The fourth installment in our five-part series from Daniel Schwinnski, lugged steel road race champion of Lenawee County.
4. Cleaning bikes and parts with a toothbrush.
When cleaning my bike, I often found dirt hiding in the nooks and crannies, and I asked myself, “How do I get that out of there?” My solution was to use an old toothbrush. I have also found that they work great for cleaning of chains and bearings when I’m overhauling them. One word of caution however, people don’t take it lightly when you are cleaning parts inside with mineral spirits. They claim it’s too strong, yet I’ve never smelled it. My best advice would be to do it in a place with adequate ventilation and use gloves.
3. Using screwdrivers in place of pin spanners.
How many of us have seen the disclaimer written right on a screwdriver handle “not to be used as a chisel, pry bar or punch,” yet we use it for exactly that? When I was servicing my one piece cranks I needed something to hold the adjustable race on the left side when tightening them; a hammer and a screwdriver work great for that. When the adjusting cone on my three piece crank starts to slip, the screwdriver/hammer combo is there for the rescue. Just last year I found while browsing the internet that such a pin spanner is what I could be using if I broke down and bought one. I’ve got one for the one piece but not yet for the three piece.