8 ways to raise the blood pressure of your bike mechanic

From dirty bikes to press-fit bottom brackets, everything your mechanic doesn't want to see or hear

It’s fair to say that being a bicycle mechanic can be a difficult job. With a huge list of different maintenance tasks to perform it means that not every day is equal in the workshop.


Here at BikeRadar we had a word with our full-time mechanic, Jonny Ashelford, on the things that really yank his crank. With that in mind, here are eight ways to stress out your local mechanic.

1. Bringing in a filthy bike

Nope, we wouldn’t want to work on it either
Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
The last thing a mechanic needs is to be covered in road grime, mud or even worse — a top tube that’s still soggy with sweat.

2. Anything that involves internal cable routing

But it looks so pretty
Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Yep, it might look slightly better but it’s a lot of time and effort for something that offers no real mechanical advantage. A real pet hate of Jonny’s is the recent generation of disc-equipped road bikes with hoses that route through the fork.

3. Press-fit bottom brackets

Press-fit, where creaking is the norm
Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
We tried to press (LOL) Jonny further on this topic, but feared he’d punch us in the face. For an epic rant on press-fit bottom brackets refer back to this brilliant piece, I’ve had it with press-fit bottom brackets, from BikeRadar‘s former Technical Editor, James Huang.

 4. Chainstay mounted brakes

Good in the wind tunnel, bad in the workshop
Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
A nightmare to access and set-up, these aero-friendly stoppers sure aren’t a mechanic’s best friend.

5. Tyre and rim combinations that just refuse to cooperate

Not all tyres and rims get along
Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Fact: some rims and tyres simply don’t go together well and others refuse to work at all.

6. TT Bikes in general

TT bikes: not a Friday afternoon job
Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
From fiddly fairings to the time consuming assembly of aero bars, the TT bike is not a Friday afternoon task.

7. Asking to borrow their tools

Have you seen the 5mm?
Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
This one’s for those who are lucky enough to work alongside a mechanic. Should you be fortunate to gain access to a mechanic’s toolbox, you best make sure you put anything you borrow back where you found it.

8. “Can you just…”

Better leave him to it
Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media

The phrase that precedes a task that’s considered both quick and easy… but it never is.


Are you a mechanic? Have you got more to add to this list? Let us know using the comment box below…