There's no "free lunch" in bicycle maintenance
April 1, 2007 9:34 AM   Subscribe

The ShelBroCo Bicycle Chain Cleaning System It is well-known that proper chain cleaning is the most vital and important aspect of cycling. There are zillions of doo-dads and gimmicks out there intended to make this task easier for spoiled, lazy cyclists. Unfortunately, there's no "free lunch" in bicycle maintenance, and all of these existing systems are fundamentally mono-buttocked kluges.
posted by caddis (30 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
In case of skin contact, immediate amputation is indicated.

Awesome! And it's only $249.99!
posted by rockabilly_pete at 9:39 AM on April 1, 2007

Heh, I love the monospoke wheel thing.
posted by delmoi at 9:45 AM on April 1, 2007

In other crazy bicycle news...
posted by Balisong at 9:50 AM on April 1, 2007

Do we really have to have two dozen stupid ass joke posts today? How about just link to here and be done with it?
posted by Rhomboid at 10:01 AM on April 1, 2007

You should go through the family's pages. They are fascinating. His wife freestyles on a BMX bike and did the Paris-Brest-Paris in the 1970's. These are what we call bicycle people.

Complete eccentrics. The best kind of people.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:04 AM on April 1, 2007

R- That's so last year.
posted by caddis at 10:07 AM on April 1, 2007

Sheldon Brown's site has got to be one of the best technical references for cyclists on the web. For those who don't know about his site, this might just seem like another dumb joke, but it's actually another dumb joke from an expert.

Seriously, I never would have noticed this otherwise. Thanks for posting it.
posted by dseaton at 10:08 AM on April 1, 2007

Have you heard about the 2009 Tour?
posted by Wolfdog at 10:42 AM on April 1, 2007

Sheldon Brown is awesome -- his site is filled with useful information, and if he's a bit eccentric, it makes him all the more appealing. Coming from him, this is hysterical. Check out his Wikipedia entry for a bit more background. Thank you for posting this!
posted by mosk at 10:50 AM on April 1, 2007

Great post, caddis. The Sheldon Brown April Fool page you link to in last year's post that you just linked to here (alright, this, if you're going to be that way about it) is even funnier, and has developed a razor edge of prophecy in the intervening year, considering what has happened to Landis.
posted by jamjam at 10:58 AM on April 1, 2007

The thing is, I really do need a good chain-cleaning system that doesn't require removing the chain. Sigh.
posted by mojohand at 11:23 AM on April 1, 2007

I really do need a good chain-cleaning system that doesn't require removing the chain. Sigh.

Have you tried pantlegs?
posted by srboisvert at 11:30 AM on April 1, 2007 [3 favorites]

Sheldon's a good guy, and has the mark of a guy who is a truly good expert that is trying to help -- namely, he admit it when he's wrong. This isn't often.

About the only guy who's word when it comes to cycling that I'd take over Sheldon's is Jobst Brandt. Unsurprisingly, Sheldon links to a bunch of his articles.
posted by eriko at 12:24 PM on April 1, 2007

Mojohand, if you are in Canada, I'd recommend picking up one of these, for a low low $5.50 (CAD). Works like a charm, no chain removal required.
posted by anthill at 12:50 PM on April 1, 2007

Metafilter: Fundamentally mono-buttocked kluges

Someone was gonna do this at some point, figured it might as well be me.
posted by Zinger at 1:02 PM on April 1, 2007

That is RIDICULOUS!!!!! I take mine apart like that every weekend, but I use a variety of over the counter cleaners and solvents, for a total cost of around $25. Rip off!
posted by The Deej at 1:17 PM on April 1, 2007


He has some health issues at the moment which have kept him off the bike... I hope he gets better.
posted by unSane at 1:37 PM on April 1, 2007

When I grow up I want to be Sheldon Brown.
posted by Opposite George at 2:39 PM on April 1, 2007

sheldon brown is great. speaks lots of sense. i am, however, sick of the "april fools" links now.
posted by toffee at 3:03 PM on April 1, 2007

Sheldon Brown taught me how to tighten my spokes and true my wheels. The man is a living, breathing god of the bicycle.

Someone really should make a documentary about him before it's too late and he's in a box. Please. Please. Please?
posted by loquacious at 3:03 PM on April 1, 2007

Damn, he's only 63 and he's got that neurological disorder in his legs, with no further entries to his health journal in a year. Thanks for the link, as I was unaware of this resource! (Not the cleaning system, just a tad more ridiculous than I got at my worst, but the rest of the site.)
posted by Listener at 3:21 PM on April 1, 2007

Agreed, my day got seriously derailed by his thoroughly interesting life. (This photo he took in Istanbul is now my background!) I hope his condition hasn't gotten a lot worse...
posted by lester the unlikely at 3:37 PM on April 1, 2007

Great Link! thanks.

I really do need a good chain-cleaning system that doesn't require removing the chain. Sigh.

The MEC thing mentioned above would be OK. Another similar device is this. I have one identical to this, different Italian brand name, that I've had and used for nearly 20 years.

I generally use Varsol or a general-purpose degreaser in it, but there are better and more ecological degreasers available.

And for chain oil? NOTHING beats Phil Woods Tenacious Green. The best.
posted by Artful Codger at 4:12 PM on April 1, 2007

Bike commuting for me would've been a painful and short-lived debacle without Sheldon Brown's website. This joke is brilliant and I wouldn't have seen it had it not been posted here. Cheers for Sheldon Brown and caddis.
posted by cog_nate at 4:33 PM on April 1, 2007

Listener: Scroll down in his health journal... it's updated to February 2007.
posted by beerbajay at 5:27 PM on April 1, 2007

I started to bring this guy up with my biking buddy. I didn't give the name but after I started describing him, my friend said "was it Sheldon Brown, the fixed-gear Nazi?"
posted by Ironmouth at 6:04 PM on April 1, 2007

Shit, I didn't know about his health problems. That's sad. I hope he finds a doctor who at least knows what's going on.
posted by chinston at 7:16 PM on April 1, 2007

Followup: Whew!!
posted by Balisong at 9:42 PM on April 1, 2007

A cobbled together single image version of his REAL MAN Saddle page is my current wall paper at work.

Went up the day after the first ride of the season.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:47 AM on April 2, 2007

Thanks for the link and get well Sheldon Brown.
posted by sookypops at 7:14 AM on April 2, 2007

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