Q&A - Bike bilingual

I go biking abroad a lot and inevitably have my fair share of mechanicals while I'm away


Q. I go biking abroad a lot and inevitably have my fair share of mechanicals while I'm away. I can generally get the right sort of help by dragging the damaged bits into the local bike shop and then making extravagant arm movements, but I'd really like to become bike bilingual. Is there a website that can help?

Phil Windsor, London

A. You're in luck sir, as only the other day we stumbled across a new section of the Park Tools website and we quote: 'Park Tool resident guru Calvin Jones offers up a brief guide to wrenching in foreign lands, with a new multi-lingual spreadsheet designed just for mechanics. Bicycle Mechanic Languages v1.0 cross-references approximately 450 useful phrases, common words and specific bicycle terms in English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian. The free download is available on the Park Took website in either Microsoft Excel or printable Adobe Acrobat formats'. Get it now at www.parktool.com/repair/readcalvinscorner.asp?id=160.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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