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What’s the dumbest maintenance mistake you’ve made??

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What’s the dumbest maintenance mistake you’ve made??

Old 04-09-22, 12:30 PM
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jppe
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What’s the dumbest maintenance mistake you’ve made??

A while back I posted about stupid bike maintenance things we’ve done so this is v2. At that time I’d routed a chain incorrectly through the rear derailleur and even had ridden it a while that way.

Today it had me shaking my head again. The plan was to replace the front derailleur on my gravel bike. Since the FD cable was the original one I’d installed when I built up the bike I opted to replace it at the same time. Five minute job on the cable replacement, right? Well 45 minutes later I was struggling to get the old cable removed. Without going into the embarrassing details of everything I tried to do, the cable would just not push up and out of the shifter.

Then it dawned on me. I’d removed the shifter cover on the shifter on the right side of the handlebars……..the rear shifter……..duh. Boy did I feel stupid and wasted a heck of a lot of time.

Not bike related but a couple weeks ago I replaced chains on two of my chain saws. On my gas saw I put on the new chain but it would hardly cut. What the heck??? Who knew you could put a chain on backwards??? On my electric saw after putting on a new chain I attempted to extend the bar to tighten the chain using the bar adjustment screw. I turned it and turned it but the bar just wouldn’t extend. The problem was I’d already tighten down the bar cover and in the process I stripped the adjustment screw…..

Please don’t tell me this gets even worse as I get older**********

Anyone else care to fess up?
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Old 04-09-22, 01:51 PM
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In removing a freewheel, I thought I'd do it the easy way - QR to hold the removal tool in the proper position, tool in bench vise, turn the wheel to unscrew the FW. I could feel it give pretty easily, but the FW just wouldn't unscrew the way I thought it should. It was hard to turn the wheel and kept getting harder. Eventually it freed up. That's because I broke the axle. I had forgotten to take the QR out when the FW freed up.
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Old 04-09-22, 02:25 PM
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Crank remover screwed in - without removing the bolt first.....
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Old 04-09-22, 02:41 PM
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When fixing a flat on the road, I pinched the replacement tube, several times.
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Old 04-09-22, 04:09 PM
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This post is timely! Needed to replace the gears on my 1999 Peugeot mtn. bike and hummed and hawed whether it was a freewheel or cassette. Asked advice on the forums, but still couldn't figure it out because it had a dork disc so couldn't see it from the back. Assumed because of it's age on original Rigida rims, it had to be a freewheel so bought the part and took to my friends place. He looked at me and said, you need a cassette doh! rookie mistake.

Luckily was able to exchange the 7 speed freewheel for a 7 speed cassette and just got them to install it instead of wasting my friends time.
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Old 04-09-22, 05:04 PM
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Spraying degreaser directly onto the cassette, as I did for years with my rim brake bikes. uh....except I now have disc brakes and the fluid also landed on the pads. Sheepishly took the bike to the shop for some cleanup and new pads!
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Old 04-09-22, 05:13 PM
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When I was a kid, I used to make my tires shiny with grease, with the predictable results. Running tires with super high pressures to lower rolling resistance caused a couple gunshot-loud blowouts which scared the hell out of drivers around me. Not waiting for the cement to dry properly on a tubular tire caused me some spectacular road rash, not setting the master link on the chain on an old cruiser caused the chain to come off on a steep descent, leaving me with no brakes, resulting in a pretty good crash and nasty fracture.

For cars, trying to tighten a radiator hose clamp on my old Challenger caused the hose to blow off, filling my left shoe with boiling water. I used to run an ‘72 K5 Blazer at the local drag strip, I once made the mistake of adjusting the metering needles on a Q-Jet carb with a Snap On screwdriver which used interchangeable tips, a tip fell into the running engine, breaking a piston and putting a hole in the side of the block. After replacing a differential, I didn’t tighten the pinion bolt enough, the ring gear pulled the pinion gear and jammed it into the diff case, causing the rear end to lock up, and all the gear oil to spill on a busy freeway, etc etc.
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Old 04-09-22, 05:19 PM
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Trying to remove the fixed bottom bracket cup on my 1980 Peugeot PKN-10 by turning it clockwise. I finally decided to try jerking it back and forth in the vise, to see if that would loosen it up. When I started to turn it clockwise, it kept going ... easily. It turns out Peugeot had changed from French to Swiss BB threading either with that model year or right before, and both of my earlier Peugeots had French threading.
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Old 04-09-22, 06:01 PM
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Too many to remember....or at least so many my mind blocks them out.
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Old 04-09-22, 06:12 PM
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On my first disc brake pad change I somehow put the retaining screw in but missed the hole in one of the brake pads. The brakes worked for a bit, then the pad fell out. Luckily I was going slow when the pad fell out.
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Old 04-09-22, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Too many to remember....or at least so many my mind blocks them out.
That is my first thought, the second one was that there is no way I can rank which is the dumbest.
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Old 04-09-22, 07:53 PM
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Just finished building a bike from the frame up. Last time I did this was in '99. It's a Spec Aethos. I took some measurements from my current bike so I could transfer them to the Aethos, center of stem bolt to saddle tip, saddle height and stack height. I run all the cables/housings and they look great. I celebrate with a couple of beers as I finish the build for the night. Next morning I go down to my shop and look at my measurements to set them on the Aethos. Start with saddle height, then nose to stem and finish up measuring stack height. Needs to go up 2cm...easy peasy...loosen the stem and lift...hmmm it's getting stuck...wonder what's wrong? Measure where the top of the stem needs to be, same stem as on the other bike, Damn...cut the cables/housings with the stem slammed...argh not enough to place it where it needs to be. Have to remove the cables/housings, bottom bracket/crank set and start over...sigh...what a dumb ass. But I was careful to measure first and the housings are perfect. Oh well not terrible but a "Doh" moment for sure.
Yes I'm running full mechanical, mix of 105/R7000 with Ultegra rear derailleur/crank set and TRP Spyre Carbon mechanical disks...Roval Alpinist wheels...just over 15lbs.
During the upcoming winter I'm going to upgrade to Ultegra Di2, 12 speed...maybe 11 speed if the price is a lot better...the parts are hard to come by so I'm in no hurry as the bike is wonderful the way it is.
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Old 04-09-22, 08:41 PM
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Just noticed today that when I last replaced my chain, I had it on the wrong side of the guide between the jockey wheels. I did at least 3 rides over 60 miles without noticing. DOH!
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Old 04-09-22, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
When fixing a flat on the road, I pinched the replacement tube, several times.
I even do that at home just did it in fact.
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Old 04-09-22, 09:48 PM
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I am not a detailed person so my maintenance can suffer. poorly bled brakes several times. one reason I would not touch spokes. I didn't to shut enough down on our tandem the nI removed the rear wheel and I have a dt Swiss hub. I upped the free hub right off. I was looking on the ground though some springs feel out. get to together but I didn't to push down on it and they never snapped together. rode it for 10 miles with some chain skipping till I got a flat and it came off again and I remembered it needs to snap together.
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Old 04-09-22, 10:27 PM
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Installed Crank on the wrong side!!!

And no even though it was the 60s I was not stoned!!!
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Old 04-10-22, 07:01 AM
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Nothing major, but felt like kicking myself afterward! The front derailleur on my road bike was not shifting as well as I felt it should. I do the maintenance and repairs on our bikes. But couldn't get the shifting down, so took it to the LBS (haven't done that for decades!) Don't know if I overlooked it, or just slipped my mind, but all it took was to get the cage parallel with the chain rings. No idea of why it wasn't, but you can bet I will check that also if it ever happens again!
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Old 04-10-22, 07:08 AM
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Not double-checking if the handlebar stem bolts were tight before the test ride.
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Old 04-10-22, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Just noticed today that when I last replaced my chain, I had it on the wrong side of the guide between the jockey wheels. I did at least 3 rides over 60 miles without noticing. DOH!
I did the same thing!! I couldn’t figure out why it was so noisy!!
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Old 04-10-22, 02:34 PM
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Back in the late 70s/early 80s when white/yellow walls were de rigour, they would get be discolored and brown with age and use. Remembering how I used to clean the whitewalls on my mom’s 67 Cougar, I used Comet cleanser and a scrub brush. This worked great the first two times but the tires were getting tired and ready to be changed after my next double century. Wanting the tires to look good for the ‘big ride’ I used Comet the night before. In the middle of the ride, one sidewall blew out. The bleach weakened the fibers and they gave out. I had one boot and luckily there were no more side blow outs but was nervous about another failure the rest of the day. Both went in the garbage the next day.

Won’t go into the travails of my first attempts are rear mech adjustment after replacement.

The absolute dumbest thing I ever did was back in high school (HS) back in 68 with I flipped up my drop bars up on my Schwinn Varsity, because it looked ‘cool’. The very first ride to HS I had my hands on the bar tops and reached down for something with my right hand, thus shifting all my weight to the left hand which pressed the cheater bar brake which sent me over the handle bars landing on the pavement on one knee and elbow which started bleeding profusely. In shock, I walked the bike to school dripping blood. The schools nurse bandaged me up and our of embarrassment I lied about how it happened to her and everyone else. The night of the accident, I lowered the bars back to their normal placement. The scars of my stupidity were visible for over two decades.
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Old 04-11-22, 08:19 AM
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One of the funniest was when I building up my travel bike, and installed the cranks 90 degrees offset (instead of 180). Something didn't look right there...

I knew about putting a chainsaw chain on backward! Even after spending half an hour or more resharpening the chain, it doesn't cut worth a dam!
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Old 04-12-22, 01:05 AM
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Starting to overhaul my 1993 Trek 5900 OCLV in the early 2020 pandemic lull... and getting no farther than installing a new headset that I'll probably replace again soon anyway. The original Chris King titanium headset needed to be overhauled and I was anxious -- at the time -- to get riding again, so I installed a functional and inexpensive Origin8 headset. And then did nothing else to the bike for two years.

OTOH, I did shift my attentions to building up a mid-2010s Diamondback carbon fiber road bike frame, which I rode with great pleasure and enthusiasm until late 2021 when the Super Cooties knocked me off my high horse. I still haven't recovered from the vertigo and fatigue.

Before, and since, my best maintenance goofs and gaffes include installing tires and wheels backward, pinch flatting tubes during installation (before investing in a Kool Stop bead jack), cracking a few classic 1980s lightweight low profile rims by neglecting to keep the spokes properly tuned.

Ugh, I'm gonna get depressed just thinking about it. Those lovely Araya CTL-370 and Wolber Alpine Super Champion rims...
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Old 04-12-22, 01:27 AM
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One from just last week. Changing a crankset from 46/36 to 50/34 (Shimano Hollowtech) and the new drive side crank just met a bit of resistance when pushing it through so I reached for the rubber mallet to give it a few gentle taps with no result. Hmmm. Ah, yes. It would of course be the larger diameter 50 tooth outer chainring bashing against the front mech still set up for 46 teeth. Doh!

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Old 04-13-22, 09:04 AM
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I had done some work on my Windsor so the seat post was high to enable clamping on my work stand. I did not mark the seat post prior to extending it so had to reset the height after the work was complete . I am rather fussy so I left the binder just snug as I tried various settings ... finally getting it just right. Went for a ride (not far!) and soon discovered the reason we tighten the binder bolt!
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Old 04-13-22, 10:36 AM
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Now I'm kicking myself for a maintenance mistake I thought I'd learned. A month (or was it a couple months?) ago I did the preliminary chain check with a Park chain checker (CC-3 variety). It moved a little, but wasn't close to dropping, so I figured I'd check it in a couple weeks. This week I got a round tuit.

So the chain I didn't change back then -- now it's going to cost me that chain, a cassette, and either all three chainrings or a new crank. Just think how much I saved!
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