Most challenging (bicycle) repair ever: conquered

Imagine you need to change the cable on your dream honey road bike, the one you adore, and you come across this:

Chorus Effed

Pictured here is a Campagnolo 8 speed shifter, with a badly stuck, misshapen cable end, cut to the quick, mentioned in an earlier post and since, my sweet baby has been sitting apart, the triple crank canned for the Landshark.  I had visited Montlake Bicycles, my favorite shop in Seattle, and they said they could do it.  I was very, very skeptical.  There was no place to grab the broken off piece, and I had tried, when the cable was still on it, to push the thing through while winding the cable mega-tight.  Didn’t work – it was as though I had used lock-tite on it, which I would not do.  This challenge makes removing a stuck seat post suddenly seem like an easy thing.

“We can probably get that out for you, let me ask the mechanic.”

“How?” I asked.
“Well, we’ll do it carefully with special tools.”
“What special tools?” I asked, persistently. “I’ve got a lot of special tools myself and I can’t do this.”

I was left waiting in the showroom while my shifter was taken to the back shop, across the way.  Montlake Bicycles has the very best selection, or shall I say collection, of unobtainium Cannondale parts, and I gave them a rare 1 1/2″ threaded fork.  I got irritated at this, and went over to the back shop.

“You should wait outside” I was told.

“I need to talk to you first.” I said, persistently.  “I want to know HOW you plan on getting that out.”

“With these bits.” he said. I looked at them from across the room and knew they were HSS.  He made me very angry by making a crazy assumption and telling me that I’m not a mechanic!  I made it clear to this man that I was not only a mechanic, I was also a machinist that has designed my own truing stand and frame jig, but because I hadn’t worked in a bike shop as an underpaid wage earner, had only worked in my own home-based shop, I was unemployable.

“Are they carbide?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Let me see.” He showed me and they said COBALT.  I laughed.  Cobalt bits are nice, but not hard enough.

“These are high speed steel, and softer than cables.  Won’t work.  I tried that.  I have more drill bits than this shop and the next one combined.  What I need is CARBIDE or a ruby bit”  We talked, and he soon realized that I indeed knew what I was talking about.  It was concluded by this expert mechanic that it could not be done and I needed a new shifter wheel, and that he had one at home and would sell to me. (never called me, though)  Two months passed, bike on red X.

So where did I go?  I went to the dentist.  As I’m sitting there waiting, I was staring at these beautiful little drill bits and thinking how one of them could get into that shifter wheel and grind enough so that I could pop the damn stuck piece of shit through.  I asked the dentist:
“Do you have one of those that’s a little worn out, that I could have?”  And lo, he gave me one.  An hour of fucking with it on my truck mounted vice, getting it out just enough so that I could find purchase on it, and using a corner chisel, it worked.  It felt like I should get another stripe on my belt.  It was a sweet victory, and now I shall be riding my LaBan once again, without going back to Shy man O.  Special thanks to Montlake Bicycles for not calling me back when I put in a resume and cover letter (prior to the time I went in there looking for help, and I should know better)

LaBan22Getting ready to ride

IT’S TIME TO RIDE!

Diaper pins are what hold my cuffs from the terrible fate of un-held pants.  I’m always getting them confiscated at the entrance to the courthouse, though!

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

74 thoughts on “Most challenging (bicycle) repair ever: conquered

  1. Awesome post, bro. Problem > Solution. At the dentist? Man, that’s luck. Everyday Americans go to the Dentist for torture and pain. Only you could find a solution to a bike repair problem. Well done.

  2. Excellent victory.

    I use a velcro strap on my pants cuff, avoids all the unpleasantness.

    Lance is looking healthy

  3. Stop using generic or worse, Shimano cables in Campy shifters. The heads are different. But then you knew that.

  4. man, who would’ve thought a dentist saves the day! i bet those first few shifts never felt so sweet.

    LJ, after reading this, with your acknowledgement that you lack the people skills to work in the service end of bike wrenching, and your own confidence in your mechanical aptitude, I can not understand how you have not gotten into frame building by now?

  5. seen that before (many times), fixed it (many times). In over 20 years of shop wrenching I have NEVER been beat by a bike. Think twice before you go saying you’re “one of the best”, especially since you’re asking the LBS for help. Glad you eventually fixed it yourself. Perserverance and ingenuity

  6. Dentists do crazy/cool stuff with their tool! One that used to ride with us polished his Litespeed with his dental tools. Looked like platinum…

  7. littlejar…use campy cables in campy shifters. otherwise they get jammed and you have to go into bike shops and annoy the piss out of mechanics with your know-it-all “i’m a bike mechanic” attitude and need to stand over their shoulders while they fix your mistakes.

  8. hooray! but now that you know there’s a different dimension for campy cables, make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  9. Nice work.
    FYI, the standard shift cables every shop has in bulk will work fine…just take the head to a grinder and remove about 20-30 thousandths from the circumfrence of it. No need to pay Italian mafia prices.

    Peace,
    Kilgore

  10. DAMN dude! I wish I had known that was what you were looking for! My company MAKES carbide bits and diamond grinding tools…I’d have set you up posthaste! Nice job getting the fix, though!

  11. Why have I not gotten into frame building? Hmm…. I have a few answers for that, but the question could be best answered by a man in Portland who was a frame builder but now drives a truck. Everyone wants a Surly. Or, maybe you could ask those guys in China that make Traitor frames so that a bike shop in Bellingham can sell them for a grand. I probably need to move to China if I want to build bicycle frames for Americans. They rebuild our alternators there now too. Needless to say, the ‘global economy’ isn’t completely destroying cottage industry here in the US, but it’s getting its ass kicked by a room full of people. And then there’s everyone wanting carbon. Thanks for asking – the best way anyone could help me would be to allow me use of a wholesale account so I can actually make some money on the repairs, cause you and I and everyone knows that repairing is replacing, and I cannot compete with any bike shop if I have to buy parts @retail. There’s still no bike shop in Mt. Vernon and I still don’t have $20G in my bank account to start one.

  12. Great post lj, it never had you beat anyway, you knew the answer would come, and it did.
    @johnny: He had the humility to ask for help, try it someday.

  13. Great fix, I’ve never had anything campy but now I know what not to do if I ever do. I’ve had a few people tell me I ought to build bikes, but there’s no shortage of bike welders in Portland. I’m no business major, but it doesn’t take a fancy college education to see that.

  14. LJ: re wholesale parts purchases,

    almost everybody who owns a bike shop started small. many with the help of investors (friends, family, SBA’s, etc…).

    the only thing holding you back is your synical attitude towards just about everything. if you are that competent of a mechanic and have the wherewithall to run a bike shop, then go out and get yourself an llc, a business license if req’d and a transaction priviladge tax # (so you can buy wholesale) and just do it.

    if the initial investment (small when working from home…) is in your way, then put together a business plan w/ a return on investment for those you would solicit startup capital from.

    if you have the history in the industry you say you do, if you have the skills you claim to have an display, then you should be able to get some startup change and vendor accounts, then work your way up from there.

    insert standard synical response below:

  15. I just want to point out that the responders to this post totally kick ass. You guys are an awesome example of “forgive and forget,” and of letting shit just roll off your shoulders. After all the invective and spittle and threats of bodily harm from posts in the past, I was halfway inclined to make a snarky comment. But LJ, I did enjoy the educational aspects of the post, and just think this is a great example of a cool community. I’m gonna learn something from this. Never too late to learn somethin.’ -

  16. I often wonder what would happen if somehow this group ended up in a room together…

  17. …never happen, sommerfliesby…

    …we’d couldn’t even agree on who checks for weapons at the door…

  18. Taking a break from the other project – you know, digging with the hand God gave me and all. I appreciate the response and banter. Do I have a reason to be cynical? You bet. I’ve been trying for years to get into a bike shop, even as a sales floor person, but no one will hire me. Twice I have started a home based bicycle shop and end up making about $20 a day, which is OK with me if I don’t have to pay RENT.
    I love running Campagnolo on by road bike mainly because it looks nice and performs pretty well. To be fair, Dura Ace of the same era is on par and even lighter, and easier to maintain. When you have Campagnolo, everything better match right down to the fucking cables. You can’t mix em. I wish Suntour was still in biz… Suntour is my favorite and I have XC Pro cantis on the ‘shark. And indeed, the bench grinder solved the problem of tight cable ends… now loose like sleeve of wizard.

  19. I think it would go a lot better than some may fear. At least we can be pretty certain that we have at least a little common ground. Shit, even dave and I share a love for bourbon, so that’s at least two things we have in common… Most people are a lot less likely to fly off the handle when they’re talking to a person and not the intertubeweb, and I include myself in that as someone who has gotten in plenty of electronic shouting matches…

  20. There have been a few occasions where a great mass of this sorted lot does occupy one space in time. For a while anyway.

    Single speed worlds (CA & PA), and Interbyke, Vegas, come to mind. There will be more.

  21. lj, if you keep having the attitude that you know more than everyone else, things won’t get better. Maybe you do, but people respond better when you don’t advertise it. You’ve identified a shortcoming in how you deal with people. Try breathing before you respond and making the decision that isn’t insulting the other person. You know, lose the battle to win the war. Getting in a pissing match with a mechanic isn’t a way to make them want to solve your problem. You’ve started out by insulting him. Other people have pride in their work and ability to solve problems, too. Businesses can’t hire people who chase customers away and insult them, and you won’t get the interview by pissing off the staff.

  22. …i can only believe it happens because (1)- the beer is cheap or free & (2)- the proper authorities are not being informed…

    …just speculatin’…

  23. You weren’t there. I didn’t start by insulting the man. I never said a word of insult to the mechanic and was reasonable the whole time. He started by assuming that I’m just another customer and not a mechanic – used the words “You’re not a mechanic” now, if you’re a soldier and someone says “You ain’t a soldier” then them are fighting words. I am a mechanic, and I’ve got the arthritis and callouses to prove it. I’m going to die with either a spade, a hammer, or a ratchet in my hand. WTF is with your assumptions, bro? You weren’t there. I had applied for the job with all the prerequisite politeness and tact long before the Campagnolo shifter problem. You got assumptions. I got answers. The man I talked to is a mechanic, and a good one – it was he that was disrespectful to me, considering me not worthy to enter his sacred work space and told me “You’re not a mechanic… then I elegantly showed him up. I never pissed anyone off that day, I only challenged the notion that I was to be kept in the dark about HOW my shifter was going to be fixed, and did what I need to do. I do what I need to do. Sometimes the back door is the way in, sometimes it starts at the top.
    I purposefully accentuate and exaggerate my cynical and arrogant attitude for drunkcyclist. It’s a tradition, almost. Other posters are better at it than I, more subtle, more ‘cool’… Again, you weren’t there. I don’t drive away customers – I have a track record of very happy customers and I started doing evaluation forms to prove it. I don’t know more than everyone else, I just put my money where my mouth is, I ride a bike when I could drive, and even when it hurts to do so, I do what I know is right. I’m a smart dude, Jefe – I know when to treat people with deference and respect. I’m well aware of other people’s abilities. The assumptions really suck – perhaps a hundred or more drivers have seen me in my BDU shirt and dirty Carhartt pants on a bike and made the ‘obvious’ assumption that I have DWI and no license. In their minds, that’s who I am. They’re wrong, but I’m not able to nor do I care to tell them. Let people assume – just don’t assume here.

  24. You’re right, I wasn’t there. However, I spent 15+ yrs working as a mechanic and managing very busy shops, so it’s not my first rodeo. My assumptions are based on what you write, and the attitude you display in your writing… which is sometimes ugly, shitty, and arrogant. If you want people to see a different side of you, show it.

    You’ve written some good things here, and have apparently appointed yourself the arbiter of good taste at DC. You regularly insult other people’s posts when they don’t meet your standards. Yet, you can’t handle it when anyone questions you.

    “I purposefully accentuate and exaggerate my cynical and arrogant attitude for drunkcyclist.”

    And you wonder why people respond the way they do???

  25. “Most challenging”, my hairy and faruncle laden ass. Convert it to fixed and be done with it.

    Jesus, dude, don’t reinvent the wheel. Just roll the motherfucker.

  26. Hi LJ,

    There are almost 40 shops in Seattle proper, and my experience has been that A LOT of folks say they are a bike mechanic, so I wouldn’t blame the shop to much for trying to limit your access, or not believe you up front.
    The rear workshop IS indeed a precious place in a shop up here. It is the place where a mechanic can be away from “joe consumer” and wrap his mind around the possible ways to fix the issues at hand. Unless you are invited behind the counter, you should EXPECT to be asked to stay to the front. I see no disrespect in their assumptions of you at that time.
    I could be wrong, but I think for you to assume you are allowed back there seems a bit disrespectful towards the shop.
    I am sure the dynamic between you and the wrench is different now, as he is more aware of your skill-set. Hopefully you have started to nurture a relationship with that shop. That is the fastest way to being granted access in shops up here: becoming friends with your mechanic. :)
    (Wrench, manager, and now industry whore. All based in Seattle)

  27. Joe – you’ve outdone yourself this time, because that’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever said, and ever will say. Convert my 1989 LaBan, a thoroughbred racing bike, to fixed gear? Sacrilege is committed this day, and this ain’t to do with me or my own ego. Do you even know what this bicycle is? It’s no Nishiki or Shogun, pal. There are less than 200 of these legendary bikes in existence. Convert it to fixed? I’d deserve to get my ass kicked by everyone, and then stabbed, were I to do that. Holy Jesus, that’s a retarded thing to even think, let alone write. If you had a 65 Mustang in mint condition, would you rat it out? May the bicycle gods have no mercy on you, for they would strike me down with great vengeance were I to do such a thing. Not to mention, you dumb cunt, that this would involve buying a track wheel and spending more money than a new shifter. Damn, you’re one retarded man for an electrician.

  28. maybe you were too busy playing the stuck up condescending douchebag bike guy to realize you used the wrong cable. way to go pro. id rather work on huffys all day than deal with customers like you.

  29. I suppose you don’t make mistakes yourself, do you? I fix fuck ups more often than cause them. No one told me about special Campy cable, I found out the hard way, and you know why? Because most bike shops don’t even sell Campy, let alone educate people about compatibility.

  30. LJ, I was on your side & with you for 8 & half sentences & then you go & abuse ElectricJoe, fuck man, lighten up.

    rednblackbike, fuck you, way to introduce yourself to the list!

    Gnome, thanks for letting the update quietly disappear.

    It’s pissing with rain down here, I wish that it was in Flagstaff.

    Take care guys.

  31. I move to rename Littlejar, “Francis” till he begins to giggle…

    And to quote:

    “No one told me about special Campy cable”

    Holy fuck dude, you’ve gone from suck to blow!.

  32. “I do what I know is right. I’m a smart dude”

    and the section

    ““Let me see.” He showed me and they said COBALT. I laughed. Cobalt bits are nice, but not hard enough.”

    Are some of the most arrogant things I have ever heard.

    Apparantly “smart dudes” and machinists don’t have to check compatability(or read instructions as Campagnolo instruction manuals reccomend you use campy parts exclusively, including cables) when they work on mechanical things.

    Sometimes the smart thing to do is to play stupid. Was it worth the time and effort involved to fix that shifter wheel instead of replacing the small, inexpensive part?

  33. slacker -

    Maybe in your world, there’s a Campagnolo pro shop right around every corner. Maybe in your world, that shop sells shit that Campagnolo doesn’t make anymore, like ‘inexpensive’ 8 speed shifter wheels.
    Maybe in your world, used Campagnolo parts come with instruction manuals.
    Maybe in your world, a mechanic that thinks ‘cobalt’ is ‘carbide’ isn’t a mistaken fool that would have ruined his tools had I let him try.
    But that’s not my world. Fuck you, slacker.

  34. Don’t know why exactly, but this string has me laughing my ass off…maybe it is the Stripes video…

    The closing “Fuck you, slacker.” was pretty good as well.

    Thanks, I needed that.

  35. I own two Campy bikes and have had to go to the internet to get older small Campy parts a few times even though I live in the absolute middle of civilization so don’t try feeding me that bullshit about a “Campagnolo pro shop right around every corner”. I am pretty sure it’s the same UPS that brings parts to me in CA. as would bring them to you in WA.

    You have an attitude, it’s obvious. I bet in some cases it works well for you, unfortunately in most cases it makes you look like an asshole, this being one.

  36. Dudes, seriously…regular cables work great with 10 seconds on a grinding wheel or 60 seconds with a flat file.

    Campy is not magic…but it is good.

    Peace and axle grease,
    KG

  37. All this after the fact. What the hell is the point of giving me shit about it? The shifter is fixed, and I did it without the help of Mr. Cobalt. That was the point of the post. Sure was worth it in the end, and no, I don’t need to buy Campagnolo cables, as purist as I am, I used the fucking bench grinder to make reg’ler ones fit. They are stainless, good enough for me. You don’t change someone’s outlook by being as much or more of a prick than I am. But who am I to say? Just try to not assume. I don’t have the use of Ebay anymore, it’s not something I can do. I’m glad of it, indeed. I don’t miss Ebay – I make do with what I’ve got. I’ve got two great bikes and one of them is working at any given time. I put up a post describing the minor accomplishment of solving the biggest problem that I’ve had to face in repairing a bicycle, and maybe not as many as you who work full time in the business, but quite a few. Good for you for being good employees. I’m happy you’re there to fix people’s bikes and make money for your owner. Notice I deleted the part of me being one of the best, because it’s simply not true. I’m not even close to one of the best mechanics. I fuck up often, but I also do things right a lot. I can work on my attitude and all that, but seems there’s ALWAYS someone that will find fault in what I say, no matter what that is. Seriously, I cannot please everyone and neither can you. Give the constant criticism a rest, for shit’s sake – always finding fault is not helpful, never is, never was.

  38. And I never needed a manual to run a shift cable, thanks. I don’t give a flying fuck what they teach people at those overpriced schools for rich white kids that want to be bike mechanics. I’m reading about how to tune my carburetor, and that’s some serious technical shit, for which I need a manual. Disc brakes – need a manual. Seriously, people – I don’t have the time or desire to consult Campagnolo.com to figure out how to connect a derailleur to a shifter. I dun figured it out, I got R dun, it’s done.

  39. But thank you anyway for the link to the tech data, because someday I may need it for rebuilding the shifter. I bookmarked it. Thank you – I mean it.

  40. Seriously,dude? A 1989 LeBan? Shitcan the shifty bits, grind off the brazeons and rattlecan ‘er. WOOT!

    “Francis”. Jeeze, I’m STILL laughing.

  41. Sooooo….I wonder what would happen if we were all in a room together…

    It’d be fun as hell, that’s for sure.

  42. “keep yer meathooks off a’ my bikes…i find any a’ ya touchin’ my bikes, i’ll kill ya…

    …any a’ you homos make comments about me, i’ll kill ya…’cept for you real homos ‘cuz,well, ahhh, there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that, bein’ a homo, so i’m just sayin”

  43. Campy also makes their own $50 tubes of grease, in case nobody told you that either. It MUST be used on Campy parts instead of inferior grease with the same chemical makeup. Any other grease will completely destroy Campy.
    That’s O.K., Shimano is far superior anyway unless you’re an 80 year old Italian. Debate that for a few days you mofos

  44. How many of us here have ever tried to make a “less than ideal” substitution just to get a bike back out on the road/trail ASAP?  (I have, more times than have fingers and toes to count)

    How many of us here have memorized the complete compatibility charts for a single group manufacturer (let alone, all three of the current major manufacturers)?  (I never have and never will)

    How many of us here are or were actual mechanics?  And I don’t mean “yeah I work on my own bike…” stuff, but formally trained and certified to spin a wrench?  (I am USCF certified)

    How many of us here have ever gotten pissed at the honest-to-god stupidity of a bike shop employee (mechanic or sales) and either let ‘em have both barrels right in the store or vented about the experience afterwards?  (Been there; done that)

    I personally love LJ / Francis’ posts because they generate some of the largest and most passionate responses.  Does he come off as a bit self righteous, sure, but that’s one of the oldest and best traditions of DC, and no one lasts here without having damn thick, straight-gauge, unobtanium skin to protect themselves and a razor-sharp tongue to fight back with.  This is the interwebz, it’s accepted AND expected behavior on forums to act like a know-it-all dick and get into flame wars.

    Everyone keep fighting the good fight.

  45. @johnny, …and mixing Campy and Shimano can cause a tear in the space-time continuum… Shit, that means my townie is a rolling universe killer…

    @saupak, ingenuity and problem solving is what separates good mechanics from great ones, and I’m not criticizing Francis’(sorry dude, Gnome said so…) use of the dental drill. In fact, I think that’s kind of cool. I generally like his posts, but the self-righteous turn the comments take is where he loses me… and once there’s blood in the water, it’s the DC dogpile…

  46. El jefe, slacker, et al – bravo.

    “In my world we have the internet….” – just made me pee a little (ok, a lot).

    My favorite part of this, LJ, is your shitting all over the “underpaid (sic) wage earner.” A preponderance of your posts involve no small volume of reminders to the DC readership about your incomprehensible state of destitution. However, you have no compunction whatsoever about 1) slinging bullshit all over a local business that was actually willing to put up with you, if for a limited time and 2) belittling someone who with little doubt does not have a pot in which to piss.

    I won’t give the trade the indignity of claiming that I was a bike mechanic (I like to think of myself as more of a “de-greasing specialist”), but I did some time in a little shop. I certainly did not live the high life at that point in my life, monetarily speaking (it was the good life, but that’s another story). Do you not have any sympathy for someone trying to earn a living with his/her hands? You won’t shut the fuck up about what you do with yours, so I honestly find this particular attitude of yours surprising.

    What I don’t find surprising is the fact they didn’t call you back.

  47. Dentist drill? WTF? Last I checked, teeth are softer than the shit pot metal used for beer caps, why would a dentist drill be made of harder material than carbide?

    I’m not a dentist (because those blackballing bastards won’t hire me in spite of my 10 years of masonry experience and extensive recreational use of hypodermic pain killers) but I’m better than most.

  48. Some dental tools are impregnated with diamond. It cuts preeeety much anything non-ferrous.

  49. 1) dentists run carbide or diamond bits because they cut predictably and last a really long time. (I sold diamond abrasives for a while.)

    2) if you want good service from ANYONE, simply be the nicest guy he’s met all day. I do this UNFAILINGLY and I get free and discounted parts and service all over town. If you bolloxed up the parts, man up and admit it. Make a joke at your own expense. Try to use phrases like, “I trust you” and “I think you’re right.” If you see a jar on the bench with “beer fund” sharpie’d on it, shove $2 in. $4 if you’re really up the creek, like you need a Ksyrium bladed spoke and a true before you can make it home. This is not difficult. Walking into a bike mechanic’s shop acting like a big swinging dick and expecting prompt, expert service is just plain ignorant.

  50. @56 – oh fuck… The Landshark I ride currently has a Veloce triple crank set turning a Shimano 8 speed XT cassette and an XTR long cage. Do do do do, do do do do DAAAAHH! You’ve been just drawn into… the drivelight zone.

  51. …@ p&j…i’ve got some pliers, a cold chisel & a dremel tool…hell, i trust ya…c’mon over, i need some dental work done…

    …@ mikey (hey bud)…i agree & i’d add that the other part of what you’re suggesting is that it has to be genuine otherwise it comes across as disingenuous smoke blowing…
    …actually requires a bit of honest personality humbling which is a decent human trait…know-it-all’s generally get what they deserve…

  52. So does the SRAM chain and cassette work as a buffer between the Campy cranks and Shimano rear der? It must, because I haven’t seen things randomly dissapp…

  53. Your setup sound almost identical to mine, Veloce triple, turned into a single front, original XTR 8sp rear der. Don’t need more than 8 speeds in town… Settle LectricJoe, the only reason I need those is lugging my fat ass up the hill between home and school…

  54. I’d like to take Electric Joe on a ride through North Seattle on his fixie. And if he don’t got one, I’d gladly build one for him. 42/16. Easy shit. Just give me 10 miles, Joe. No, we’re not taking the Burke Gilman. Up, down, up, down. Let’s GO! “One Two Three Four, I love the Marine Corps!”
    “Where’s your sass now, mister? Get up that hill, fat body!!”

    And when I connected a KMC chain to the teeth of a Campagnolo chainring, two old men in Italy passed momentarily into a state of incoherent delirium, mumbling something about buttons and bread sticks, and Mr. Colnago had an unexplainable tick or two.

  55. Alls I knows is, when I MUST run shifters they’re friction. Fuck STI, “brifters”*, indexing and all their demon spawn kin.

    We now return me to my regularly scheduled first Bourbon of the day.

    *Hate that term, even if Sheldon thought it a perfectly good one.**

    **Did I mention Bourbon is awesome?

  56. Go to a tool maker. A plunger EDM would have that out of there in , I dunno, 45 seconds? Need the right tools….

  57. EDM is a great thing – when I foolishly FUCKED UP and broke a tap in the fork of my precious cyclocross touring bike, I had access to one in the Clark College machine shop. I blasted the broken tap out. However, the fork has no plastic or rubber parts. The EDM would have turned that shiftwheel into wax before the cable pieces were out. Again, it done.

  58. EDM is boring compared to laser tools. You wanna throw sparks? A kilowatt of Nd:YAG will git r done. Please remember to wear eye protection.

  59. Yeah, well my old man is a television repairman, he’s got this ultimate set of tools…

    needless to say…I can fix it.

    Happy Friday mofos.