It’s 9 p.m. on a Thursday, and instead of watching Netflix with a cold beer in hand like usual, I am hunched over my bike wheel, which is wedged sideways into my couch. Tonight’s task: Try to remove the cassette, the series of cogs attached to the rear wheel, without the help of a chain whip, a tool used to keep the cogs in place as you loosen their lockring.
At this point, I’m nearly finished rebuilding my bike. It has taken many hours and even more trips to the bike shop for parts and tools to get here. I figured I could improvise my way around buying one more piece of hardware. Besides, the chain whip looks ridiculous. It’s just a short length of chain with a handle attached to it, more like a medieval torture device than something you’d find in a toolbox. Who needs that? But after … Read the rest