Friday, August 12, 2011

I Can't Get No Shimisfaction

I tried

And I tried.
And I tried: I can't get me no, shimisfaction!
OK, finally I did, as the photo above shows, but it took me a long time!
I should have known from the lock instructions, they were trying to warn me: "Mounting a lock bracket on a bike is not an easy task. Think about it: you have to position a heavy object (the lock) in a functionally safe and secure fashion onto a moving object (the bike) using a bracket that is not permanently affixed to the bike." (Onguard U-lock Bracket User's Guide, p.1) Why even try when they tell you that?

I've been carrying the U-lock in just about every other way imaginable besides the bracket supplied with it, as the wear/tear on the lock itself shows. I passed on the bracket since it seemed like a flimsy affair when I tried it out the first time. Yet, I had this suspicion that it wasn't actually the bracket itself, but rather the shim that came along with it. It seemed to not do its job, allowing too much wiggle and wobble when the heavy lock was clicked into place. So I decided to try other shims of my own devising. I tried. And I tried. But I couldn't get me no. No shimisfaction!

First I tried some used handlebar tape. This might actually work if you only needed a millimeter or two, but I ended up needing a big old blob of it that had more wobble that the original shim. So I took it back off. I can't get me no! No shimisfaction!

Then I spied some torn Oury grips, and decided they might work. Cut a section out of them, including one of the nice end ridges. No again, too much wiggle. Still no shimisfaction!

Finally, thinking it through, I drove to the home store and bought a flexible 1 1/2" rubber coupler from the plumbing section. It seemed like just the right sort of hard rubber. Took it home, cut it to size, BAM! EXACTAMUNDO! I can get me some shimisfaction! That bracket ain't goin' nowhere. OK, it's going somewhere, wherever I pedal and park, but it doesn't seem like it's going to wiggle or wobble or fail due to "bracket that is not permanently affixed to the bike." Take that, bracket skeptics!

Sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need! In the plumbing supply aisle!

This weekend while riding, please keep in mind the Plumber's Three Essential Rules:

1) Crap flows downhill
2) Trap and vent all fixtures
3) Don't bite your nails

1 1/2" coupler: (black and nasty) cut it up for your bracket-mounting shimisfaction (and save those clamps!)


  1. The Man Store: for all your improvisational cycling needs.

  2. Why I can't purchase a variety pack of metric hex head bolts at one of those places I will never understand.


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