Shock MacGyver

The warm weather this week won't last long and I have an invite to ride tomorrow, but my mountain bike is still out of commission with a dead rear shock. I need to get my bike fixed! Ryan at Revolution kindly offered to loan me a used shock, but they didn't have the spacers for my Cannondale Prophet. They ordered the spacers from Fox Racing Shox last week, but they didn't arrive today. Not ready to give up, I ask myself "What would MacGyver do?"

I call Go-Ride to see if they have the spacers I need - they don't, but they have some that are a bit longer. That wouldn't stop MacGyver so I decide to give it a shot - I drive up to Go-Ride and buy the spacers, then down to Revolution to pickup the loaner shock. After work I eat dinner then retreat to the garage to see if I can alter the too-long spacers and make them fit my bike. I first try a file - I'm making metal shavings, but I have to remove 1.27 mm of hard aluminum alloy from two spacers and 0.55 mm from the other two - the file is just too slow. I try the orbital sander, but it doesn't work. I go over to my neighbor's house and try his bench grinder - now we're talking! It still takes a while to grind down the spacers to the correct length, and I take it slow to keep the end flat and true. After an hour I have all four spacers to the correct length within 0.1 mm - not bad, if I say so myself. Back in my garage I knock off the burrs, break the sharp edges and clean out the holes with a drill bit. I test fit the spacers ... perfect! I bolt the shock on, set the sag and take a little test ride in the dark as I adjust the rebound. The Prophet is rolling again, sweet!

The shock is a Fox Float R with ProPedal. It weighs a LOT less than the dead Manitou coil Swinger 4-way. It seemed to ride OK as I rode around my yard, off the curb and around the street. If I like the Float on the dirt ride tomorrow, I may just buy it and keep it on the Prophet.

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