What’s a Guy Gotta Do to Get a Nut in this Town?

by admin

what am I?

Q: What am I?

A: The reason bike shops shouldn’t hire hipsters!

I admit it’s tough that the world uses two separate, yet completely incompatible measuring systems. And hey, I’m not above tossing a 15mm wrench on a 9/16ths bolt every now and then. But with fine threads, you really can’t mess around.

A certain Cambridge bike shop would do well to note that track nuts come in several different varieties, and—despite the well-intentioned efforts of the plumber-crack sporting hipster who served me—just because a nut threads onto a particular axle DOES NOT mean it fits.

Next time someone comes in asking for a 9.5mm* x 26 TPI track nut, don’t just test the shop’s box-o-random-nuts over the ProMax hub that you know matches these dimensions. The 10x1mm thread used by Shimano, Surly, etc. will thread onto the 9.5 x 26 size with deceptive ease.

But the second you apply enough torque to clamp the wheel firmly in place, the threads of the nut will sheer off, leaving you with a piece of hardware that’s useless on any threading.

Sadly, until Converse starts making some All-Stars with this message scrawled across the toe-box, the best bet for local cyclists is probably just to order directly from Harris. It would have saved me another week of playing sardines on the 1 Bus.

*I realize this is mixing measurement systems. But that’s how the industry sizes them. If it bugs you, just pronounce “9.5mm” as “3/8ths”.