Another Hand When You Need It

Author: Harv

Bicycle mechanics never seem to have enough hands. Tools to hold caliper brakes closed have become known as, “Third Hand” tools. Then came the “Fourth Hand” tool which pulls tension on a control cable whilst clamping down the cable anchor. Now… you guessed it! We have the “Fifth Hand” tool!

Necessity for this tool came about when I needed to replace a chain on a derailer-equipped bike. When the chain was cut to the correct length, it was difficult to join the ends (master link or rivet) because the chain was under tension from the derailer spring.

The solution was to cut and bend a piece of coat hanger wire and hook it between chain-stay and derailer to relieve the tension while joining the chain. To protect the paint on the chainstay, I slipped a piece of plastic tubing over the wire. This size tubing is used for motorcycle battery vent hose, or aquarium pump/filter hose.

Detail of Bent Wire Fifth Hand Tool

Fifth Hand Tool in Use – Chain is Slackened