– I have lost count of the number of hours that I’ve wasted over the last 20 or so years I’ve been working on my bikes through time saving exercises that ended up becoming the most mind blowingly irritating jobs imaginable. Made all worse by the fact they were caused entirely by me and were completely avoidable. Don’t make the same mistakes. Watch this video. Seized seatposts, ughh. It’s very easy to forget about your seatpost. You may well not ever really need to move it. But if you eventually do, you could well find that you well can’t, basically. And that’s because seatposts can real quickly become seized into frames, no matter what the material either side is made from. And it can actually go one further than seizing.
The two carts can be chemically bonded together. Particularly if it’s aluminum next to carbon fiber. And that is via a galvanic reaction. You can generally remove stuck seat posts. We’ve actually got a video showing you just how. But I’ll warn you, you will probably need to sacrifice your seatpost in order to do it. So rather than go through all that irritation and expense, do one simple job. And that is remove your seatpost, put a layer of grease on it before putting it back into place. And if it’s a carbon post, with carbon frame you want to try using a fiber grip product instead. Getting the right saddle height, again. Now this one might bother some of you more than others. But it definitely bugs me. If you ever need to remove your seatpost for any reason, then getting it back at exactly the right place can drive you nuts. You’re out riding, and it feels a fraction too high, or it fractionally too low. No matter how many times you move it, no matter how many times you measure it, it still feels wrong. But there is a quick fix. All you got to do is put a piece of electrical tape around your seat post just where it touches the frame. That way, no matter how many times you remove the post to make sure that it’s not seizing obviously, you’ll know that it always goes back in exactly the right place. Rounding bolt heads. Stripping bolts so that you can’t get them out can be really, really annoying, and lead to hours of faffing around trying to remove them if it was even possible in the first place. Now basically, sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it, they just get stripped. But most of the time, it’s preventable. To do it, we need a two pronged attack. Firstly we need to prepare the threads of the bolt to make sure that we can actually undo it when we need to. So it might be just a layer of grease, it might be a thread locking compound.
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But either way, most bolts will need some kind of prep. Secondly when it then comes to either tightening or loosening your bolts, use a good quality tool. And remember that worn tools wear bolts. Lost internal cables. Internal cables are cropping up on more and more bikes and at lower and lower price points. Which is great, because they look super cool. However, if you’re not careful they can actually drive you insane. If you remove a cable without taking steps to help to rethread it before you do so, then you could end up losing hours of your life. So consider this a timely reminder before you do it. When you go to remove a cable, take a little tube, thread it over it through the frame, so that when you then finally remove the cable, the tube is left in place as a guide to help with the next one. Stuck pedals. Taking your pedals off can be surprisingly annoying and surprisingly painful as well if you’re not careful. Mainly, it’s just technique based. So take a little bit of time before actually taking them off to make sure the allen key or the wrench is in a position so that you’re not going to skin your knuckles when it suddenly loosens. And if the pedals are on too tight, consider getting your foot involved as well. But then harking back to our previous point, make sure that you grease the threads of your pedal axles before you put them in in the first place. That way you can avoid having them seize into your cranks. And also, don’t over tighten them. 35 newton meters will do the trick if you’ve got a torque wrench. Putting things together in the wrong order. Most bike maintenance jobs are relatively straightforward. You can take things apart, put them back together relatively simply. But there are a few jobs that are more complicated. Now I’m thinking mainly bottom brackets here but also headsets to a certain extent. What spacer goes where, and where on earth did that flippin seal come from? Cue hours spent trying different permutations even when you had the instructions in front of you. Now it’s not exactly a hack, this but it is definitely a timely reminder that if you just spend 10 seconds keeping a track of how things come apart, either taking photos or literally just lining them up on your work top. Then you’ll be able to put things back together again very simply and save yourself a lot of time. Not being able to get your back wheel out. Here is simple one, but I’m sure we’re all guilty of it. Or at least I know I’m guilty of it. You need to take your back wheel out, and you know that you need to put your chain in the smallest cog on your cassette. But you just can’t really be bothered. I mean how much harder is it going to be to get your back wheel out. A lot harder. In fact, much, much, much harder. So rather than try spending ages faffing around getting your back wheel out, with your derailleur in the wrong position, just change gear first. Searching for tools. Now this used to be another one of my specialties, losing tools. Ugh, man the amount of time I lost one winter trying to find my cassette tool. And it wasn’t a one off either, it was a regular thing. And it does still happen from time to time now. As I absentmindedly put the tool down somewhere random and then completely forget all about it. Now of course this isn’t a maintenance job, but it is nevertheless a mindblowingly irritating thing and easy to prevent as well. Just create special place to keep all your bike maintenance tools. We’re not of course all going to be as lucky as this, but a small tool box or a small tool wall will make working on your bike that much quicker and that much easier. With the exception of helping to look for lost tools which we haven’t covered on the channel yet. Although that is actually quite a good idea. We’ve got videos about most of the unfortunate outcomes talked about in this video. How to remove stripped bolts is in fact coming soon, so do make sure you subscribe to GCN by clicking on the globe to make sure you don’t miss that one. And then for a couple more, why not click just down there to help remove a stuck seat post if you need that. Or deep down there for help with internal cable routing.