Naked Women's Racing Blog

Race reports, training tips, and our ladies' lives on two wheels.

Bike Maintenance Advanced Clinic: Un-smashing your rims, de-grinding your gears and how to properly tape your bike together

In case you don’t already know, Turin Bicycles rocks. Their support for Naked Women’s Racing already places them in the rocker category, but Thursday night, a couple of their mechanics stayed late to show a room of women how to get greasy and keep their cranks turning. Steve made every topic approachable and easy to follow, without dumbing anything down or the air of condescension that often keeps women away from pulling out the tool box.

The advanced clinic was a follow-up on the beginner clinic. The night’s topics:

  • Keeping the Rear Derailleur on the Rails (derailleur adjustment)
  • Keeping Your Wheels Round (truing)
  • Taping Your Bike Up (handlebar taping)

The highlights:

  • If you really smash your rim up and need to get yourself home, carefully place your hands halfway along the arc between the two bent points, raise the wheel above your head and bring it smashing down onto a rock or hard ground. Repeat as needed until desired shape is acquired.
  • Don’t touch the Limit Screws. You’ll probably only screw them up. It’s nothing against you, they just don’t like the attention. And if you do screw them up you’ll regret it.
  • If you break a spoke, twist the broken spoke around a good one to avoid whacking the frame.
  • It doesn’t matter which way you wrap your bar tape, as long as you wrap it the right way.
  • Cork bar tape looks and feels amazing, but will make you grumpy if you wrap your own, and your mechanic grumpy if you bring it in.

If you wanted to know all the secrets, you would have had to come to the clinic. Until you get to a clinic of your own, just make sure to invite a tech-savvy girl on your rides to get you out of a tight spot.