Bush mechanics – trail-side cable tie repairs

Back in 1958, engineers Robert Thomas and Hobart Betts invented the Ty-Rap for securing aircraft cabling, and the zip tie (or cable tie or whatever you want to call it) has gone on to dominate everything from bodging to kidnapping. But did you know you don’t have to cut them off? Pull the loose end right over and slide a thumbnail in to push the ratchet away and it’ll slide apart. Lamp posts, telephone poles and so on are a great free source!


Jockey wheels
When a jockey wheel bolt falls out, you can usually fi nd the wheels, but the bolts are harder to locate. Use zip ties, wire or string threaded through the jockey wheel to keep it in position. It will rattle, but at least you’ll be riding home at the time.

Brake lever pivots
If one of these takes a suicide leap from your bike, find the lever in the bushes – you may already be in there, in which case you can find yourself too. It’s all very Zen. Then use a zip tie or a short piece of wire, thread one end through the hole and cinch it up tight.

Snapped gear cable
If your front mech’s inner cable breaks, find some wood to wedge between the bottom of the seat tube and inside edge of the front mech cage. Make it wide enough to hold the front mech open to the point where you run the middle ring, then simply zip-tie together.

Cockpit fixes
You can add to the total stack height of your headset spacers by wrapping a single zip tie around the steerer tube.

Zip tie free hub
When free hub bodies fail, the cassette will have no ability to drive you forward. You can fix the cassette to the drive side spokes in the rear wheel by attaching a zip tie to the spokes and holes in the cassette sprockets. Pedal gently to avoid breaking your fix, though. seatpost saver

Chainring bolts
A missing chainring bolt can be remedied with a tightly-pulled zip tie. We’ve seen four-armed cranks where two bolts have fallen out and been repaired with two zip ties! However successful the repair is, the bolts need replacing when you get home.