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Bike Hacks: Can Opener | BIKE Magazine

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Some shocks have easy-access air cans. A firm grip and a minute of twisting is all you need. Others need a little help, and the best tool is a $15 strap wrench. But unless you’re a plumber, you might not have one. And not being a plumber, you probably have a functional belt. Leather will offer more friction, but canvas can work too. You’ll also need a section of wide cloth tape and something to use for leverage. In this video, we use a section of PVC pipe, but since we already established you’re probably not a plumber, you can use a 12-inch piece of 1×1 or something of similar size and shape.

Start, of course, by removing all the air from the shock. Then wrap a piece of cloth tape around the air can to add friction. Unless you’ve got a rubber belt, the leather or canvas won’t grab the shock tightly enough. Next, you need to wrap the belt around the air can. There’s really only one right way to do this part, so read closely. Imagine the stanchion of the shock is the “bottom” and the air can is the “top.” With that in mind, wrap the non-buckle end of the belt behind the shock from right to left, then back in front of the shock and from left to right, back into the buckle. Put the belt through the buckle, and then double it back over to the left. Either thread the remaining belt through a thick PVC pipe or lay a short piece of 1×1 behind it, Fold the belt over the end of your lever, hold them together tightly and, with the shock still in that stanchion-down configuration, rotate the can to the left.

You should be able to break it loose so you can finish it off with your fingers. Do whatever you need to do in there, and reverse the process (including the directions when wrapping the belt around the shock) to lock it back down again.