i would generally consider myself reasonably adept when it comes to mechanical duties around the bike shed. for instance, later this week i shall be removing a pair of ergopower levers from the colnago's handlbars in preparation for replacing bars and stem with review items. i will, it is fair to say, show no fear when it comes to the crunch, even as far as wrapping the new bars with fresh tape. i am more often than not the designated oracle as to the source of extraneous and undesired noises heard in the core of the peloton, though as with many a consultant, any advice i might sparingly dispense is not always acted upon.
this is not an isolated state of affairs. several years ago, when acting as the island's session drummer for a charity cd recording, my hi-hat cymbals were being recorded at a louder volume than that of the snare. in musical terms, that's not the way the world is supposed to be. so in order to solve the situation, one not being actively under consideration by the sound engineer, i contacted a friend of mine who is not only an excellent drummer, but a similarly qualified record producer to ask his advice.
armed with the very solution i was sure would work, i carefully explained and demonstrated that which i had been told, only to receive the reply (from a fellow with no qualifications or prior experience of sound engineering), "that's not how you do it."
c'est la vie.
such clear and present dangers, however, do not prevent me from stepping in to repair items that have no affinity whatsoever with the velocipedinal milieu. such as the cold water tap in my bathroom. one of the children under the care of mrs washingmachinepost tends to be a tad brusque when it comes to washing his hands. thus the lever to turn on the water has gradually become looser and looser over the past month or so, to the point where it came off in my hand the other night. only lightning fast reflexes on my part (you weren't there, so don't quibble) prevented a very small grub screw from disappearing down the plughole.
fortunately, and i'm pretty sure it's not what they had in mind when sending, bramley's cooke components had recently delivered a cleverly constituted, thirteen function vel multi-tool with the very 2.5mm allen key with which i expertly footered until the tap once more worked like new.
but, i hear myself saying, multi-tools, even those with thirteen appendages, are pretty much ten-a-penny (well £34.99 if truth be told) these days, and even the most mechanically recalcitrant member of the pelotonese has one squirreled away somewheres abouts. even those that have no idea how to use them, mostly because they're small enough to fit in a rear pocket or a seat pack and you need to have one, right?
also small enough to fit in a rear pocket is one of those little mini-pumps, the tiny blighters that will turn you into schwarnold arzenegger over the course of a half hour session with a repaired inner tube. the smarter money, however, is on leveraging the power of carbon dioxide gas by way of a little bomb-like cylinder of the stuff secreted about your person. but even the smallest of co2 pumps are not that much more dinky than an ordinary mini-pump. but the thirteenth tool on the vel mutli-tool undermines any of the previously mentioned iniquities via a cunningly crafted adaptor that attaches itself to the 8mm allen key. simply thread in a co2 canister once the adaptor is attached to the valve and light the blue touch paper (metaphorically speaking) using the micro adjustable nozzle.
once done, the 8mm key with adaptor still attached folds flat inside the tool. and while you're there, should there be any other unwell parts of the bicycle, the other twelve tools incorporate 2/2.5/3/4/5/6/8mm allen keys, a flat head screwdriver, cross head screwdriver and t10 and t25 torx keys. hopefully the accompanying photos will give an idea of just how compact and bijou this well-made vel tool actually is.
and if you ever have to fix the bathroom tap, put the plug in the wash-hand basin to stop the grub screw disappearing down the plughole. and don't forget that little blue plastic cold water indicator that has to be nudged out to allow access to the aforementioned grub screw.
friday 25 september 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................