>The Last Minute

>Thank bod for the last minute.

I had a bad night’s sleep last night – waking up more tired than when I went to bed. I needed to check the bike out but, hey, I was feeling a little wan. I left it until the afternoon.

I wanted to shim out the left hand tri-bar clamp to make it grip better after its recent slipathons. I used aluminium from a diet coke can (a tip I picked up from the classic, but now out of print, Shinto and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance). Diet coke aluminium is lighter and thinner than full fat coke aluminium, so better for a quick shim1.

I tightened the clamp back up. The bar still moved. I dismantled it again and took a closer look. The clamp has a bolt at one side and a pivot hinge on the other. The steel pin in the pivot was almost sheared through and failed completely as I wiggied it back and fore (technical term). I swore. This was not fixable.

I drove to Uckfield to the In Gear bike shop. They had a range of clip on bars available and I bought the ones most like the ones I’d destroyed. Actually I bought the cheapest. Thanks, In Gear, for the help in making the decision.

By the time I got back home my head was spinning with tiredness. This is the ideal state to be in when reassembling a indexed gear changer that you’ve allowed to explode all over the garden. After a couple of hours of adjusting, threading, weeping and tightening (yes, with a torque wrench) I had the bike back together. After another hour I had the indexed gears adjusted (who would have thought threading the cable on the other side of the clamp could make so much difference?).

So the bike is back in one piece. The bar position is different because the tri-bars are a very different shape. I haven’t ridden it yet. Tomorrow’s race could be a real voyage of discovery. Mid you, it might have been even more of a voyage if the old bars had failed in situ mid-race.

1This is rubbish – technical editor