Over to you: Your greatest ever bodge

Improvised mechanics, make yourselves known

Ever found yourself in a sticky mechanical situation prior to or during a ride? Maybe you’re miles from help and don’t have the parts necessary to make a conventional fix. At this point you want to hope you’re close to a decent bodger. For readers outside of the U.K, or those who aren’t familiar with the slang, a bodger is best defined as someone who is able to fix something without the tools or parts most people would deem necessary for the repair.

As an expert in improvisation, a talented bodger will see things differently to most. Armed with only a few simple tools and household items there are few things that a seasoned bodger cannot fix. A good list of those fixes can be found here.

The bodge added a frightening-looking extension to the stack height of my bike, but actually slackened the frame out nicely

The internet is full of brilliant stories about people using planks of wood in place of blown shock absorbers or filling their tyres with grass in the event of an unrepairable flat, but what stories have you got to tell? Be sure to get involved via the comments box below…

I’ll kick off with my best effort, which occurred a few years back during a riding holiday in Morzine, France. A pair of Rockshox Lyrik forks decided to spill their guts after just a handful of runs. At the time, these forks were hard to come by and several local mechanics declared the only speedy option to get me back out on the trail was to either hire an alternative bike or buy a new pair of forks.

Distraught at missing out on more riding time, I knew there had to be a better way. I ended up getting a pair of Fox 36 forks from my second bike sent out to me from my home in Bristol, but there was a critical flaw to my plan — the Fox 36 forks used a 1 1/8th steerer and the Lyrics were tapered. An obscure (at the time) headset standard meant that these forks had no chance of fitting my frame, not without extensive bodgery anyway…

What commenced was exactly that, as a local mechanic and I used a dremel to reduce one end of a BMX bottom bracket adaptor to exactly the right size to accept a regular 1 1/8th headset, while the top was pressed directly into my frame.

The bodge added a frightening-looking extension to the stack height of my bike, but actually slackened the frame out nicely. I ended up enjoying multiple extra days on the bike but in truth was probably lucky to get away with my teeth still intact.

Wait, those forks don't look quite right..
Wait, those forks don't look quite right..

Oli Woodman

Section Editor, UK
With more than 10 years of experience riding mountain bikes, Oli knows the good from the bad when it comes to gear. He's a total bike nerd and loves few things more than fettling with spangly riding bits. Also, he seems to have a talent for crashing hard but emerging unscathed.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Loamy singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Marin Pine Mountain, Pinnacle Dolomite
  • Dream Bike: Honda RN01
  • Beer of Choice: Corona
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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