Anybody know what day it is? It’s April Fool’s! But rather than us fooling you, we’re going to teach you how to fool your friends and ride partners (especially the one that took last week’s City Limit sprint).
Everything stated here is intended merely as a joke and we would never recommend pranking in a way that could ultimately lead to injury or bike damage. The last thing to note before we delve into this: don’t play unless you’re willing to pay. If you are going to initiate the jokes, be ready to receive them in return—revenge can be sweet.
Our go-to prank is a super easy way to turn your buddy’s handlebars into obnoxious noisemakers. This works best on road handlebars, but if you do it on mountain bars, make sure that their grips are plugged as well. Just remove the bar plugs, smear a touch of grease inside, and stick 2-5 ball bearings in the grease inside the handlebar. The bearings will eventually come loose and begin rattling around. If you’re fresh out of ball bearings, small rocks will do the trick. And if you’re in the mood to really stick it to your friend, use a tiny bell, like one from a cat collar. Reinstall the bar plugs and enjoy the show.
The Tubby Tire
Do your friends use removable valve cores in their tubes? Go ahead and undo the cores and rotate the wheel so the valve stem sits at the top. Fill either an old 2oz Stan’s container or a turkey baster with water, then fill your friend’s tubes with as much water as possible. Once it’s as full as you can get it, re-inflate the tires to their original pressure and watch them suffer up the climbs. Note: this same thing can be done with ball bearings instead of water if you’d rather let them HEAR what’s happening. Put a small slit in the tube, insert bearings, patch tube, smirk.
The Something’s Fishy
Really want to get your friend good? Note their seatpost’s position with a piece of Scotch tape and then remove the seatpost. Place a nice little slab of fresh fish down towards the bottom bracket and reinstall the post. Give it about a week and you’ll smell them coming towards the ride from a mile away. This is a mean one, so don’t be surprised if you catch a little revenge for this. Tinned sardines work great here.
One of our all-time favorites is misaligning the stem in between rides, but only ever-so-slightly. Loosen the stem bolts and give the stem just enough of a nudge to be slightly off-center, but not noticeable at first glance. Be sure to re-tighten the stem bolts!
The Feel the Burn
Feeling downright cruel? Go ahead and fill their tub of chamois cream with the embrocation of your choosing. Now that’s what I call a burn! You may have to stop at the ER instead of the coffee shop while your victim is treated for burns. Your trip to the ER after your “friend” gets hold of you will probably come when you least expect it.
The Tiny Lid
The next time you’re stopped at a coffee shop, get your friend’s helmet and kindly make a few adjustments. We’d suggest dramatically shortening the chinstrap and completely misaligning the straps around the ears. Simple but effective.
The Long Game
If subtle mind-games are more your style, we’d recommend lowering your friend’s saddle by 2mm every single time that you see him or her on a ride. See how long it takes them to notice that they’re slowly getting taller or shorter.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s Ask a Mechanic— don’t forget to watch your back.