Part Five

The final installment of our five-part series by Daniel, who is getting married this summer and will soon have to reallocate his vintage parts fund into college savings plans.

2. Using a screwdriver for mounting and dismounting tires.

How many times did I find the need to take off a tire to service a flat using a screwdriver?  I’ve used this method for years, ignoring all the warning labels on the new tube box that said “do not use screwdrivers for mounting tires.”  Until I started caring more about the longevity of the tubes, I looked for a better option, and found it in the kitchen.  Large rounded spoon and fork handles work best in place of screwdrivers and don’t cost you a trip to the bike store to buy these things I found called “tire levers” (which among other things is tricky to say) when you have a flat.  I’ve also found that dish soap applied to the bead before mounting of a tire will allow it to fit a rim better, many times eliminating the need for tools sometimes almost completely.

1. Inverting the bike to work on it.

My number one back to my roots ways of fixing a bicycle has got to be just flipping it over on its handlebars and seat.  I never even knew a bike stand existed until a few years ago and have yet to use one to this day.  I’m sure they work great, I’ve got one on my wish list, but for now, the tried and true method of inverting the bike seems to prove reliable.

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3 responses to “Part Five

  1. Baby powder is handy for installing fresh tubes, too. I think silverware is a great substitute for traditional tire levers, but they would be very prone to bending when changing some of the narrower tires.

    What are you using for a seat cover in the bottom picture?

  2. He was using an old bike cozy that my sister had. I have since gave him a true BROOKS saddle cover for Christmas. 😀

  3. I don’t have any problems using the spoon handle for a tire lever bending; it’s quite robust the one I have pictured.

    Baby powder is a great idea but how well does it hold on the tire? Dish soap doesn’t move at all when handling the tire.

    As far as the seat cover is concerned, when I originally bought the bike it came with a seat and this home manufactured seat cover on it. (alas, I can’t take credit for sewing it myself) I don’t know if you’ve seen it or not, but I was given a new brooks B17 for my birthday in october and I don’t want to scuff it up, so when I’m working on it, I use the cozy that I gave my sister but took back temporarily for a seat cover. I only leave it on when it’s stored to keep dust off and while working on it. I can also use the rain cover that Chris gave me, but it hasn’t rained yet. It’s rolled up and velcroed to the seat hardware.