Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

New to wrenching; making some silly mistakes. Share yours?

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

New to wrenching; making some silly mistakes. Share yours?

Old 03-02-15, 08:27 PM
  #1  
willydstyle
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 654
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
New to wrenching; making some silly mistakes. Share yours?

My latest one was trying to use chain tension to secure a master link... with the master link on the bottom of the chain circuit. I was literally jumping up and down on the pedals (super bad for my poor Fuji, I'm sure), and sweat was pouring off my forehead, before it finally dawned on me that I was putting literally zero tension on the master link.
willydstyle is offline  
Old 03-02-15, 09:33 PM
  #2  
KC8QVO
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 339

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The other day I was working on my bike. I was tightening up a stem bolt and a spoke fell off. So I laced it back up through the tire. Then I torqued the seat post clamp putting a kink in my rear brake cable. After that I pumped up the bar ends and greased the frame bearing.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 03-03-15, 12:04 AM
  #3  
hueyhoolihan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
Posts: 6,689

Bikes: 8 ss bikes, 1 5-speed touring bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
not a bike story, except it happened during my daily ride.

i stopped at the Starbucks for my habitual small plain coffee that costs $1.95. i pulled two singles and a five out of my wallet and layed down the two singles. the young woman quickly had my coffee, picked up the two singles and headed to another cash register to get my change. i walked after here, and and when she handed me my change, i had somehow forgotten, probably because i had been asked a question by one of the other customers, that i had already paid, and handed her the five.

she immediately squealed to her workmates, "oh, my, a five dollar tip!". then quickly put it in the tip jar.

after that, there was nothing for it, it was over in a flash, the damage had been done and there was no good way out of it. to make matters worse, she probably thinks i'm some pitiful old man trying to impress young ladies by over tipping. jeez!

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 03-03-15 at 12:09 AM.
hueyhoolihan is offline  
Old 03-03-15, 12:07 AM
  #4  
hueyhoolihan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
Posts: 6,689

Bikes: 8 ss bikes, 1 5-speed touring bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
My latest one was trying to use chain tension to secure a master link... with the master link on the bottom of the chain circuit. I was literally jumping up and down on the pedals (super bad for my poor Fuji, I'm sure), and sweat was pouring off my forehead, before it finally dawned on me that I was putting literally zero tension on the master link.
visions of Wile E. Coyote.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 03-03-15 at 10:51 AM.
hueyhoolihan is offline  
Old 03-03-15, 12:23 AM
  #5  
willydstyle
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 654
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
you've give me visions of Wile E. Coyote.
And now I realize just how flexy steel frames can be
willydstyle is offline  
Old 03-03-15, 07:28 AM
  #6  
kzin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 172
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
5 minutes in the cold trying to thread a pedal in the wrong way.
In spite of correctly saying 'ok, THAT way to tighten', kept trying to install it the other way!
kzin is offline  
Old 03-03-15, 08:45 AM
  #7  
Rubato
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 246

Bikes: 91 Trek franken '81 Schwinn Voyager

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've mounted brake shoes incorrectly and shredded a brand new tire, tried to remove a crankset and missed the washer, mounted a bottom braket backwards so the rings hit the chainstay, cross threaded a bottom bracket, laced several wheels wrong, etc. It's all good stuffl-I'm a lot smarter now than I was before....
Rubato is offline  
Old 03-03-15, 10:19 AM
  #8  
nfmisso
Nigel
 
nfmisso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 3,010

Bikes: 1980s and 1990s steel: CyclePro, Nishiki, Schwinn, SR, Trek........

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 381 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Destroyed a stem by over torquing the screws - the stem manufacturer even etched the proper torque range on the stem in a very visible location. It was on our tandem, wife not happier either, as it took almost week to get a replacement of the correct size. Also got a precision torque wrench so that will not happen again.

Lacing up spokes incorrectly - didn't figure out until the third of four groups of spokes that I had started one off, and there would be extreme difficulty in getting the pump chuck on to the valve......had to take it all the way back to the first spoke.
nfmisso is offline  
Old 03-03-15, 08:45 PM
  #9  
Scratcher09
Senior Member
 
Scratcher09's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: San antonio
Posts: 90

Bikes: '80 Miyata 210, '05 Fuji Team Issue, '75 Motobecane Nomade Sprint, 2010 BMC Racemaster, '77 Raleigh Grand Prix, '83 Raleigh Marathon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Been working on cars and motorcycles for decades and recently got into cycling. While putting together my first modern bike with sti shifters, I thought I could break down an Ultegra 9 speed shifter to clean and lubricate it. Didn't take me long to realize I could not even begin to get it back together. And all LBS I went into would not touch it. Worst part is worked fine before I disassembled it.
Scratcher09 is offline  
Old 03-04-15, 01:15 AM
  #10  
Bandrada
Bandolero
 
Bandrada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Land of Enhancement
Posts: 402

Bikes: ...

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2918 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Too many to name.

My most common mistake is having a few "extra" parts after a fork rebuild.
Bandrada is offline  
Old 03-04-15, 08:58 AM
  #11  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 8,296

Bikes: '87 Schwinn Prelude, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara/Centurion Ironman, '18 Diamondback Syncr, '18 handmade steel roadbike

Mentioned: 76 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2962 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 144 Times in 102 Posts
I typically don't have major issues when rebuilding bikes, just random mistakes that always come from not paying attention. I work on almost only 80s bikes, so its not like I have a bunch of difficult new tech to account for.

Just last night I was putting some components together while watching tv. I ended up installing a brake shoe/pad on the outside of the caliper. I actually looked at it for a few seconds confused because it didn't look right but I couldn't figure out why. That's how little I was paying attention.
I also installed the rear wheel skewer on the wrong side- the QR was on the drive side.

Just little things that I end up doing because I am not paying attention and catch right after doing them- I clearly cant multitask.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 03-04-15, 09:11 AM
  #12  
dr_lha
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central PA
Posts: 4,816

Bikes: 2016 Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross v5, 2015 Ritchey Road Logic, 1998 Specialized Rockhopper, 2017 Raleigh Grand Prix

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 355 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Latest random mistake: Installed the cable end on my rear brake cable, then realized I didn't install any donuts on the cable itself. Oh well.
dr_lha is offline  
Old 03-04-15, 01:12 PM
  #13  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,049

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4342 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Bandrada View Post
Too many to name.

My most common mistake is having a few "extra" parts after a fork rebuild.
Gee, I hope this was a suspension fork.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 03-04-15, 10:45 PM
  #14  
Chesterton
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 194

Bikes: Pashley Roadster Sovereign, Cycles Toussaint Velo Routier, Yuba Mundo, Raleigh Sports (1970)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
Latest random mistake: Installed the cable end on my rear brake cable, then realized I didn't install any donuts on the cable itself. Oh well.
Oh, this is probably a very common category of mistake! I was thinking of the time I changed my dynamo headlight, and suffered through the frustrating process of fishing the wire through the internal routing in the fork only to realize I hadn't remembered to first thread on the little rubber plug that seals the hole at the top of the fork. So I had to do the wire fishing all over again.
Chesterton is offline  
Old 03-04-15, 10:54 PM
  #15  
SalsaShark
Senior Member
 
SalsaShark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eastern Iowa
Posts: 217

Bikes: 2014 Trek Allant drop bar conversion, modified Schwinn MTN commuter, 2015 Trek 520, Soma ES, Salsa Journeyman

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
First time I used a crank puller I failed to remove the larger plunge adapter, which was not needed for the crank style I was removing. Needless to say, after completely shredding the removal threads out of the aluminum crank, I had to resort to removal with some more archaic tools.
SalsaShark is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 11:35 AM
  #16  
zebede
Hello
 
zebede's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Suncoast, Florida
Posts: 844

Bikes: n+1

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Hey this thread should be called the amaetuer Hour.....I love the bike mechanics forum and have learned a ton from the pros who take the time to share....NOW for my public confession (please forgive me it was a very long time ago).....

I installed my sons ashtabula crank backwards (and chain and wheel)..pedaling forward would engage the foot brake. "Daddy my bike won't work". Arggghh!
zebede is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 12:16 PM
  #17  
willydstyle
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 654
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by zebede View Post
Hey this thread should be called the amaetuer Hour.....I love the bike mechanics forum and have learned a ton from the pros who take the time to share....NOW for my public confession (please forgive me it was a very long time ago).....

I installed my sons ashtabula crank backwards (and chain and wheel)..pedaling forward would engage the foot brake. "Daddy my bike won't work". Arggghh!
That got a good chuckle out of me. How I learn best is from my own mistakes. Putting on bar tape for the first time last night: first one looks like crap, second one looks great.
willydstyle is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 01:25 PM
  #18  
leob1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Middle of the road, NJ
Posts: 2,966
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 212 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
When I was 13-14 I decided to make my 'stingray' cooler by replacing the 20" front wheel with a 16" wheel. I put it on and went for a test ride. Hammering down the street I decided to pull a wheelie. The last thing I remembered after waking up from being unconscious in the street, was the front wheel bouncing away from me.
leob1 is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 01:38 PM
  #19  
CroMo Mike 
Senior Member
 
CroMo Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 1,240

Bikes: Listed in my signature.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've been wrenching since I was 6 yrs old. Bicycles, mini bikes, go-karts, lawn mowers, outboard motors, motorcycles, cars, Army vehicles, my own cars (Jaguars), anything in the house that breaks. I don't expect to make any silly mistakes on a bicycle. The only recent one I can recall is, after spoking up a wheel, finding the label on the rim facing the wrong side, even though I had put some thought into making it face correctly.
__________________
My C&V Bikes:
1972 Bottecchia Professional, 1987 Bottecchia Team C-Record, 1982 Colnago Super,
1995 Bianchi Campione d'Italia, 1995 DeBernardi Thron Super Record
CroMo Mike is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 02:15 PM
  #20  
Al1943
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 9,438

Bikes: Trek 5500, Colnago C-50

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
New Colnago C50 build, last bike I plan to buy, ever. Anxious to go for I ride all I needed to finish was to mount the stem on the carbon fiber steer tube. Stamped on the stem near the pinch bolts was "8 nm". With my new 1/4" drive Park TW wrench I gradually brought the torque up alternating between the two bolts. At 8 NM I get a loud pop and a 4 inch long crack. The new replacement fork was $800+. Lessons learned: 1) the torque value good for the pinch bolts was not good for the material being pinched. Mistake 2 was that I had not used the longer Colnago expansion plug but instead had used a plug that did not support the backside of the steer tube behind both pinch bolts. And 3, I had cut the tube 1/8 inch below the top of the stem with no spacer above the stem. Five NM is more than enough torque to mount a stem to a cf steer tube.
I know its a 10 year old story but one still worth telling.
Al1943 is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 05:06 PM
  #21  
TrekkingMitten
Banned.
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Used the wrong tool to pull the crank arms. Stripped the treads, and ended up spending $70 for a new one...what an DIY deal
TrekkingMitten is offline  
Old 03-06-15, 01:30 AM
  #22  
willydstyle
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 654
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
New Colnago C50 build, last bike I plan to buy, ever. Anxious to go for I ride all I needed to finish was to mount the stem on the carbon fiber steer tube. Stamped on the stem near the pinch bolts was "8 nm". With my new 1/4" drive Park TW wrench I gradually brought the torque up alternating between the two bolts. At 8 NM I get a loud pop and a 4 inch long crack. The new replacement fork was $800+. Lessons learned: 1) the torque value good for the pinch bolts was not good for the material being pinched. Mistake 2 was that I had not used the longer Colnago expansion plug but instead had used a plug that did not support the backside of the steer tube behind both pinch bolts. And 3, I had cut the tube 1/8 inch below the top of the stem with no spacer above the stem. Five NM is more than enough torque to mount a stem to a cf steer tube.
I know its a 10 year old story but one still worth telling.
That is an expensive frakking lesson.
willydstyle is offline  
Old 03-06-15, 03:46 AM
  #23  
scott967
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Oahu, HI
Posts: 1,121

Bikes: 89 Paramount OS 84 Fuji Touring Series III New! 2013 Focus Izalco Ergoride

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
My mistake was I had a bike with a square taper triple crank, and I wanted to swap it out with a double I had. But the chain line was wrong. I figured I could over come it just by tightening the crank a little farther up the taper. Never did get the chain line right, but when it was time to service the BB, nothing I did would get that crank off again. Final solution was to take an angle grinder to the spindle and then hammer the s--- out of the part left in the crank till I finally drove it out of there. Was planning on replacing the BB anyway so it wasn't really a loss, but I wasted weeks trying different non-destructive means of removing that crank.

scott s.
.
scott967 is offline  
Old 03-06-15, 10:43 AM
  #24  
Bandrada
Bandolero
 
Bandrada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Land of Enhancement
Posts: 402

Bikes: ...

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2918 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by CroMo Mike View Post
I've been wrenching since I was 6 yrs old. Bicycles, mini bikes, go-karts, lawn mowers, outboard motors, motorcycles, cars, Army vehicles, my own cars (Jaguars), anything in the house that breaks. I don't expect to make any silly mistakes on a bicycle. The only recent one I can recall is, after spoking up a wheel, finding the label on the rim facing the wrong side, even though I had put some thought into making it face correctly.
I am still uncertain which is the proper direction for the hub stamp. All I know is that both front and rear should be faced the same direction.
Bandrada is offline  
Old 03-06-15, 11:11 AM
  #25  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,049

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4342 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Bandrada View Post
I am still uncertain which is the proper direction for the hub stamp. All I know is that both front and rear should be faced the same direction.
The right direction is whichever direction you wan it to be. Since it doesn't have any mechanical implications, it's strictly a style statement and your choice. Hub stamp orientation is just one o those things that the OCD folks are trying to make a big deal out of.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.