August 5, 2005

    I know this sounds like a crazy question, but I don’t think I can safely put my new women’s bike on my car's bike rack.
    I have a Specialized Expedition and the little wires seem to get in the way when I try to load it. I don't want to "crimp" them and mess up something. Help!

Rebecca L.

    The other day, a pleasantly hot summer afternoon, a motorist pulled up next to me at a red light and asked me why I bicycled barefoot. The only crazy question I’ve heard this year.
    The little wires you that concern you probably control your brakes (AKA "brake cables"). The worst that can happen: The bike’s brakes will engage. The same thing happens when you squeeze the brake levers. So I wouldn’t worry about it. After you take the bike off the rack the brakes will disengage.
    If your rack grabs the bike a little lower, it’ll press on the derailleur cables, or the wires that cause the bike’s gears to shift. If this happens, when you put the bike on the rack some shifting might happen, uh, halfway. To ensure that no problem results, after you take your bike off the rack do this: With one hand pick up the back of the bike so the rear wheel comes off the ground. With the other hand grab one pedal and pedal forward for two complete rotations of the pedals. This’ll ensure that the gears get shifted completely before you get on and ride.

Mr Bike

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