Necessity is the Mother of Invention || Field Repairs

Last weekend I had plans for a long ride on the High Bridge Trail. This time I wanted to include the six miles of singletrack. I had all my gear for a 5-6 hour self-support gravel and singletrack adventure.

I was about two miles or so in on the 4.5-mile single-track loop when I heard my saddle rail snap. Over twenty years of mountain biking this is not the first time I have had this happen. But I had never been so far away from my car when one broke. Guessing I had two miles to go just to get back to the trailhead and I figured I was about 8 miles from my car.

Making bicycle field repairs
Broken chrome-moly saddle rail

Always on the left side of old-school WTB SST.K saddles!!

After two miles of riding down hills and hiking up hills, I figured I just needed to get back to the trailhead and sit down at the picnic table to assess what I had with me so that I could make a field repair. A while back I did a post on my repair kit and I am pleased with what I put together because it got me out of this jam.

Making bicycle field repairs

Not the greatest of pictures, and it looks like the saddle is at an angle but it is just the bike lying up against the picnic table. So what did I use to make the repair?

Pedro tire lever-1
Paper clip-1
Tire boot-1
Zip ties-2
Pine stick-1

I used the paper clip to wire tie the tire lever to the one good rail and I used a tire boot to make sure the paper clip would not come off the lever. I then used the two zip ties to hold in place the tire lever on the broken rail side. This made a cross brace. I then found a good pine stick that I could use as a rail on the broken side.

I almost had a level saddle and I was able to ride it back to the car at a 10 mph pace. Although my ride was cut short I was very pleased with making this repair and being able to be self-support.

If you follow the pictures on Flickr I have set up a group called Trailside Repair. I hope this will be a group in which we can share our trailside or field repairs and repair kits with each other.  


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