One of the issues visible on the latest project bike was that the bottom Bracket was jammed. The Bottom Bracket is the bit where the pedal cranks meet, the frame:

Jammed bottom brackets aren’t unusual: they’re right where all the much and water is thrown up from the front wheel, which can wash the grease out, if indeed the assembler even bothered to use grease in the first place.

All attempts with spanners, pipe wrenches and bilingual swearing failed, so when I had to take a delivery of bikes to another centre, I went to ask a colleague if we could use the monster vice in his workshop. My colleague loves bikes and loves challenges, and was fed up with writing reports so we clamped the removal tool into the vice and turned the frame.

The tool was turning visibly, in fact the vice was moving slightly as well.

So this was it, the end of the story. We’d played nice and tried the mellow hippy approach and it hadn’t worked; it was time to get serious.

I work for a very unusual company, and we have an in-house car workshop, and so the frame was taken down there to be introduced to Mr. Impact Screwdriver:

The operation was complicated by the mechanic assigned to the case not being able to speak more than a few words of German, and yours truly managing to forget the German for “Impact Screwdriver”, but after some mutual misunderstandings, he applied the machine to the Bottom Bracket. Nothing.

After some sign language to communicate the fact that bottom bracket screws are reversed on one side, we had more success; thirty seconds later: