You gotta do what you gotta do November 24, 2010
Is that a ...yes it is
Working in a bicycle store I often take for granted having everything I need always (or most always rather) at an arms length away. When I am working on a bicycle (as opposed to say a TV) I always have the right tool and will not bother installing a replacement part that wasn't designed for the exact application for which it was intended. It doesn't make any sense for me to do it any differently because my customers expect my repairs to be right and for them to last a good, long time.
It wasn't always like this. I've fudged fixed gears onto freewheel hubs and stuffed a 26" tubes into 27" tires - not because I wanted to but because I was trying to make do with whatever I had lying around. In retrospect these have been some of my most satisfying moments - like when I smashed my glasses on a camping trip and made new temples out of twigs from an oak tree. Being in a situation where the alternative is misery, one uses a certain part of their brain to come up with a worthy solution. Its what separates us from the apes.
So I take a special pleasure when I see the do it yourselfer dig deep to find a solution to a problem like the one above. Note to self: check to make sure sewing kit is up to date.