How to swap a frame the unplanned way

  • Spend ten minutes moving a fleet of bikes out into the garden to make some space to work in, avoiding the pile of cat vomit along the way
  • Pop broken bike into the workstand, remove broken chainset and remove the bottom bracket ready for later
  • Pop old bike into the work stand
  • Unbolt the rear brake, trying not to drop the caliper spacers.
  • Pick up as many of the dropped spacers as you can find.
  • Start to remove the rear wheel then panic when this unbalances everything and the workstand falls over.
  • Stand on the back of the workstand and stretch across and try and carefully remove the front wheel. Drop it and the watch wheel bounce out though the back door.
  • Retrieve the front wheel from half-way down the garden
  • Remove stem, then drop the forks out with the aid of a big hammer.
  • More hammering time, get the headset remover out and start whacking.
  • Retrieve the dropped headset cups and scrape the mud off. At least you hope it’s mud
  • Spend ten minutes trying to find the workshop chain tool, then give up and try and find the rucksack and play "guess the pocket" to find the spare one before removing the chain.
  • Cut the gear cables and remove the front and rear mechs, then remove the chainset.
  • Find somewhere safe to put the old frame, the kitchen seems a safe bet.
  • Grease the new seatpost clamp and seatpost and fit to the new frame, then put the frame in the workstand.
  • Stand back and admire your new toy.
  • Grease the headtube and press the new cups in, look slighly confused when part of the headset press gets stuck in the cups, end up randomly hitting things until they fall out again.
  • Refit the forks and stem whilst trying not to tip the workstand over again.
  • Frantically search for extra headset spacers, realise you’ve used them all so cannibalise another bike.
  • Refit the forks with enough spacers this time.
  • Refit rear brake caliper and ziptie the hose to the guides on the top tube because you’re too lazy to get the bits to do it properly.
  • Fit the "universal" front mech hoping that you’ve got all the spacers in the right place.
  • Grease and fit the pimpy XTR rear mech.
  • Grease and fit ISIS BB, it probably won’t be in there long though.
  • Fit cranks, then spend five minutes trying to work out why the crank bolts don’t fit before remembering that you’ve used a different bottom bracket.
  • Finally finish fitting the cranks with the correct bolts.
  • Refit the chain.
  • Try and remember how to replace the cables in SRAM Attack shifters. Poke and prod things, find a likely looking bit of plastic, unscrew it and drop it under the washing machine. Replace the cable. Repeat for the other shifter except this time drop the bit of plastic under the tumble drier.
  • Cut full length outers to about 110% of the required length, poke the ends with a pin to open them up again. Fix cables to the mech in the appropriate manner, this takes a bit of trial and error with the strange front mech.
  • Try shifting, realised you haven’t tightened the cables enough, so start again.
  • By some miracle the rear shifting is almost perfect, just a quick nudge to the high limit screw.
  • Fettle the screws on the new front mech to stop it trying to shift onto the outer chainring which isn’t there.
  • Realise the front mech is stuck so hit it a few times, attack it with GT85 then hit it again. That seems to fix it
  • Pop the saddle on and drop the bike off the stand.
  • Realise the saddle is at a funny angle, try and adjust it and fail, look confused, wander across and look at the cross bike, then realise you’ve fitted the in-line seatpost the wrong way around.
  • Take the head of the seatpost apart, drop several bolts, faff a bit more, then eventually get the saddle back on in something approximating the right angle.
  • Realise that you need to align the rear brake caliper properly, sort the saddle height and angle out, and protect the chainstay, but you haven’t got time.
  • Eat a quick tea and go babysitting
  • Worry about the rest tomorrow

Can you tell that I’m a bit bored at the moment?

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5 Responses to How to swap a frame the unplanned way

  1. matt says:

    that’s the longest goddamn list I’ve ever seen!

    “..then realise you’ve fitted the in-line seatpost the wrong way around.”

    That’s my favourite bit.

  2. rich says:

    All the logos were the wrong way round :)

  3. Simon says:

    An xtr rear mech on an on-one? Blimey.

  4. matt says:

    It’s the best place to lose some weight on a bike, everyone knows that :)

  5. rich says:

    It made a bit more sense when it was on the Stiffee :)