Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Bikes: True North tourer (www.truenorthcycles.com), 2004; Miyata 1000, 1985
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A year ago I attached the rear rack to my bike by myself. After two or three hours of body contortions, screw-stripping, tool-dropping, and paint gouging, I actually managed to get it in place. Halleluiah! The task was complicated because my bike uses side-pull brakes, which are asymmetrical, which meant that I had to precisely impart a three-dimensional twist to one of the two metal strips that connect the rack to the rear eyelet. I used a vice grip in one hand, and needle-nose pliers in the other. I swore a lot. I got frustrated. It is a miracle I succeeded.
Of course, after all my effort, the rear rack was not correctly positioned for me. An experienced mechanic would probably have spotted the problem immediately, but it took me almost a year to figure it out.
I also went to battle attaching my new fenders. After two or three hours, I conceded defeat. The fenders had won. I took my bike and a bag full of tiny parts to a bike mechanic, and five or ten minutes later, the job was done and done right!
There is no shame going to a skilled mechanic. As much as I would like to be able to do all bicycle maintenance tasks myself, the reality is that I cannot. Hooray for all mechanically-gifted people who work in bicycle stores!