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Post your horror stories doing your own bike repairs.

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Post your horror stories doing your own bike repairs.

Old 03-08-07, 09:26 AM
  #1  
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Post your horror stories doing your own bike repairs.

I was bored last weekend so I decided to change the brake cables on my Schwinn.

I had to cut back the housing so I look at it and figure I could cut it off with my wire cutters. Hmmm, seems there is a metal sheath that I just managed to mangle. So after the fact, I did some research and figured out that you need to pull the cable back from the housing before you cut. Geez, I amaze myself sometimes. Oh well, no big deal and now I know better.

Anyone else learn to fix your bike after doing your own botched repairs?
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Old 03-08-07, 09:29 AM
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It's not so much a botched repair, but I have a tire pump that is pretty jacked up. It works exactly the same with the locking lever up or down. The big downside to this is that after I air up my tires, I have to play this little game of trying to get the hose off my stem without tearing my tube.

It's really a lot more difficult than it seems. I need to invest in a quality pump one of these days. It would certainly be cheaper than replacing tubes for no reason.
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Old 03-08-07, 09:36 AM
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My best mechanical failure (as a mechanic, I was a failure), was to repack my headset the night before a race. Well I committed the bozo sin of putting one too MANY bearings in the cup. Didn't test ride the bike until the warmup before the race the next day, at which point the bike was completely unrideable.
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Old 03-08-07, 09:46 AM
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The first time I tried to remove my cranks...I knew that one side is reverse threaded, and I just assumed that it was the non-drive side like with pedals. So I set to work on the drive side and it won't loosen. I tried the pipe extender trick, everything. I thought it was just one of those really stuck ones. I never could get it, so I took it to the shop and they couldn't get it either. They said someone had overtightened it and that they risked breaking my frame by trying any harder. I was confused because I had bought the bike from them and hadn't had any work done on the cranks before, so it must have been overtightened from the get go. Oh well. So after I get home, I continue my research and discover that the DRIVE SIDE is the reverse thread side. Oops, I guess it was ME who overtorqued it! So that crankset is now permanently attached!!!
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Old 03-08-07, 09:47 AM
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+1 on cutting the cable with the housing. Also put in a headset bearing retainer in upside down. Blamed the grinding on the fact that it was an old headset until I took it back off.
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Old 03-08-07, 09:51 AM
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back in the days when bottom brackets were serviceable....some had bearings that were held in place with a retainer ring......well, after service the BB and putting it all back together, I noticed it kept loosing up. Took it apart, put it back together several times. Same problem. Finally realized I was putting the retainer ring in backwards.......URRRG!
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Old 03-08-07, 09:53 AM
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Score: Cable cut with housing 2
backwards retainer 2
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Old 03-08-07, 09:56 AM
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Crank story again. Failed to detect a washer lodged in the bottom of the bolt hole while removing cranks. Boy this is hard to turn. Push harder, thats better, here it comes.
Wait, why is the crank puller coming out of the crank but the crank is not coming off the bottom bracket.

You got it, extracted the threads from the crank.

I don't mind learning lessons by making mistakes, I just wish they could be cheaper lessons.
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Old 03-08-07, 09:58 AM
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I bet a lot of people have had the "first time putting on bar tape" experience. A cheap lesson, but nonetheless frustrating.

Originally Posted by maddmaxx
Crank story again. Failed to detect a washer lodged in the bottom of the bolt hole while removing cranks. Boy this is hard to turn. Push harder, thats better, here it comes.
Wait, why is the crank puller coming out of the crank but the crank is not coming off the bottom bracket.

You got it, extracted the threads from the crank.

I don't mind learning lessons by making mistakes, I just wish they could be cheaper lessons.
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Old 03-08-07, 10:11 AM
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I built a custom steel frame for my brother many years ago. I delivered it, installed the headset, and realized I'd cut the steerer tube too short !! D'OH !!! I had to go back & make a new one.
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Old 03-08-07, 10:16 AM
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Other than the occasional housing cut too short to allow a full range of turning and the one time I cut my chain 3 or 4 links too tight, my best would have to be the time I managed to catch the side of my right hand index finger between the chain and the chain ring while doing some adjustments on the stand.

I didn't know I had that much blood in me.
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Old 03-08-07, 10:43 AM
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I've done most of the above (short of stripping out the threads in the crank, I knew well enough to stop before then and reevaluate the situation) and I haven't lost that much blood on a botched effort (though I've had a couple close calls).

I've managed to cut the cable with the housing, cut the housing too short, put in a headset bearing retainter set upside down, had some issues removing a crank, and bottom bracket. with crank stuff I'll give it a go or two myself, then take it over to the LBS where the tools are better and the knowledge is far greater.
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Old 03-08-07, 10:47 AM
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I was lubing the chain on my fixie and ran my thumb between the chain and the track cog. A moment of genius unparalleled in human history. Ran the teeth of the cog through my thumbnail. Good times.
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Old 03-08-07, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ImprezaDrvr
I was lubing the chain on my fixie and ran my thumb between the chain and the track cog. A moment of genius unparalleled in human history. Ran the teeth of the cog through my thumbnail. Good times.
I hope that's not your thumb on Sheldon's fixed gear webpage! I've also done the brake cable deal. What's that now? 5 or 6?

Let's see, I ruined an axle by threading on a nut that was a different thread pitch. When it didn't go on easily, I just figured it was dirty so I sprayed on a little WD-40 and cranked it down. Smart.
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Old 03-08-07, 10:53 AM
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Despite me having quite a few mishaps, I have gotten by with not too much money lost in replacing broken parts.

While adjusting brakes, got my fingers in the spokes of the moving wheel, which awarded me 2 blood blisters.

Tried standing on the pedal wrench arm to get the pedal off only to realize I was turning it the wrong way. It was quite difficult to get it off the right way after that too!

Snapped a couple of chainring bolts and a seatpost bolt because I was Mr. Super Torque.

Built a wheel with the valve in the cross section.

Worst one yet, built a wheel where the hub medallion was off from the valve hole by 2 spokes!!!
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Old 03-08-07, 11:15 AM
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I was moving parts from a broken frame to a used frame. When I took the bottom bracket (about 10 years old) out of the broken frame I noticed it had a very slight catch when turning by hand without the cranks.

No use putting that in when you can buy a new one for $20. When trying to install the new one the sucker just would not start! But... the old one screwed right in. I ended up installing the old one because I wanted to ride and returned the new one.

I didn't know you need to "face" the threads before installing a new bottom bracket. I found that out after relating my story to the LBS where I bought the bottom bracket.

Oh well, several thousand miles later and the old one still feels fine. Bugs me though.
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Old 03-08-07, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Worst one yet, built a wheel where the hub medallion was off from the valve hole by 2 spokes!!!
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Old 03-08-07, 11:25 AM
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I'm really freaked out now. I was just planning on minding my own business and replacing my cable housing, but now I'm terrified. Please someone, explain in excruciating detail this business of cutting housing or cables or something. The right way and the wrong way. I'm so confused!
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Old 03-08-07, 11:31 AM
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I just drove a penny in to the ti ISIS bottom bracket of my friends Merlin Extra Light MTB while trying to remove his FSA carbon crank. The penny came out the other side half its size, with the remaining half threaded in to the threads of the spindle. This was all the night before a MTB race and done in a dark garage with a flashlight. The fix was to use a marble to get the crank off (ISIS requires a different size washer for the crank puller). I was able to remove the penny from the threading with a lot of torque and a crank bolt, however the 1/2 size penny lives on in his BB (which he is unaware of)
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Old 03-08-07, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
I, I did some research and figured out that you need to pull the cable back from the housing before you cut. Geez, I amaze myself sometimes. Oh well, no big deal and now I know better.
Don't feel too bad about this, looks like a lot of folks have done the same (me included.)

Last night, while a bit intoxicated I decided it would be a good time to cut a carbon steerer (without "proper" tools.) ... but everything seemed to turn out ok.

-j
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Old 03-08-07, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ImprezaDrvr
I was lubing the chain on my fixie and ran my thumb between the chain and the track cog. A moment of genius unparalleled in human history. Ran the teeth of the cog through my thumbnail. Good times.
friend did that working on my fixed gear
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Old 03-08-07, 11:56 AM
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I got the taps backwards when rethreading a bottom bracket (English).
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Old 03-08-07, 11:57 AM
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I'm guessing that, eliminating the all-too-common tube-pinch-in-the-rim error, that these stories mostly involve:

1) stripped crank threads while removing pedals
2) stripped crank threads while removing crank
3) bottom bracket threads stripped while removing bottom bracket
4) tap and die fun resulting in mangled bottom bracket shell/threaded fork

Notice a pattern?

Oh, and yes, I've done most of them.
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Old 03-08-07, 11:58 AM
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First time changing cables on a STI shifter. Didn't realize that you had to set the shifter (small lever) to the highest gear or smallest sprocket.

Threaded the cable ok, but darn thing wouldn't shift. By then it was too late, shifter was destroyed.

That was a $200 mistake.

I've also done the chain too short thing and split my fair share of chainring bolts.......just a little bit more......SNAP.....huh? ....oh @#$%#@!!!!!
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Old 03-08-07, 12:00 PM
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I tried to install brake cables in my STI shifters. Couldn't figure out why the metal "stop" at the end of the cable wouldn't seat into the hole of the shifter, started pounding it and finally hammered it in. THat was a $200 mistake, too.
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