View Full Version : what kind of maintaince/repair do you do?

02-08-2002, 08:55 AM
Before I learned how to work on bikes, I knew nothing about tools, parts, "how to" anything. Once I learned how to work on bikes, I became more confident to take on a whole new world of do-it-yourself projects--it is just plain empowering. Having been a shop mechanic and then owning my own shop, I now build custom bicycle frames. All from deciding one day to deal with my squeaky chain...The short is, learn how if you are curious and don't like relying on other folks--almost always guys--to help you out with your bike (and if you don't mind getting some grease under those nails). Get a good, updated repair manual (the Zinn books are good) and have patience. It is true that it is not very hard, once you learn the most basic mechanical principles (right tighty, lefty loosey stuff).

If you are really into learning bike mechanics thoroughly in a very supportive environment, you may want to check out United Bicycle Institute. They are very supportive of women getting into this and make it simple to learn!
They offer really good one week seminars.

10-14-2002, 06:36 AM
my crash course in bike maintenance came recently: build it.
the only thing i didn;t build was the headset and bottom bracket because of tool costs. i had a friend build me some sweet wheels, but i will be doing that on my own next summer after i get some more $$$ for components. not hard at all :) just give yourself a day to do it, butbikes are simple machines :D and the little instruction sheets that come with each little part are very handy. only problem was the chain... posted in general topics as a reply...

claire ashton
10-15-2002, 02:21 PM
The main reason that I do all my own maintenence is because of the poor servicing at LBS's. This ranged from a gear outer being left 'perched' on the braze on so when it was seated the indexing was all out to a dent being missed when a bike was sent in to be assessed for damage after an accident.

I even build my own wheels - sice a factory built one disintegrated miles from anywhere. I have just rebuilt a rear wheel for a friend of mine as the non-sprocket side spokes started coming loose.

It turned out that ALL that sides spokes were shorter than the sprocket side, the sprocket side spokes were all 5mm too long so that the nipples were jamming at the thread ending. The spoking pattern was wrong and this is all with DT Revolution spokes 2.00mm/1.5mm which are very difficult to build with at the best of times.

A factory built wheel done by a trainee? No, built by a 'custom' wheelbuilder for a 'custom' bike builder in England. Just to make matters worse the front wheel on the same bike had to be returned after a week since new as the poor join in the rim was going bump every revolution. Fair enough - but how on earth did the same wheel builder not notice this when trueing the wheel?

So that's why I do it myself - at least I can trust my own work.


PS Headsets are easy as long as you have a proper press and a crown race fitting tool.

11-18-2002, 10:55 PM
Wow, I feel really lucky- we have two super LBSs with mechanics who consider the work an art form. I've fixed almost everything on my bikes and understand it all, but now I often take my beasts to the master for bigger stuff because they do it every day and they're better than me. I'm totally ***** picky about who lays a finger on my bikes but my mechanics respond by giving me supertuned beautiful work. And a beer when I go into the workroom.
I learned with a book and a beater bike, one that I use to ride at Mardi Gras and don't care if it gets smacked around or beer spilled on it. Every rider should do this, (and go to the Gras) and should be able to do maintenence and fix stuff in the feild. For me though, it's just a better use of my time to have a good mechanic I respect. I don't have the time I used to for fork overhauls and such.


11-24-2002, 03:20 PM
If you are nervous about moving on to new repair projects, look up the listing of Park Tool Schools being run near you. Winter is a good time to do this. you can find the listing atwww.parktool.com/ (http://www.parktool.com/)