Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mechanical Ineptitude Sunday

After driving 860 miles in two days, I decided that Sunday would be a day to fix up a couple of my bikes then head out for a ride.  I forgot, however, that I am mechanically inept.

All I was going to do was swap out a set of pedals and toe clips on the Sequoia. Easy Peasy.  Not so fast, wrench head.  I had the left pedal off in seconds. Put the pedal wrench on the nut part of the pedal axle. Hold the pedal down with one foot. Push. No problem. Done it a million times. I open the box of pedals from Velo Orange and the first problem arises.  There's no indication of which pedal is left or right. Since the threading on the left pedal is reversed, this is critical information.

So, I take off the old pedals and carefully examine the threads.  I think I id'ed the left pedal.  I start to thread the pedal on and I notice there's no nut part.  There's no way to use a pedal wrench on this thing.  WTF.  I can get it on but I'll never get it off.  So I search the Velo Orange website to no avail.  I call Velo Orange and, well, it's Sunday.  They're probably on their bikes enjoying the weird design of their pedals!  So the Sequoia goes back in the shed.  I send them a WTF email. 

Next up, my Tour Easy recumbent.  I need to order a new seat for it.  So I go and check the design of the old seat.  Go to the company's website and it asks me for the frame size. To me it's "enormous", but that's not one of the options.  So I go searching for the purchase receipt which should be in the folder with all my bike paperwork.  Should be. It isn't.  I finally find a repair receipt for my bike. It has the serial number on it.  Yess! I call Bikes at Vienna where I bought the bike and have it repaired. Nobody answers. Of course. It's Sunday.  They aren't open yet.  I wait until noon. Call back at 12:05. They have a long history for me in their computer but the computer doesn't have the spec sheet for the bike. They say check the manufacturer's website.  They'll list the wheel base of the different sizes.  I do. They only list up to size large. Argg!

The folks at Bike at Vienna do tell me that the pedals should be put on with a big allen key! They'll happily put the pedals on for me. They, alas, are 23 miles from my house.

I'm going out to search for the appropriate sized allen key. 
I was going to start my taxes tonight but I think that may be unwise.

Epilogue (A Quinn Martin Production):

I called Spokes about the pedal. They said bring it in. On the spot Chris at Belle Haven checked the threads put the right pedal on, fiddled and diddled. Voila.  On the road again....

Now for the Tour Easy seat....


  1. For a pedal, it's probably 6mm.

    Almost everything on a bike is 4, 5, or 6 mm. Cranks screws sometimes take an 8 mm key. Once in a while, I'll come across a braze on screw for a water bottle cage that is 3 mm.

    Also, you might want to see how many Tour Easy sizes they have. If the wheelbase matches, then you have large. If the wheelbase is bigger than the large specs, you have extra large. I've come across a few manufacturers that didn't have a small size ... only a medium.

    1. You're right. It was six. I had one. I am pretty sure I have an XL but they also come in XXL. This is not the size of the buttocks area, it's the wheelbase.

  2. Oy. In running, you just buy the correct size shoe ... this is a bit daunting.