duck tape/mesh wire repair of a split sidewall, tying a cantilever brake "triangle" cable by hand, shivving a slipped seat post with a coke can, and "adjusting" a front DR by bending with pliers (that one I was reluctant but it was already distorted and a piece torn from the chain). I've "repaired" a broken plastic platform pedal with a wrap of fishing line and super glue but that was at home.

  7. #7
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Fort Worth, Texas
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    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Trek 900, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '92 Schwinn Crosscut, '03 Diamondback Tandem, '94 Yokota Grizzly Peak
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    Used a wrapper from a granola bar as an emergency tire boot after a blowout. Held enough pressure that I was able to slowly ride 4 miles to where my wife could meet me with the car.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  8. #8
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2009 Spesh Singlecross, 2011 RM Flow1
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    Mine are all pretty standard:
    - pull links from chain to make a geared into a singlespeed after a derailleur mechanical
    - goofy cable tricks to fix a brake temporarily
    - etc.

    The best I ever saw was from a friend riding the Last Chance 1200k in Colorado. He broke his rear hub shell, and being that it was during a rando event, no outside assistance is allowed between control stops. He rode the remaining mileage (something like 35k) to the control with a couple of giant zip ties holding the crack from spreading across the entire hub. He got a replacement wheel delivered to the control.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Ontario Canada
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    Opus Andante/Parleez5i/Burley Tosa Tandem
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    Rear shifting mech broke in my rear brifter. Broke a twig to the right length to keep chain on my 17 on the back, only had to ride about 4k all flat ground to a spot my support vehicle, wife in minivan could come and get me.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  10. #10
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
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    Louisville Kentucky
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    Bacchetta Agio, 80s Raleigh Record single-speed, Surly Big Dummy
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    It wasn't me, but I was riding with a guy who had a front flat. When he removed the tire and tube, he realized there was no rim strip installed. He used the destroyed tube as a rim strip and was able to finish the 50-mile ride.
    Car-Free IT Geek
    My blog: fatguy.org

    Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, 1980s Raleigh Record single-speed conversion, Bacchetta Agio

  11. #11
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    One of the titanium rails on one of my old saddles broke/shattered on a steep climb a few of years ago, about 25 miles from my house.

    I used a stout y-shaped stick, two velcro reflective ankle bracelets, and about a foot of duct tape to cobble together something to support the saddle for the ride back home.

    I've heard of other local riders, that were not clydesdales, breaking titanium saddle rails from that era.
    My Bike Blog
    ------
    1987 Trek 1000 Aluminum
    1993 Cannondale M300
    2008 Specialized Allez Elite Compact

  12. #12
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    A friend of mine in the Seattle Randonneurs does a blog segment called "That's Rando" during each of his ride reports. With randonneuring being about self sufficiency, it's usually the most kludged or crazy-assed contraption, or on road repair that someone did to keep from DNFing a ride.

    These have included the aforementioned zip-tie on a hub shell, using a Starbucks plastic cup and an SiR 100k lapel pin to make a rear mudflap for someone with short fenders, anything Kent P. built out of coroplast signs (especially the "cheese wedge" rear box), and the collection of fender/flap mods in this post.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

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