Monday, January 26, 2009


I'm a fanatic about my bikes. I'm always taking them apart to clean them, adjusting the shifting, the braking, or just fussing with my position. If my derailleur skips, my wheel is slightly out of true, my rim isn't perfectly centered between my brakes, or if there's the slightest click or squeak I need to fix it or it drives me crazy... So, needless to say, I spend a good deal of time on bike maintenance.

The problem is, I'm what you might call an overtightner. I have a bad habit of overtightening EVERYTHING. I've snapped quill stem bolts, crushed carbon seat posts, cracked titanium bolts, broken seat post binder bolts, etc. For all my intent to keep my bikes well maintained and therefore save money, I spend a good deal of it replacing things I've broken by overtightening.

You'd think I would have learned my lesson by now, with over a decade of doing my own repairs. But no... Last night, as I was futsing with my road bike, I snapped a titanium steerer tube bolt on my Cinelli Solido stem. I tried to drill out the remaining piece of bolt left in the stem, but only succeeded in ruining the threads. Time to get a new stem. Maybe a torque wrench while I'm at it...


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