Monday, July 17, 2006

The one tool you absolutely need!

You want to impress some babe that is stuck with a broken chain on her bike in the middle of nowhere? You want to avoid walking 20 miles because your chain just broke for no reason? You want a tool that might pay itself and maybe get you that free Ipod? Ok, maybe not that last part about the free Ipod, but the chain breaker tool is the one tool that will pay for itself by either avoiding you a long walk, saving some poor guy stuck with a broken chain who will give you cash for saving the day without your asking or get a phone number from a gorgeous babe that you saved in the same predicament.

Chains break off some times for no apparent reason or when we ask a bit too much of them. I had chains break on me while riding normally in the city and I always had my trusty chain breaker with me. It paid itself a few times over by helping out stranded cyclist on many occasions.

Don't be cheap and buy a decent one. Park Tools makes a good one and it's not expensive. It is pretty easy to use. You put the chain in the tool, align the pin of the tool with the pin of the chain link, screw in and voila! Just make sure you don't push the pin out completely, then you'll be screwed and you'll have to scrap that link and start all over again. Keep the pin and threads of your chain breaker well lubed with, you guessed it, automatic transmission oil. The tool creates a lot of heat with the friction from pushing the pin and that heat damages it. The oil will prevent that and the tool will last forever.

Tip of the day: Just fixed a chain on the bike path and you got filthy hands? Wet your hands with the water of your bottle, put some sand in there, scrub, rinse and you'll have clean hands.


Anonymous said...

Nice site, I'm always looking to pick up new tips or ideas for my next bike. One tip that has helped me out a lot is to put your spare tube in an old sock before you put it in you saddle bag. The sock prevents the bag from rubbing a hole in your new tube. Plus you can stick you hand in the sock when you need to handle your chain. It keeps things nice and clean.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Id like to know how many babes you went to bed with because of that chain tool. Im thinking of getting one, the one with a free 5 pack condoms.

Gerry Lauzon said...

Nice tip ksmith, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous, none, I'm a married man. But I've been flirted by a few. :)

Anonymous said...

I'll agree that the chain breaker may be ONE of the most important tools to ride with, but to me the most important tool is my... cellphone.

Oh, and an understanding wife. Sure, I'm happy to fix a flat on the side of the road, and maybe a little more. But when the going gets really tough, there is nothing better than using the speed dial and hearing the voice of my wife asking "Where am I coming to pick you up?"

Cutting the ride short sucks, but knowing that I can do the repair in the comfort of my basement makes it all worth it!

Gerry Lauzon said...

Yeah the cellphone and a great and compassionate spouse with a means to get you out of trouble is also very good to have. I prefer to ride without a cellphone, since I want to disconnect when I ride. Drives my compassionate spouse nuts!

Andy said...

Hey Gerry,

Dunno, maybe chain breakers are different down here in New Zealand. But I busted a chain today. Done the fix the the chain breaker - but it's not going back together, what am I doing wrong? It's not like I'm pushing the pin back through again, it's just all loose and likely to fall to bits again. I don't understand why the breaker doesn't have a way to flare the end of the pin once it's back in place. I'm missing something huh? Or is it really broke? Hmm. Thoughts?

Gerry Lauzon said...

Andy it sounds like your chain is the issue here. It might be so busted that it won't go back together. I would be very surprised that the tool would be the problem here.