How to make a shuriken with your bicycle.

Step 1:
Arrange for your chain to break during your morning commute. It is important to do this in the dead of winter when the temperature is about -22 Celsius. You can be assured of the best result if  this happens when you are traversing a particularly dark section of wooded trail.

Step 2:
Fumble about in the dark with your chain tool while your hands rapidly go numb. Peering through fogging glasses is helpful as well. Drop parts in the snow if you can arrange to do so.

Step 3:
After you finally manage to reassemble your chain, pedal to work and continue about your day.

Step 4:
This next part is very important.  DO NOT INSPECT THE CHAIN TO VERIFY THAT YOU REASSEMBLED IT CORRECTLY. Instead, continue commuting on the bicycle for the next two weeks.

Step 5:
When you start to experience horrendous chain slip is the time to inspect your bicycle. You will find that the teeth of your cassette or freewheel are badly worn out and you will have to obtain a replacement. You will now check the chain closely and discover that you lost a roller while assembling the chain in the freezing dark. This resulted in a link with an exposed pin that then did a very nice job of wrecking your drive train.

Step 6:

Step 7: 
The following Autumn when you are overhauling your bike for Winter service you will notice that one of the derailleur pulleys has been neatly transformed into a shuriken! Wasn’t that easy?

11 thoughts on “How to make a shuriken with your bicycle.

  1. A bad experience beautifully described. Step 4 seems to be very familiar.
    I am very impressed that you are cycling at -22 Celsius. Do you have to use specialist equipment and lubes at that temperature?


    • Thanks. There are a lot of cold weather cyclists in my city. It looks crazy but is actually not too difficult and is often pleasant if you are properly dressed. For specialized equipment I recommend studded tires and ski goggles. Oh, a beard helps, too. Standard lubrication has worked for me down to -28 Celsius. At that point I have twice had my freehub or freewheel stop ratcheting. You pedal and go nowhere. The online consensus seems to be that the factory grease solidifies at this point. People have reported that replacing the grease with a light oil will solve this. Or alternately , don’t ride you bike when it’s that cold.


  2. 15 years ago, I bumped a curb with a new car at about 55 mph. After the 1000 mile (each way trip) the next week, my tires where treadless. Note to self, don’t bump curbs and if you do, get the wheels aligned. It’d be cheaper than new tires for a big luxury car!


  3. Holy Ninja Star, Batman! That humor was almost a year in the making. I must say that conducting an emergency repair in the dark at -22C should earn you some sort of medal!


    • Thanks. It would have taken me longer to hike up out of the river valley and catch a bus or taxi than it did to fix the chain. Still, it was dang cold! I will be more diligent with my maintenance this year.


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