From ‘Twas on a Monday morning” on the Autocyclus blog:

I am man: hear me roar (oh, all right then, I am bloke: hear me drone on about spanners).

If I’m looking pleased with myself this morning it’s because I’ve managed to fix a front Mech for the first time ever, and fix it so that it changed gear when I tell it to, into the gear I told it to. This on a very aged, wobbly, and soon to be replaced Altus mech that’s suffered goodness knows how much abuse over the last 11 years. I’m amazed the poor thing works at all.

This little saga began when the mech suddenly stopped shifting onto the big ring. On closer inspection this was because the cable had shredded (goodness knows how) and had gone relatively slack: instead of pulling into the big ring when I pushed the lever, it was taking some coaxing to reach the middle.

As I’ve said before, I’m not the worlds greatest bike mechanic. However I’ve also said I want to learn, and I couldn’t face admitting to both my readers that I’d chickened out and got the shop to fix the bike yet again. so I nervously took pliers and hexagonal key to the mech, and after much muttering and fiddling, totally over-tensioned the whole thing. Now I couldn’t change any gears: it was jammed in first.

More muttering and a bit less tension (on the bike), and success: the thing changed gear. More than that, after some fiddling with those little screw wossnames on the top, it did it accurately without the clicking I’d confidently expected to drive me slowly potty until I gave up and took it to a bike shop to be fixed properly. I took it on a test ride- silence, and pretty responsive gear changes.

I am bloke, hear me drone on about gear cables…