5-minute fixes

Busted bike? No problem, get out or get home with these five maintenance hacks. Seized powerlink? Snapped gear cable? Bent hanger?

>>> 15 essential household item hacks for mountain bikers

Stuck quick-link

Need to undo a stiff quick link in your chain but don’t have master link pliers? Use an old cable (or zip tie or bit of fence wire) and wrap it around the link as shown and pull, really hard. Gloves are often necessary for this but it does work.

No inner tube

Punctured tube in the arse end of nowhere without a spare? Forget about filling your tyre with grass! Cut the tube where it is punctured (use rocks, walls, your teeth) and tie knots close to either end. Don’t be tempted to over tighten the knots as the tube will fail when inflated. Keep the pressure low too! Fit the tube and use your socks to bridge the gap for a smoother ride home.

Failed shifter or snapped gear cable

As long as the nipple is still in place at one end thread the inner cable into the rear mech so the nipple rests in the cable stop and clamp the cable to hold the mech in your desired get-me-home-gear – somewhere in the middle of the block makes sense unless the escape route is 100 per cent downhill, or uphill.

Bent mech hanger

It’s not going to be super precise but it might get you out of trouble. Fit a 5mm L-shaped Allen key into the rear mech’s mounting bolt and use it as a lever. Use the cassette sprockets as a guide to when you’ve got it straight-ish. Don’t get carried away as the hanger may snap and check your limit screw adjustments before riding off into the sunset.

Sloppy shock bush but no DU bush tool

This is more of a tip to get you out than get you home.If you have a sloppy shock bush and no DU bush tool, then get out the socket set. Select the right diameter and depth of socket and you can use them to press in and out DU bushes and also to drift in sealed hub bearings. A vice can make the job more precise than a hammer. There’s more chance of damaging your bike this way but sometimes you’ve just got to ride!