A kindred spirit

My friend Nigel who has a similar amount of patience but a little more mechanical skill than yours truly. He sent me an innovative way to powertool (yes it is a verb and if it isn’t, it damn well should be) around, or more accurately, through a problem.

“Race Face turbine cranks arrived on Saturday very nice and shiny. Whipped off the old rings, shove on the luuurrvely new Blackspire 38T downhill ring (Rohloff see). Would it fit on? Would it feck – so it’s a 5 bolt compact chainring to fix a 5 bolt crankset… hmm, bl00dy holes wouldn’t line up.

Suffering sense of humour failure by this time I barely managed to restrain myself from flinging the chainring round the garden in case I should happen to accidently decapitate one of my neighbours having breakfast next door.

Time to raid the beer fridge instead.

So, off to Blackspire website to see whether I’m supposed to be using a different kind of chainring. Find another chainring size 38T singlespeed-specific only (38 – aye that’s proper singlespeeding that it) available in good old US of A. That’ll be $67 to blighty then – bollox.

Head downstairs decide to do what I probably should have done in first place, line up old big ring against my new one to see if they’re different.

Holes line up perfectly but the beer has cleared my head and I can see that on the old ring the mounting point round the holes are nicely rounded where they meet the cranks on either side, on the Blackspire they’re as square as a square thing. Mmm.. how to file a bit of chainring – hacksaw is way too much work. Divine inspiration came to me in the form of a power tool last used 4 years ago to encourage the new oven to fit in the place where it was supposed to fit. Yay, angle grinder, time to wake the neighbours up!

5 minutes later.. I wonder if the Health and Safety inspectorate would approve of my improvised bench vise – chainring on edge of doorstep left foot holding it down with the angle grinder spinning away like a mad thing a few millimeters away. I guess not but I still have a foot attached to each leg and best of all a chainring that fits. What’s more I proved my theory that a 5 bolt chainset would give a more consistent chain tension at all parts of the crank turn (that weirdy EBB thing again).

Celebrated by riding it to Hyde Park, getting blind drunk and riding back again. Rohloff in traffic is absolutely marvellous. Arrive at traffic lights, oops forgotten to change gear oh well…”

You see, it’s what I’ve always secretly known. Most problems – and I’m thinking big here, consider the positive implications of the aggressive wielding of an anglegrinder during EU budget debates – can be solved by the dual application of nature’s medicine and inappropriately brandished power tools.

2 thoughts on “A kindred spirit

  1. NickF

    Brought a massive smile to my face.

    I’ve got to get a sofabed to France in a week or so’s time. This shouldn’t be a problem – I have the largest car known to mankind, but my wife, engaged in a perpetual game of one-upmanship, decided to order an even larger s-b.

    Last night, a beer or two having, ahem, honed my sense of mental acuity, I decided to see if it, having been delivered, would actually fit in the car. No chance, not in this life or the next.

    One socket set/d screwdriver attack later, I had a pile of bits which I somehow have to reassemble in our place in France. Sadly the beer-defined instruction manual has somehow been erased from my memory, and I’ve got a growing sense of dread relating to my (recently redefined) “mountain bike and furniture reconstruction” week.

  2. Alex

    The only advice I can offer Nick is to make sure any reassembly doesn’t take place within sight of the fridge. “Fridgesuck” is a well documented phenomenum where the smallest yet most vital bits are deposited under the fridge through the power of the convector acting as a tractor beam.

    They then disappear into a black hole. You have been warned.

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