Playing with Wrenches

You there! With the 15 pound road bike! Put the wrench down SLOWLY and step away from delicately assembled $8K eggshell on wheels.

I don’t know what you did to this bike since the last time you brought it into my shop, but I know full well that you’ve been playing home mechanic. I know this is going to be a little hard for you, because I’m sure that a neurosurgeon like you is used to being respected for the considerable skills, knowledge, and experience that have made you a proud member of the upper socio-economic strata of this great consumer-based culture. But I have to tell you that your complete mechanical ineptitude in merely tightening a single bolt on your stem makes me want to beat you to death with a pedal spanner.

It’s a 100 gram magnesium stem with four tiny titanium bolts you’re supposed to gently tighten each bolt a little at a time, not apply the death twist one after another until you strip out the threads and round out the hex holes. What were you thinking? Were you using a metric or standard hex key? And people pay you to stick your fingers in their brain? Truly terrifying.

I’m going to dust your rear derailleur for prints, and if I find out that you’ve even touched it you’re a deadman. Sweet Jesus, those phillip’s head limiter screws are like some kind of lightning rod for you. You just can’t resist monkeying with them ike your mind says,Eureka! Phillip’s head bolts I have just the tool for that in the kitchen drawer! Fixing this will be just like installing that Ikea paper towel dispenser! One ride later and you’re here to ask me to fish your derailleur out of that Ksyrium wheel.

It’s your business if you want to buy the lightest crap on the market, but you’re paying for light, not necessarily high-quality. It will only work if you treat it with a light touch and inspect it often for breakage.

I’ve been a bike mechanic and I’ve known a lot of bike mechanics you sir, are no bike mechanic. Stop playing around with wrenches before you hurt yourself.

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