Bike Stand on the Go – Roadside Shifting Adjustments

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roadside bicycle work stand
Fix your bike on the go!
roadside bicycle work stand
Fix your bike on the go!

So you’re riding along the road, and your rear derailleur starts to click. What do you do? Pull over and flip your expensive carbon bike upside down? Do that and risk throwing off your shifting for good, scratching your saddle, or ruining your shifters altogether. So, how in the heck do you spin the cranks and shift at the same time without someone there to help you? Here’s a quick technique I saw a Pro Tour mechanic use while checking a cyclist’s bike during a practice ride. Try it out on the side of the road, and not only will it make your work easier, you’ll also look pretty darn legit.

  • Take the bike by the nose of the saddle and use that as a hook to hang on the back of your neck. It sounds awful and uncomfortable, but I’ve used this tip several times and it works much more easily than it might seem.
  • With the saddle on the back of your neck, let the bike hang in front of you. You’ll have both hands free to adjust your derailleurs.
  • Use one hand to spin the cranks and the other to shift both the front and rear derailleurs. You can twist barrel adjusters as needed, and perform any necessary fine tuning.
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For a more involved repair, you’ll probably need more than a few simple tweaks of the cabling. If you’re at risk of ruining your chainrings or derailleurs, head straight to your local bike shop or home. Or better yet, give your friend a call and have them drive you there.

As should be obvious, you might be careful using this technique if you have back or neck problems. Also, if your bike is steel or even a heavier aluminum frame, this may be a bit more difficult with the added weight.


About Bek 301 Articles
SLO Cyclist's former chief editor and recovering road snob, Bek made sure everything ran smoothly around here. She was also the one who reminded us not to take ourselves too seriously--unless it involves black socks. Black socks are always serious.

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