Now get out of that! - Bike Magic

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Now get out of that!

Give it some stick

Are there any conceivable bodged repairs that don’t involve cable ties and sticks? We know they’re out there, but we’re still waiting for pictorial evidence of their use. But for now, here’s a true classic of the stick-and-tie bodge from Dave Harris:

I went out on a short (bereft of tools) evening ride a couple of weeks ago with my mate Chris. About five minutes in, my rear shifter went “spoing!” and died, leaving me with just my smallest sprocket. After a few minutes scouring the floor for something to use as a screwdriver we decided that it was a dead loss, and just to press on, given that I still had three gears on the chainset. The front mech wasn’t working too well, so I pretty much had to manually move the chain from one to the other if I wanted to change. We made it to the top anyway, and I thought I’d have a look at the front mech and see if I could get it working properly. However, at the first touch of the shifter, the cable outer exploded into a Bolognese (shurely “spaghetti”? -Ed)of wires, leaving me at the top of five minutes of lovely, loose, rocky downhill with only one gear – granny ring to small sprocket (tut tut). That’s how I arrived at the pictured bodge. And rode all the way home in top gear.

Just in case it’s not quite clear what Dave did here, he’s used that bit of stick to hold the front derailleur cage out – without any cable tension it’d usually spring to the inner ring position. The cable tie stops it falling out. If the rest of your ride isn’t all downhill (and let’s face it, they rarely are), just find a thinner stick and lodge the mech in the middle ring position.

Over to you

We want to know about your MacGyver-esque trailside repairs – the ones that show a bit of lateral thinking, a dash of inspiration and the all-powerful spirit of bodge. We’re particularly interested on ones that don’t involve sticks… We’ll share the best ones with the world, in the hope that they might come in handy for someone else one day.

Send a description and a picture (that’s important – we want stuff that you’ve actually done and has worked) to us at the usual address


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