Monday, March 19, 2007

Lights Out

"Lights Out" describes the sensation when a rider shut downs in the last kms of a race. But what about a mechanic? Mechanics can go lights out and the resulting work is expensive and dangerous. I don't want to focus on the dangerous because that's no fun. Instead, let's focus on the funny side of things. In the early nineties, while I was working in a shop in So Cal, we received a Judy SL prototype that had a sexy press-fit crown with an aluminum steerer tube. The fork lowers were a bright yellow, excuse me, Judy Yellow. This beauty weighed all of 2.8 pounds. Measure twice, cut once. In this case, the mechanic measured the head tube twice but did it sans stem, sans spacers, and whalah...proto fork with a steerer tube that was all of 3 inches long. Ooops. I am sure there are others out there with equally funny stories of trashing expensive gear all because of a little oversight, a little, "lights out" action. So, maybe you cross threaded a BB in that sweet, soft, aluminum BB shell and trashed the frame, or you clamped a seat tube in a work stand only to give it the Park pinch, or totaled a $300 handlebar with a little too much elbow grease on the allen key. Please, share your tales and although it was tragic then, we can all laugh now.


Anonymous said...

A roof rack, a car port, and an accelerator. Turns out that a wooden car part can easily demolish an aluminum frame at 10 mph. Neither I, nor the machine have ever recovered.

Anonymous said...

I can relate. In my rush to leave for Big Bear I did a half-ass job of installing my roof rack and the results were disasterous not to mention very expensive. Three MTBs we reduced to a shopping bag of small parts. I was lucky enough to be in front of a convoy of trucks and not a group of motorcyclists.

Matt said...

Mine is still going - Race Face Taper lock bottom bracket in my Airborne Ti frame. When I installed it 6.5 years ago, I put it in with regular grease just like any other bb. I'll bet that BB is galvanically bonded to the frame quite well right now!

But I also had to add permatex to hold in the King headset as the frame cups were slightly larger than the headset. That headset isn't going anywhere either!