Everyone would like to leave a legacy. Children, a fine building, a neatly wrought song.
But Sheldon Brown has left an online legacy that bicycle mechanics the world over tap into every day.
My latest thank you Sheldon moment came a few days ago.
An old Suntour 2 prong freewheel refused to budge, 30 years of hard pedalling and corrosion had stuck it on tight. My two prong remover had sheared right off and become a totally useless one prong remover.
I thought I was looking at a new wheel, forced to say goodbye to my lovely weinmann 27 x 1 1/4 and Maillard hub.
After a minute or so of pondering the answer came with a question. “What would Sheldon have done?”
A quick google and I had the answer.
I knocked the sprocket lock ring loose with a screwdriver and hammer. Off came the bearing adjuster ring with it.
Off slid the cluster accompanied with a shower of tiny ball bearings, to reveal the pawls and freewheel body.
I found the biggest mole grips I could muster and clamped them onto the remains of the freewheel. A 3 foot bar over the end of the mole grips and some firm pressure anticlockwise and bingo, the old freewheel body spun away.
The new freewheel spun on nicely, with some grease on the threads to aid future removal. A new chain and all is slick again.
Thank you Sheldon.