Really stupid bike set up mistakes…

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  • Really stupid bike set up mistakes…
  • mashiehood

    not really a bike setup mistake but the good lady mistook mr sheen for deodorant! she is 5 mths pregnant, but still funny


    I’ve seen a few gear cable inners zip-tied to stays 😀

    Tends to impair gear-shifting…

    Premier Icon stevomcd

    French bike journo who rode with us for a day turned up with his forks on backwards and rode like that until we spotted it at lunchtime.

    “Zut alors! I turn ze bars for packing ze bike on ze train and I make meestake after!”

    We believed him. 😉


    i once put my chain back through my rear mech the wrong way didnt realise until a few hundred metres into my ride (after a friend had dropped me off a long way from anywhere) which resulted in the mech and hanger in a mangled mess and a bloody long walk back!

    Premier Icon tomhoward

    Spent well over an hour trying to fit some tyres, they just wouldn’t go on! Once I could no longer feel/use my thumbs I noticed what size the tyres were and immediately remembed that 24″ tyres don’t fit 26″ rims. Much swearing….


    I’ve seen a few gear cable inners zip-tied to stays

    Hmmm, wonders how long it would take a ridding buddy to notice why their gears not shifting properly if someone had placed a zip tie in such a manner 😉


    I decided to change the bushes in some old fox forks once.

    Made the tool to extract the old bushes ok and it worked fine. Turned up a dolly to push in the new bushes and pressed the first one in fine.

    Aren’t I clever?

    well no, because I took the second lower bush, and pressed it in ON THE SAME SIDE. There was no chance of getting it back out without without mullering it. I had a trip planned 2 days later. Luckily I bought some lowers from here and they arrived in time.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    I’ve seen mechanics fit cranks at 90 degrees to each other when in a hurry…

    briliant from northwind there


    northwind – how on earth did that happen? 😆

    Premier Icon Northwind

    mashiehood – Member

    northwind – how on earth did that happen?

    Pure skill (it was all done with the bike hung like that in the stand, so there’s no obvious up or down. Still stupid though!)


    Someone should ride that. Front wheel drive, recumbent, rear wheel steering fubarniche 🙂

    Took me a few moments of wondering “How did he fit the seat post where the BB should be” before I worked it out. 😀

    On a related theme, I worked for a truck dealer once.
    Two guys went to collect a brand new lorry back from having a tanker body fitted.
    They got about half a mile before finding out the hard way that the body builders had zip tied the air pipes to the prop shaft.

    Premier Icon JAG

    OK – here goes…..

    I’ve done this twice now. When threading the chain through the jockey wheels in the rear mech’ it’s possible to get the chain rubbing on the metal frame. There’s a tab bent inwards between the two jockey wheels – if you don’t get it right it makes a funny noise but otherwise works fine 🙄

    I rode it like that for a couple of weeks first time I did it 😳

    Second time I spotted my mistake before riding off 😯


    jag – i have done that before 😳

    Premier Icon scaredypants

    I once swapped over the brakes on a hire bike in the USA

    … and left them “wrong”

    Phoned up the shop from the UK, luckily nobody had ridden it since


    I’ve just tried to zip tie the cable that runs from my laptop into my hi-fi to my bike thinking it was a the gear cable I’ve just been re-routing. Anyone beat that for stupidity??

    Premier Icon mboy

    Northwind, that is next level not paying attention, or building bikes when too tired/pissed/stoned! I’m impressed. It’s not even like the C456 has a straight steerer tube, it’s tapered!!! 😆

    Have laced a 32 spoke wheel incorrectly before when tired, and not noticed my mistake until I came to tension it. Needless to say I think I swore at myself, put it down and re-laced it the next day after a good nights sleep!

    Seen a good few people with forks on backwards out there, usually having just bought a BSO from Halfords or JJB Sports.

    Helmets on backwards is always a funny one too.

    Seen someone struggle for several minutes, trying to figure out why they couldn’t get their wheel into the frame… He was trying desperately to put it in the wrong way round, cassette on the disc side, and disc on the cassette side!

    Seen a few “pub bikes” with upturned drop handlebars to give a nice rise to them, but expect this was done intentionally.

    But perhaps the funniest, even funnier than back to front forks, was I saw someone riding along with their stem the wrong way round. Not upside down, but as in pointing towards them, so they were sat bolt upright on the bike, and if they wanted to go round a corner they had to push the opposite way on the bars! 😯


    A recent mistake i made when putting new bars on… Put bars on, brake levers on, grips on, bunced up and down on the forks to check the possition and they were tight. Then spent several second trying to work out what the loud knocking sound was… Turned out i forgot to put one of the gear shifters on and it was hanging down next to the fork leg.

    When i worked in a bike shop i lost count the amount of times people came in saying when they steer their feet hit the front tyre… Forks on backwards. (they built it themselves).

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    I did fit the lowers to my Fox forks back to front once. I did notice before fitting them to the bike, though.


    If MTG’s allowed a lorry one I’m allowed a car one:
    Friend who is very clever (Cambridge grad, 1st at medicene, trainee surgeon) came out one morning to find car all frosted up.
    Went back inot house and put kettle on. Used her nouse, boiling water will crack the screen, so just warmed it, then turned kettle off. Took it outside and defrosted all windows on the car outside her house. Took kettle back to kitchen, left the house, locked the door, went to car.
    ‘That’s not my car’
    Not even close, different make, model and colour. Just happened to be parked where she usually parks.
    Bike one, getting the plastic bumper and foam stop thingy upside down in the bottom of a set of Magura Durins. There’s a thread on here somewhere with me asking how to fix rebound top-out problems…


    A road bike from a fleet of hire bikes I was working with once had the cables routed so badly that the bars would only turn left 😯

    Another one had such long cables that they touched the front tyre

    Northwind wins hands-down though 🙂

    Premier Icon kayak23

    If MTG’s allowed a lorry one I’m allowed a car one:

    When I was new to driving, had borrowed my Mum’s car and was round a mates. I left when it was dark and got into my Mum’s red Fiat Uno. It felt a bit odd somehow, and looking up, the sunroof had disappeared too…

    Turns out the keys seemed to work on OTHER peoples red Fiat Unos too….Oops.


    once spent 20 minutes trying to help my mate fit pedals before a ride. Couldn’t work out how thy wouldn’t go in and after much brute force managed to cross thread the pair of them on the cranks. It was only on close examination that I figured out they were on the wrong way…ooops

    Arrived for a holiday in Italy with six mates, we were all building up our bikes, I pronounced myself first finished, only to see I’d put me front wheel on back to front, disc gouging the fork and all.


    Northwind, that is epic! Nice job.


    Removed front spacers on the fork through stem gubbins. Did all day kielder with terribly noisey front part of bike as it wasn’t centered at all.

    Premier Icon alexpalacefan

    Stripping the brakes from an old style 456, to go on another old-style 456.

    Cut the hoses to get them out of the closed guides.

    Fitted the new olive and insert, back into the lever and tightened it up just right.

    Out with the bottle of oil and did the bleed, working just right.

    Had forgotten to run hose through guides of new frame! D’Oh!



    Friend who is very clever (Cambridge grad, 1st at medicene, trainee surgeon) came out one morning to find car all frosted up.
    Went back inot house and put kettle on. Used her nouse, boiling water will crack the screen, so just warmed it, then turned kettle off.

    God help us all. Cold water defrosts just fine (try it).

    Premier Icon Scapegoat

    Fitting brakes to a new frame so I ordered a 3m length of hose, and cut it roughly 1m and 2m to make the two runs of hose. I then oh so carefully measured the desired new length for the front, at 75cm, and went and oh so carefully cut a 75 cm length ….. from the bastard 2 metre length. I needed a minimum 165 length for the rear so that was all wasted. Bank holiday weekend, late Saturday afternoon, no chance of getting any more hose until the next Tuesday.

    Premier Icon mattjg

    Heads sheared off disc rotor bolts. Several times. Garrgggggghhhhhhh.


    i had one guy on tour come to me and ask why his forks were knocking. he wanted to lower his bars so he removed the stem and the spacers and just replaced the stem, without the spacers.

    another good one…. i caught one guy rubbing gel into his leg. i asked if it was a pain relief gel. turns out it was energy gel. his legs felt tired.


    cynic-al – Member
    I’ve seen a few gear cable inners zip-tied to stays

    Tends to impair gear-shifting…

    To be fair his wrist was bust at the time, so any shifting wouldn’t have been that great


    One of my favourites, we had a young lad given two P7s in different sizes and spec’s to swap the components across from one to the other. After about 4 hours, he’d completely stripped and re-assembled both bikes back onto their original frames.


    A bikeshop once cut down my gear outers (when completing a frame swap) so the bars would turn less than 45degrees total. Thanks to them I decided to learn how to build a bike myself. Cyclesurgery you muppets.

    Premier Icon binners

    And since then, you’ve been doing it twice a week.

    Serious question: how long does it take you to strip and rebuild a bike? There must be mechanics in bike shops who’ve done it nowhere near as many times.


    My most common error is putting the lowers back on the wrong way around after a fork service. Muppet 😆

    Not bike set-up, but still bike related…

    Racing at Sherwood Pines in ’99 on my brand spankers GT XCR3000. Feeling good and from halfway round the last lap I put in a big charge for the finish, getting myself up to 3rd place. I crossed the line and slowed to a blowing-out-of-my-arse stop, feeling pretty damned chuffed with myself.

    At which point, a bemused looking marshall quietly said to me, “You do know you’ve still got another lap to do, don’t you?”

    I eventually finished something like 15th.


    I can carry out a swap in 45mins. I never have to retune the rear mech as I always run a full (independent) outer gear cable 8)

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