Rude Mechanicals

I don’t know if it’s just my bike, or if there’s some reason why the back cassette should be set up so that there is a gap almost exactly the width of the chain between the lowest gear and the spokes, so that one minute you’re bowling along without a care in the world singing the only two lines you can remember of a Nancy Griffiths song on infinite repeat,* and the next your chain has irretrievably wedged itself between the cogs and the spokes and won’t come out for love, money, nor inventive swearing. I’m sure there’s someone either here or on twitter who can loftily explain why this is all for the best in the best of all possible worlds, but I must remember next time it’s in for a service to see if there isn’t some way of changing things so that either the chain doesn’t go in there at all, or comes out again when it does. Meanwhile, I spent a frustrating ten minutes hoping forlornly for someone to pass** who might have a bit more hand strength or mechanical nous, while alternately wrestling with my chain and the sense that ringing up the other half was feeble beyond words, before finally managing to wrench the chain out again with only a small cost to my dignity plus blackened hands and a fat lip (don’t ask).

I then cycled on to the shop, where they cheerfully informed me there were no Guardians.

I would say that this was a totally wasted trip, but on a sunny day, no bike ride, however mechanically unsound and ultimately futile, is entirely wasted. I really must go and look up the rest of the words to that song though.

*This part may just be me. Other earworms are available.

** As an aside, what *is* the rural etiquette for stopping to help someone on a back road? Earlier this week I encountered a surprisingly cheery cyclist, given he was busily stuffing his tyre with grass*** having shredded his front tyre on the coonsil’s latest road-chipping extravaganza – and he seemed very grateful that I had stopped at all, even though the only ‘help’ I could actually offer was a bit of moral support. I had thought that, if nothing else, curiosity would mean that all rural cyclists (or indeed drivers) would stop to see what was going on and offer any assistance they could. Then again, someone did drive past just as I had managed to get my chain back on and didn’t so much as slow down, so maybe it really is just me.

*** Amazingly, this got him the 8 miles home according to his later tweet****

**** Truly the intersection of Bigtownshire cyclists and tweeters is exceedingly small as it turned out we already followed each other.


9 Responses to Rude Mechanicals

  1. Jason W says:

    The gap between cassette & Spokes should be immaterial if your derailleur limit screws are correctly set of course.

  2. disgruntled says:

    true but given sod’s law, having a less annoying gap would be helpful as a backstop

  3. MJ says:

    I’m somewhat glad to here that I’m not the the only one who has popped themselves in the face fixing a stuck chain.

  4. MJ says:

    Glad to hear…

  5. disgruntled says:

    Fortunately the back of my hand wasn’t completely covered in chain oil at the time…

  6. no says:

    I thought you could get those plastic disks that went in that gap.? And if it does get stuck you always need to rotate the wheel at the same time as trying to pull the chain out. Ie you can’t just yank the chain out.

  7. charles says:

    Carry a small but sturdy screw driver to use as a lever. This is perilously close to be being prepared though….

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