Category Archives: Frustrating

You gotta be kidding me – £25 to fit a saddle!

The following is an example of why all our works prices are Estimates. What may appear to a simple operation, can turn into something a lot more!

Normally a £3 to £10 operation (un-bolt the old saddle, insert a new one, set the reach, height & angle, and lock into place).

This one’s not a “normal”:


Covering 200 miles per week in the Autumn, Winter & Spring months, this saddle had not been moved for about 3 years.

Plan A failed: an attempt to release the rear clamping bolt failed – the Allen-key socket head on the bolt was rusty and rounded-off on first attempt.

Plan B failed: attempts to clamping the bolt-head failed – not enough access to it.

Plan C was to cut/grind off the saddle where it’s rails meet the clamp and release the front clamping bolt. Should be fairly straight-forward – let’s see what happened.

Saddle removed:


The seat-clamp from above:


Underside, showing the rounded-off rear clamping bolt:


Plan C failed: after cleaning the clamp head, we found the front bolt also rounded-off – obviously, both bolts were firmly seized/corroded into the clamp.

Normally we’d stop here and wouldn’t put any more of our time & effort (and customer’s £££s) into the operation – usual practice would be to notify the customer for approval to replace the seat-post at an agreed price.

However, being who we are, we wanted to go further down this rabbit hole (though, not at the customer’s expense) – so we came up with Plan D:  grind-out one of the rails to reduce pressure of the other one, remove the remaining rail, get better access to both bolt-heads for clamping/turning, clean everything up, replace both bolts and ensure that we don’t get into this mess again. Let’s see how that went:

Here’s both of the rails removed:


Here’s what was left (from the from, right, above):


And from the rear left above:


After much grunting and a daily, paper-cut:


we were able to remove the rear clamp-bolt:


and then the other:


Plan D failed: we did not possess a suitable bolt to replace the rear one! Darn it!

Plan E: a) replace the seat-post and b) ensure that we don’t get into this mess again.

Here’s the replacement seat-post:


Close-up of the head:


To ‘ensure that we don’t get into this mess again’ we’ll have to remove the fastenings:


clean them:


cover all internal and external threads and contact points with Shimano’s Anti-Seize Paste:


refit everything and set:


Plan E worked! The final bill to the customer was only £20 more – including the replacement seat-post.

That paper-cut a week later:


Made us smile:bert rides his bike.jpg

So Lenin, no difference to capitalism then:
The establishment of a central bank is 90% of communizing a nation. - Vladimir Lenin

So “I Love Rock N Roll” wasn’t written by Joan Jett:

By The Way,I Charge Extra For Bloody Knuckles Too

We missed this the first time round:

Bit of a heroine for us:

We’re/ I’m so old …

That’s all for now – be good to each other.



Handlebar Assembly – never to be stolen again

An Ecuadorian Astrophysicist (linked of the Atacama Observatory & Leeds Uni.) used to be a loyal customer of ours. During his stay in the UK, we looked after his beloved steed – a high-quality tourer (some very nice & expensive bits). Let’s call him “EA”.

About 3 years ago, this lovely, young gentleman’s stay with us was blighted!

Overnight, some b@$t@&d(s) had stolen his stem & handlebars (& expensive Shimano XT 9×3 shifter/brakes).

The following morning:01 as presented.png

The poor soul was heart-broken – ‘in shock’.
We admit to being, a quite a-bit-more-than miffed.

All it took was a 5mm allen key and set of dull pliers. See the butchery on the cable:02 cables poorly cut.png

What to do?

NOTE: today is an intensely-emotional one for EA – therefore, we will not allow him to  make any big £££-based decisions today! However, he leaves knowing that RCE will assess the whole bike, before we talk again.

Then, RCE’s algorithm:

  1. Identify options to avert the same thing happening again.
  2. Identify customer’s present options & needs (e.g. straight/dropped/butterfly/etc. handlebars, stem length & angle, grips/bar-tape, cabling, shifters and brakes, budget).
  3. Identify customer’s potential future needs/alterations.
  4. Identify compatible components required.
  5. Provide an estimated price for the whole works.
  6. As authorised, proceed: provide componentry, fit, set, test, set, … until satisfied.
  7. Guarantee works, return to customer
  8. Adjust as required.

EA wanted drop-bars – with an option to change to butterfly-bars at a later stage. Fine, not a problem. Longer-that-optimal brake & gear cables were agreed on to allow for a cheaper changes.

The first choice of  ‘anatomical’ drop bars proved be the only ‘try’ required. It took 2 attempts to find the correctly lengthed & angled stem. Another ‘option’  wasn’t really an option – being a Shimano 9×3 geared-bike, the agreed choice was for a set of Shimano’s Sora triples shifters. ‘Intermediate Brakes’ were also incorporated into the design. Finally, additional in-line brake adjusters allowed for the maximum brakepad-wear take-up – a missing original-design feature.

Before the bar-tape could be fitted, EA had be summoned to specify the exact positioning of the shifters (angle, height & reach, intermediate brakes positioning and handlebar angle:04 closeup.png

Nearly there, but still …

What to do?

What to do about future theft? Well, there a couple of issues here:

  1. Removal of the fork’s/stem’s top-cap allows for the removal of the whole handlebar assembly.
  2. Removal of the stem’s front clamp bolts allows for the removal of the handlebars.

To address item 1. EA selected a lovely Pinhead Headset Lock (

06 pinhead.png

06 pingead key.png

The second issue was that of the standard allen-socketed bolts for the handlebar clamp:07 insecure bolts.png

Stainless-steel, high-tension, extra-security, Pin Torx bolts were agreed upon for this application. The customer was also handed the required tool for his own use.08 security bolts.png

Now, it’s finished:09 finished.png

10 closeup.png

Total cost (at the time): £400-ish (ouch!). But:

  • much cheaper than a replacement bike of the same quality & wear, and
  • customised exactly to the owner’s needs!

The bike was last seen commuting across the Atacama Desert, Chile – with a big grin on EA’s face.

A bit o’ fun:Twerk[4].jpg

Fancy a bit of Australian rock music?  Unlike AC/DC (saw them in 1979, with Bon Scott), we missed out on the following band the first time round. Shame on us! Hope you enjoy:(RADIO BIRDMAN – “Aloha Steve And Danno” official music video

Be safe out there.


For Xmas 2012 ….

We have a lot of mottos – one of them is: “Products Kills The Planet!”

Some would say “that’s a bit unusual for a shop”. True, we’ve always been ‘UNUSUAL’:

We’re into fixing shit, NOT CONsuming shite

So, we just couldn’t resist ‘borrowing’ this from our friend:


Who’s this friend? None other than David Icke ( Yes, David Icke, the footballer & sport commentator. You know, the one we used to LAUGH AT. the one we used to RIDICULE and the one we thought was a NUT-JOB.

Well, read ALL of the rest of his learnings & wisdom and tell us who should be LAUGHED AT, who should be RIDICULED and who really are the NUT-JOBS. Remember, it was David who exposed Jimmy Saville years ago (whilst the paedo was still alive).

If you don’t NEED it, don’t freaking buy it.


Tags: , ,

Clee Cycles – Break In 2012-12-20 – 10 Bikes and Parts


We love the stuff from our dear friends at Clee Cycles ( – especially their KCNC goods (, catalogue:

Last Thursday, thieving parasites (no, not the government) broke in and stole 10 bikes and goods.

Now, it bears repeating, IT’S IN ALL OUR INTERESTS
a) NOT to buy any stolen goods, and
b) to help apprehend the scum.

If you knowingly buy from a thief, you are a thief.

So, call the cops if you come across:

  • Titus X Alloy Large, 2010 used bike, Rockshox Sid fork, KCNC bars, seat post, 5 arm 94bcd crank, SLR flow saddle
  • Titus X Titanium, medium, probably only 2 or 3 in the UK, 2010 used bike, , DT XCM100 Twinshot fork, KCNC bars, seat post, 5 arm 94bcd crank, American Classic hubs, Race 7000 front rim with red nipples, Podium rear with black nipples, XX cassette,  SLR flow saddle
  • Torus Ti29sd – titanium 29er, 17″ frame, prototype frame so unique, sliding sliver alloy dropouts, Fox F29 Terralogic fork, Ti flat bar, Ti seat post, green Chris King hubs with black spokes, green nipples and black Crest rims, KCNC 5 arm 94bcd crank single ring, Hope Race Evo brakes.
  • Burls Custom Built Ti frame, 17″ frame, 26″ wheel mtb – complete bike, totally uniuqe – new!   DT XCM100 singleshot fork, Custom built wheels with American Classic hubs, supercomp spokes, black nipples and Crest rims, KCNC bars, seat post, 5 arm 94bcd crank with cobweb chainrings, and KCNC X7 black brakes, SLR flow saddle.

The above were custom-built and are very unique – with custom built wheels easily identifiable. These bike are all very rare, the Torus and Burls are one of a kind.  Please let us know if you see or hear of anything suspicious like un-badged titanium 26 and 29 frames.

Stock bikes stolen were:

  • MSC WCS29 mtb white/blue Large, blue anodised hubs, rims, bars.
  • Moda Cannon Large full carbon full suss 26″ MTB
  • Moda Stretto 2011 Road bike, 54cm
  • Moda Tempo 52cm
  • Merida Race Lite 904 Road bike 54cm, and a
  • Merida Matts 40D MTB 18″ frame.

A number of parts were stolen:

  • SRAM and Shimano cassettes,
  • a DT EXM130 fork,
  • Exposure Toro and Joystick lights,
  • Hope Vision2 and R4 lights.

Our commiserations to all at Clee Cycles.


Term & Conditions: Late collection and abandonment of repaired bicycles

About 1 in 2,000 of our customers DO NOT collect their repaired bikes. This puts us in a quandary:

  • How many phone calls should we make to contact the cyclist to remind them that their bike is ready for collection?
  • How long should be store their bike(s)?
  • What if the customer doesn’t contact us back?
  • What if the bike has been abandoned?
  • What can we do to recoup the cost our labour and parts?>
  • etc.

Therefore, the following will apply:

Hear Yea, Hear Yea.

  1. All repair works must be collected within 28 days of presentation.
  2. All repair works NOT COLLECTED within 42 days will be regarded as ABANDONED and become the property of Re-Cycle Engineering.
  3. Late collection (between and including the 28th and 42nd day) will incur an additional storage charge of £5.00 per day per repair work (for a 7 days per week = £35).
  4. The above automatically to all users of Re-Cycle Engineering.

Don’t worry though.

We appreciate that may maybe on holiday, become ill, have a change of working times, etc. – tell us on presentation (or call us on 0113 – 274 5229) to discuss alternative arrangements. If you don’t contact us, we wont be able to help you.


  • Repair works brought in on Thursday, 1st November 2012 (= Day0).
  • Cost of repair = £43.
  • Repair works not collected by 6pm, Thursday, 29th November 2012 (Day28).
  • Day29 is Storage Start Day1 (SSD1).
  • Repair works will be stored until 6pm, Thursday 13th December 2012 (Day42).

Possible outcomes:

  1. Repair works is not collected by 6pm, Thursday 13th December 2012 (Day42) – the . Bike will become the property of Re-Cycle Engineering.
  2. Repair works is collected on Tuesday, 4th December 2012 (Day33 (SSD5)) – the customer will pay the cost of repair + 5 days storage (= £43 + £25.00 [5 days @ £5.00] = £68.00).
  3. Customer attempts to collect the repair works after 6pm, Thursday 13th December 2012 (Day42). Sorry, nothing doin’.

Hit & Run (5:20pm, Saturday, 2012-08-18): Driver of a Vauxhall Astra WANTED

Raham Saleem

Raham Saleem

There’s been a spate of hit-and-runs in this area recently.

We’ve actually got an customers’ bike in for (expensive) repairs at the moment following an incident at Hyde Park corner – the police have got an independent eye-witness and have written(!) to the  that driver to explain him/herself.

Then, last Saturday (same day as the incident below), on the corner of Norwood Mount & Grove, another cyclist was nearly hit by a silver, Astra at about 4pm, driven by a woman using her mobile phone. We’ll be informing the police ASAP about that event.

The following incident is of particular disgust.


Raham Saleem, two, and his sister Sabam were struck as they walked home after buying onions for the family’s Eid celebrations.

West Yorkshire Police said the driver of the silver Vauxhall Astra slowed down to see what had happened after hitting the children in the Hyde Park area of Leeds on Saturday evening, then sped away from the scene. …

Detectives know the car is a mark four model, meaning it was made between 1998 and 2005. …

This is a small, close-knit community and people want to help,” the detective said.

To the driver:

Give yourself up – it will only be a matter of time before you’re caught.


Not taking repairs until 25th August 1012 (except for our regular customers)

Apologies to all cyclists and our (potential) new customers. We cannot accept any new requests for repair work until the 25th August.

The above does NOT apply to our regular customers!

The GOOD news: We will try to continue our “Whilst You Wait” service for small repairs (e.g. fit new inner tubes, fit new wheel(s), etc.).

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Posted by on 2012-08-18 in Frustrating


Not taking repairs until 18th August 1012 (except for our regular customers)

Although we hardly advertise, we are (again) inundated with bicycle repairs.

So, we will NOT be taking any more repairs in until 18th August 2012 (Saturday).

Our apologies to all cyclists

The above does NOT apply to our regular customers!

The GOOD news: We will try to continue our “Whilst You Wait” service for small repairs (e.g. fit new inner tubes, fit new wheel(s), etc.).

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Posted by on 2012-08-12 in Frustrating


Glorified Sport ‘Day’

Just so that you know where we stand:

Do your own research.

See the hype.
See the propaganda.
See the lies.
See the cost to the British taxpayers.
See the corporatisation of Britain.
See the VIP (Very Important Parasites) lanes.
See the missiles.
See the polished turd.

Anyway, isn’t it all a bit war-like xenophobia (nations versus nations)?


Ever felt cheated?


Ever felt cheated?

Meet your very own Strawman on:

Be the Freeman-on-the Land that you are.