A salutary lesson and yes, I'm an idiot.

Tim O

Über Member
I volunteered to service my son's classic road bike today - he's off on a 250 mile loop tomorrow for a few days. He was working and as I'm retired I thought it would pass an hour or two. Now, I'm not too bad at cycle mechanics (not brilliant but not bad). I had it gleaming, adjusted everything, all the gears clicked satisfactorily into their proper position etc., chain sparkling and so on. Then I tested the rear brake: a beautiful piece of engineering from Campag - a Mirage. It pulled the brake tight but wouldn't release. I checked everything: the cable, the pivot, the spring. It just wouldn't go back and the lever stayed in. I took it apart. I greased everything. No joy. I rang my LBS where one of their mechanics has retro road bikes. He gave me a lesson over the phone. Still nothing.

After an hour or two it struck me. What a complete pill**ck. I was servicing the bike on a bike work stand. Some of you will now realise... In my defence all I can say is that for the last number of years all my bikes have had internal cable routing. Lesson: don't test a rear brake on a classic bike with external cable routing on a bike work stand - the cable is caught by the claw holding the bike. I am deeply embarrassed at my utter stupidity. It got me thinking, has anyone else done something that they really should have known better? At least he's got a sparkling and beautifully working rear Campag brake!


The Monch
Inside my skull
External brake cables is also very much contemporary , internal routing is still very much a minority at the moment. But well done at realising your mistake.


Resistance is futile!
I've currently got a new 8 speed set-up. New chain, cassette, 8 speed lever and 8 speed-compatible rear mech. All Shimano.
Do you think I can get the ruddy thing to index properly? I know I must be doing something wrong, but I've no idea what...
I've done exactly that OP - a real doh! moment when the penny dropped.
wouldn't describe the bike I was working on as a classic (a self build I'd converted to V brakes by running a cable outer all the way to the rear as there were no frame stops) , and in any case I am sure there are worse problems with internal cabling.
After that experience I now mount all my bikes in the stand using the seatpost, which I think is generally considered better practice anyway.


Heavy Metal Fan
I once spent ages trying to get a pedal off...until I realised it was a left hand thread


Getting old but not past it
North Wales
You can't always hold the bike on the seat tube. In my case, there isn't enough space so I hold it on the frame but clamp it very lightly so I don't put pressure on the frame.
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