I’m not afraid to try anything. Really. I like excitement, change, new things, challenges, and problem solving.
When it comes to home improvement stuff, I’ll first try to do something myself before I call in reinforcements. I’ve built a fence. Laid tile. Put up drywall. Completed minor electrical work. Installed a sprinkler system. Laid sod (lots of sod). After working on these, I’ve decided that many of these are once & done type items…meaning if I ever need to do them again, I’m calling in the experts. I’ve done it once, and can claim to have attempted it. Usually my projects are accompanied by numerous trips to Lowes or Home Depot. I invariably get the wrong part, the wrong size, or insufficient numbers of parts. Basically, I’m good at making simple projects much more difficult than they should be.
When it comes to bike wrench work, I can do almost everything I need to do. Obviously, I can change flat tires. Given my history of working back in the day for a large mail-order bike shop that also has retail stores, I also know how to adjust brakes, derailleurs, non-threaded headsets, etc. So this past weekend, I was assembling a new-to-me bike. I successfully put on the wheels (duh), pedals, connected the front brakes to the fork, re-attached the aero bars & stem to the steer tube and installed behind-the-seat water bottle cages. Went through the motions of checking out everything…made a few adjustments to brakes & drive train, then realized that my headset was loose. Basically – lots of rocking that shouldn’t have been there. What did I do? I grabbed my trusty 5mm Allen key, loosened the stem and then started cranking down on the top plate of the headset. Just like I’m supposed to. After a handful of turns, I hear a loud CRACK and realize that I put so much force on the headset that I BROKE the top plate. How on earth did I do that!!! Upon closer inspection, I realized that I had too many spacers on the fork. I’m such an idiot! So…long story short…I couldn’t get in my ride this weekend on the new speed machine. And…now, I have to go on a hunt for new spacers and a new top plate for my headset.
Moral of the story? Again…proof that I’m really good at making a simple project more complex than it should be. Proof that I should have just taken the bike by my LBS to have a tech adjust the headset for me. What it might have cost me in labor dollars would be nothing compared to the time investment this will now take to fix.