Pro Mechanic Shit

jerryjerry Riding Level: 4,342
I'm gonna use this as a dumping ground for all the stuff I think of.


  • jerryjerry Riding Level: 4,342
    @jerry said:

    using oversized derailleur cable crimps on brake cables so they're neat and tidy and not those big fuckers flopping around

    double checking the chain length on factory bikes because they like to toss an extra couple links on there in case the chainrings or cassette are swapped, or the customer is an idiot and big-big's that shit and gets a leaf caught in the drivetrain

    fabricating little mounts for cables and housing so you can do neat things like shoot the front disc brake housing up the left leg, behind the crown, and out around the front, keeping it from scuffing the paint. same for all housing, keeping it from rubbing shit wrong.

    trimming stock 440mm+ seatposts when you know the person is only going to use 200mm of it

    cleaning the excess grease off the exposed end threads of the seatpost bolt(s) so it doesn't attract dirt/dust under the saddle

    treating bare steel steer tubes so they don't rust under the stem/spacers or inside the headtube.

    stress relieving machine built wheels, then retruing them

    scuffing the brake track on rotors and beveling the edges of disc pads so they feel broken in right off the bat

    making sure the saddle doesn't flex and bottom out on the head of the seatpost.

    double checking that the printed guides on road handlebars used to align brake levers are accurate. i reckon that well over half of the ones i've seen are totally wrong.

    adding protective guides if the front derailleur cable is routed through the frame down at the bb/chainstay junction. lots of exit ports get fucked up since a sharp wire is left to drag across under high tension

    having a fun "professional mechanic" signature, like how i lube the threads of the top cap bolt with my own blood

    getting the cable routing in the right orientation on 11s shimano front derailleurs. lots of these are done incorrectly.

    straightening the derailleur hanger right off the bat. replaceable hangers are forged little turds that have bullshit mating surfaces.

    pulling cranksets apart and greasing chainring bolts right out of the box.

    replacing the rotten freehub honey that comes in taiwanese/chinese hubs with something nice

    wrapping the bars like a pro instead of like a blind tennis player. trimming those little extra strips they give you to wrap over the clamp band so they don't stick out all fuckin dumb and bulge out under the hood

    taking hayes disc brakes and putting them in the trash where they belong

    adding in-line cable adjusters if there aren't provisions for such on the frame, and putting them in a place that's actually reachable while on the bike. also, not backing them out a shit ton during initial installation because you couldn't get the tension right during install and didn't want to find your 4th hand tool. adjusters are useless if they're missing 70% of their travel right off the bat

    removing these fucking installation clips from downtube adjusters:

    taking the time to measure out the proper geometry of the straddle cable on cantilever brakes that don't use the shimano style ding-dong link or whatever the fuck it's called

    knowing how much the owner weighs and what they are using the bike for, and getting the tires to the right pressure, as well as TELLING THEM what that pressure is so they don't have the worst ride ever or blow out their ear drums when they pump those 40c's up to the max printed pressure of 110psi

    that goes for suspension setup also!

    replacing the plastic cable guide clips with zip ties. the zip ties should be trimmed such that there isn't a jagged plastic end sticking out, the heads should be rotated so they're all identically snugged up against the housing guides, they should be an appropriate color for the build, and they should be from a brand you have experience with and you know will breakaway before allowing any damage to the housing/tubing/guide/frame, but aren't fragile enough to eject without good reason.

    taking off any stupid ass manufacturers stickers like the MADE IN TAIWAN shit or the WESTERN BIKEWORKS one, and then getting rid of the adhesive residue

    making sure the rim strip/rim tape is covering up anything that's going to eat a tube or tire

    popping crown races off steel forks and checking for excess paint or general fuckery that may need to be faced off. that goes for new forks in general too i guess

    not being a dick about weird preference stuff. maybe the owner wants caps on their valves, who cares.

    admitting to yourself that you don't know what the fuck you're doing if you actually don't know what the fuck you're doing, then sacking up and asking someone else for help instead of just chugging through.
  • S_L_D_S_L_D_ Riding Level: 453
  • rock_deathrock_death Riding Level: 395
    It's my understanding that repair speed is valued over attention to detail in the pro peloton. In my (very limited) experience with pros' bikes I got the idea that they didn't much care how things looked or to a certain extent even functioned.

    Good list tho, I'd add grinding housing cuts square
  • rofljenrofljen Riding Level: 2,438
    I like the blood part. Legit.
  • bschultzbschultz Riding Level: 391
    Using toenail clippers to trim zipties. Best tool you'll ever steal from your mom
  • bschultzbschultz Riding Level: 391
    Routing your brake housing so the front is behind the rear at the cockpit
  • tvcbtvcb Riding Level: 1,388
    @bschultz said:
    Using toenail clippers to trim zipties. Best tool you'll ever steal from your mom
    I have been doing it backwards and using blunt end nippers on my fingers.
    Seems to work okay.
  • bschultzbschultz Riding Level: 391
    Taking a rasp to new rim brake pads to remove the squeaky factory glaze
  • jerryjerry Riding Level: 4,342
    lol shut up new guy
  • jerryjerry Riding Level: 4,342
    wait where am i
  • rofljenrofljen Riding Level: 2,438
    Pretty sure you should have toenail clippers even if you aren't a mom
  • jerryjerry Riding Level: 4,342
    It's my understanding that repair speed is valued over attention to detail in the pro peloton. In my (very limited) experience with pros' bikes I got the idea that they didn't much care how things looked or to a certain extent even functioned
    no, this is definitely not the case at all. richard sachs might get away with some nutty bar wrap jobs for his cross team, but when you've got bikes that are full of sponsored parts, that shit has to look perfect every time. shimano doesn't want to see a bunch of scuffed up cranks and flappy brake cables. michelin wants those fucking valve stems lined up with the hot stamp and you throw that shit in the trash if it's scuffed up or had a thorn go through it. sponsors aren't handing out parts and money for fun, they're doing it so johnny fuckbutt sees their shit under the winner of the race and goes into their local bike shop and buys it orders it online for less than wholesale.

    pros for the most part care VERY much how their bikes look and EVEN MORE SO how they function. if the shifting isn't PERFECT, that's why they got 54th place instead of first. if their race number was a bit crooked, that aerodynamic loss cost them the win. dirty bar tape? the team director is going to hear about it and then your ass is getting chewed out. SUPERSTITION RULES EVERYTHING. THAT DIRTY BAR TAPE LOST A STAGE YOU PIECE OF SHIT. you might get big tough guy pros who show the "oh i just hop on the bike and go" mentality to the fans, but their mechanic definitely has a notebook full of the weird idiosyncrasies that need to be just right when race day comes. everything has to be clean, everything has to be dialed, everything has to be perfect. adjust the limit screw so it doesn't go into the 25t cog, she only wants 9 gears.
    I'd add grinding housing cuts square
    i used to do this until i realized it was injecting hot metal and plastic shavings into the liner, especially bad on lubed or grease filled housing.
  • JoshJosh Riding Level: 824
    To piggy back on what Jerry said, the HB U23 team mechanic at Tour of Walla Walla, was very maticulous and particular about his fleet of bikes that went out.
  • S_L_D_S_L_D_ Riding Level: 453
    @Josh said:
    HB U23 team mechanic
    Get this PUA bullshit outta here. CMON JOSH.
  • rofljenrofljen Riding Level: 2,438

  • JoshJosh Riding Level: 824
    Hagens Berman under 23

    What is PUA
  • rofljenrofljen Riding Level: 2,438
    pickup artist?!?

    Potentially unwanted application?!

  • jerryjerry Riding Level: 4,342
    i also have a Gold Level™ Urban Dictionary® Professional Account™
  • bicyclefunkbicyclefunk Riding Level: 717
    some1 ride bikes with me and tell me why my chain is making noise
  • MiguelMiguel Riding Level: 2,327
    clean it really well
    then relube it
  • JoshJosh Riding Level: 824
    Your cogs could be dirty too. And your derailleur pulleys... Toothbrush and simple green and gloves!
  • S_L_D_S_L_D_ Riding Level: 453
    I like an ultrasonic cleaner with dilute simple green, but I worry about it stripping the internal lubrication out of my chain.

    Has anyone tried the "soak your chain in molten paraffin" thing?
  • bicyclefunkbicyclefunk Riding Level: 717
    edited May 2015
    i will give it a good clean and see what's up
    wish my stupid apartment had a hose :-/
  • jerryjerry Riding Level: 4,342
    @S_L_D_ said:
    Has anyone tried the "soak your chain in molten paraffin" thing?
    i will never do this again
  • jerryjerry Riding Level: 4,342
    best way to clean and lube a chain: get a quicklink, take your chain off and toss it in a ziploc or small tupperware with simple green and water, shake that shit up until it's super clean, rinse really good, reinstall and apply your lube of choice.
  • tvcbtvcb Riding Level: 1,388
    That method has worked for me even on a 50's coventry chain that looked like a goner.
  • jerryjerry Riding Level: 4,342
    also if your chain has a little rust or corrosion but is still structurally fine, run it through a wash/rinse cycle with CLR cleaner
  • KendraKendra Riding Level: 1,356
    can't i just put it in the dishwasher and call it good?
  • tvcbtvcb Riding Level: 1,388
    Yeah right! Michelle would throw a fit.
  • oogensoogens Riding Level: 3
    for zip ties I leave a little bit left over on the cut from using diagonal pliers. Melt the nib with a lighter and push it flat against the head of the tie.

    started crimping Xs into cable tips. forgot who I ripped that off from.

    careful with hose washes. I've found it more of a problem with full suss bikes and the million pivot bearings, but it can push dirt past the seals. I prefer bucket and brush with dilute soap mix. hose rinse gently at the end (don't use your thumb to make it into a faux pressure washer)
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