I was inspired to write about bodges, and then decided to add music into the mix, to keep it interesting (?).
We currently have a Trek 7200 in the shop. It’s a little bit tired and the owner would like a Silver service. We are of course more than happy to oblige them. The question came up as to whether they would like to retain the unique mudguard set up, or would they like something a little more conventional? The considered response was “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – which I thought was brilliant. It’s not broken, so I don’t need to fix it (less work right?).
Now, this mudguard set up is really quite ingenious, if not overly elegant. It comprises a section of aluminium plate bolted to the chainstay, extending up and slightly overlapping….a section of slightly thinner aluminium plate bolted to the rear rack. There has been some hacksaw magic to provide space for the seatstays and I think it’s a perfect example of a glorious bodge (the owner described it as a bodge so I feel ok saying that!)
There is a slightly less substantial chainguard bodge which employs a thread for structural stability, which i’m less happy about, (but I think I have a solution to that!).
It made me think about the bodges i’ve done over the years. One of the first was after breaking my bars. I jammed a stick in the two sections as a “get me home fix. Not a solution, but got me home.
I snapped my suspension fork brace whilst dirt jumping. Being youthful and fearless, I simply removed the front brake and the brace ….and carried on, with very vague steering and “bad” sounds.
There are two more that stick out in my mind as particularly inspired/daft/brilliant.
First, I put a new fork on my brothers bike (that I was using as mine had been stolen). It had a really long steerer tube (that I wanted to keep long) and I didn’t have any spacers. So I used a spare stem above my stem. I then ziptied the stem to my bars to make sure it stayed pointing forwards. Looked really dodgy, a proper bodge, but worked really well and thinking about it, not particularly dangerous.
Secondly, my friends came from all around the country to come and ride the local trails in my home town (Cannock Chase). We set off and not ten yards down the trail there’s a “pop” and Justin’s Fox suspension fork suddenly shrinks. Apparently the air seal had broken and as it was air sprung, it compressed all the way and there it stayed. We obviously couldn’t ride like that, it was potentially damaging to the fork at the very least.
We pooled our engineering knowledge and 5 degrees – Medical Science, Aeronautical Engineering, Bio-Chemistry, English, Modern Languages (and a PGDE) and came up with a solution – an inner tube.
…Your taxes hard at work (although really we all had huge student loans)!
We wrapped the inner tube around the upper fork legs, and around the crown and the fork brace, and then inflated it!! Air sprung once again, off we set and had a blast! Still can’t believe it worked, survived or was plausible in any way. Funnily enough, the background for our Strava group is actually a photo from that ride – with my zip tied stem bodge too! Justin’s forks are just out of shot….let’s see if I can find the original, i’ll set it as the featured image! Got it, the fork bodge in all it’s glory!
I’ve found that as I’ve grown up (kinda) my bodges get more and more refined. But now we’ve set up a company and are actually handling other peoples bikes, they either have to be perfectly executed (and then explained to the customer – total transparency!) or not happen at all!
When a bike comes in with a brilliant bodge already though, I can just enjoy peoples capacity to problem solve and smile!
It’s ended up being quite lengthy already. To discuss music?
Nah, I’ll just say I like listening to music when I work, that’s for another day!