View Full Version : From Clueless to Wrench-ette in 24 hours

06-23-2003, 03:26 PM
Hey y'all. So I got this old Bianchi on ebay last week. It just got here Friday and I was afraid to put the bars back on by myself. Then I noticed how grungy the bike was, and how it looked like it had never really been cleaned and LOVED. Suddenly I was motivated to make sure this beautiful blue bike knows it has a loving home, and I dug out my bike fix-it book.

Flipping through the pages, complete with step by step illustrated instructions, I decided this didn't look too hard.

All of a sudden there's nothing attached to the frame anymore except the cranks/BB and I'm determined to overhaul every stinking thing ALL BY MYSELF! My brother's even going to paint it for me. WOOHOO! Just need a couple more tools and I can get the rest of the stuff off the frame.

Poor baby...the derailleur pulleys were so gunked up they wouldn't even spin freely. There wasn't even a hint of greasy residue in the headset. It looks like it's had it's scratches touched up with blue nail polish. The cranks don't spin nice and smooth so I'm sure they're dried up inside like the headset was. I just want to hug it and tell it everything's gonna be alright.

But hey, the moral of the story is, bike maintenance is NOT HARD! Take the plunge! Grab a wrench and take something apart. Frankly, I'm having a freakin' blast working on my bike. :D


06-23-2003, 08:08 PM
THAT is so cool! You can be mighty proud when you start riding it because you fixed it up yourself! After breaking a seat binder bolt on our tandem during our trip to Hawaii I'm afraid to touch anything on our bikes unless Thom's there directing me. :p I'm worried I'll break something else. He's a good teacher and I'm slowly getting more confident about working on it.


06-24-2003, 02:52 PM
Brave girl...This is good encouragement, though!

If I were to attempt what you are doing, I fear the string of explitives would hang in the air a long time.

Will you be willing to post before and after pics? It sounds like a labor of love!:)

06-25-2003, 12:44 PM
Well, here's a link to a pic I took right after it came and I put it all together. It doesn't look so bad, from a distance LOL There are some other pics in that album of some scratches and stuff if you wanna look. My brother's gonna paint the frame for me. I'll keep that beautiful blue, but I think I might forego the Bianchi decals. Can't get the ones that are on it anyway, just newer ones.


She really is a pretty bike. The blue is a sparkly metallic...GORGEOUS in the sun as I discovered when I took the fork out to the car this morning. I absolutley can't wait till she's all put back together again :D


06-25-2003, 04:50 PM
i like it! and you are right about that beautiful blue.

06-26-2003, 05:04 PM
Yep, I agree - beautiful blue. Good to know she has a good home now.;)

08-01-2003, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by peepsmack
...But hey, the moral of the story is, bike maintenance is NOT HARD! Take the plunge! Grab a wrench and take something apart. Frankly, I'm having a freakin' blast working on my bike. :D


Jessie, you couldn't be more right!
I recently took the plunge to replace a frayed cable to my rear derailleur... at first I doubted I could complete the task (sure I could remove the old cable... but replace the housing and a new cable???)

Let's just say, I'm going to replace all my cables now that I realized bike maintenance isn't that scary... really.

It's actually quite empowering to think that you can fix your own bike in emergency situations!!! (no longer have to wait for cute boys to help... although it doesn't hurt ;) )


Bianchi Babe
08-05-2003, 12:39 PM
I just wanted to say good for you. That sounds like an amazing job your doing and I'm sure in the end both you and the bike will benefit. I received a Bianchi for Christmas, after going to three different towns and trying out all kinds of bikes in every store available and I just love my Bianchi.

08-23-2003, 03:55 PM
Nice bike! And good for you! The only way to learn is to dive in, tear down, and fiddle. And it's so rewarding! I learned ( and screwed up) on an old Raleigh touring bike that was my "go to Mardi Gras day 'cause I don't care if somebody messes with it bike". It had a rebuildable bottom bracket, giving me bragging rights for having done one. Thank god for cartridge BBs :D .
It got an appropriately bizarre paint job while it was stripped to the frame, too. Every year it gets more odd stuff applied... But now I want that sparkly blue, it's so pretty.
Once you have a crank puller you're way far gone into the cycling ether. Congrats! You now fly with the Wright brothers.


And yeah, the Wright Bros. were bike shop guys who took cycling to it's logical conclusion. We are all Chuck Jaeger's spiritual second cousins. Mull that over.

09-04-2003, 08:02 AM
I'm definitely having fun. My brother still has that beautiful blue Bianchi frame so I haven't had the chance to put it back together yet.

But, last week I decided to take my Schwinn apart http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForumPicPost/peepsmackspics.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=3690

She was my mom's for 8 years and I know mom never loved her like I do LOL I've got her almost completely back together and ohhhh myyyyy.....you know I never noticed anything being less than smooth before, but now that I've overhauled her, everything that spins is LIKE BUTTUH!! Wow...impressive. I decided to replace the rear solid axle with a quick release axle, so I'm just waiting for that part to arrive. And I gotta give props to my beloved LBS, because the guys didn't give me any funny looks for being "just a girl" walking in there ordering parts and buying bearings. I totally was nervous when I walked in but was comfortable with them immediately. Love that. Man I love my shop but I would have walked out and never looked back if I'd gotten the "ovaries make you stupid" treatment.

Anyway, I just gotta say again girls...JUST DO IT!! If you have any mechanical ability at all, you can work on your own bike. It's fun, it's cheap, it's surprisingly easy. I got an old version Bicycling Magazine's maintenance book on half.com for $2. You can download the an old version of Barnett's manual for free here (scroll down about 1/3 of the way) http://rideitbent.net/


09-04-2003, 08:03 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by missliz
Once you have a crank puller you're way far gone into the cycling ether.

::waving my crank puller in the air::