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

Please clean your 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

The joy of internal cabling… or not!
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

Aah, 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

Access issues can lead to mechanic issues
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

The trouble with rims and tyres
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

No TT bikes on a Friday
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

Who's got my tool?!
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…”

Poor Jonny…
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…