James May, known for his history of reassembling things precisely and with much fuss, is here to teach you how to build your own bicycle. The pandemic has affected all of us, but the positive side effects have included more people getting out walking and cycling. In fact, Halfords, a UK-based store that sells bicycles, has seen its share prices rise heavily after a boom in sales.
But all this means that there’s a massive strain on the skeletal workforce that is left to build all these bikes. So, in the hopes of relieving this strain, James May has taken to YouTube to teach us all how to assemble our own bicycles. The tools you’ll need? A lot of alan keys and a good torque wrench. And patience. And maybe James May to give you a hand and feed you Mr Kipling’s Battenberg cakes. I’ve just described one hell of a Saturday night.
The bike is for the director’s son, and as May pulls it out of the box, you can see it’s actually already pretty much put together, but there are still a few things to do to finish it off. Of course, the first thing The Grand Tour presenter does is look for the ‘table of tightening torques’. He explains that this is very important, but most people don’t have a torque wrench which makes this job a bit difficult. He does though because he’s “a pervert”. His words.
First up is the handlebars, which he torques to spec with the utmost precision and scrutiny. Next is the front wheel and its brake disc, which is also torqued before he explains his greatest bicycle crash which involves a racing track-like cambered corner and a car. I’ll leave James to explain it.
He also reveals that he’s hurt himself while weight lifting – very strange – before doing the final tightening of the brake disc before positioning the wheel.
The next episode will see James May adjusting the brakes and fitting the saddle. Anyone else as excited as me? No?