By John Marsh, Editor & Publisher
When I crashed back in April, the damage to my bike was minimal – but aggravating.
I’m particular about keeping my bike pretty clean, looking good, and in sound order. If something’s not quite right, it bothers me to no end. And I fix it ASAP.
Some riders I’ve known over the years will ride around for months with their bar tape hanging loose, or with dirt caked on their rear brake, with their seat bag hanging by one strap – or far worse. It spikes my blood pressure just to write about those things!
So as soon as I could post-crash, I set about trying to fix the little stuff that got damaged in my crash and could be fixed:
- the rear QR skewer, which really got gouged
- the shifters on both sides of the handlebar got chewed up, including the rubber hood covers and the little metal bits that cover the gearing at the top of the shifters
That’s one of the great things about the way some bike parts are made: little things like covers can be replace for a few dollars and made to look like new vs. having to replace an entire component.
Enlist Your Bike Shop if You Need Parts
I found a DT-Swiss rear skewer online from a company through which I had previously ordered spokes. It was an older model but very closely matched my existing skewer. Cost: about $10, including shipping.
I needed to take my bike to my local shop to be checked over anyway, so I asked for their help in ordering new hood covers and shifter plate covers.
The hood covers and the front plate covers were easy to source; they came in right away.
It took a couple of attempts – and two full months – for the shop guys to get the side plate assemblies.
After reading the above, you probably realize how much I hated getting back on the road with scratched-up side plates on my shifters. Even though they were barely visible unless pointed out, the important thing was that I KNEW they were in disrepair.
So, as you can see in the photo below, I did my best over two separate attempts to sand down the gouges and find a somewhat close match for the color and tone.
Extra tip! I first bought a bottle of silver nail polish, which turned out to be too light. As I was storing that bottle for future use (you never know!), I saw the bottle of touch-up paint for my car, which is a medium gray color. Voila! Very close tonal match. You can still see the scratched-up sections in the photo, but the color and tone at least “blended” somewhat. So keep in mind automobile touch-up pain when in need of a bike touch-up.
I picked up the new side-plate assemblies on Saturday after my morning ride. Cost: $28 for both. The total assembly, including the front plate, is held on with three screws. It took me less than 10 minutes to pop off the old ones and install the new before my Sunday ride.
Now my shifters (see photo at left) look like new again!
Repair, Replace, Recycle
So if you’re like me and like to keep a clean bike, just keep in mind that there are various options available to repair or replace the “little bits” that might get scuffed up along the way.
The final bit of serendipity in all of this is that, as I was photographing the old shifter plate covers, I noticed a little recycling icon stamped into the front of each one. Now I can feel just a little bit better dropping them into my recycling bin instead of the trash can.
Leave a Reply