6 STORIES ABOUT BIKE REPAIR THIS WEEK
If you are like most road cycling enthusiasts, you take your cycling seriously. You want to know how your bike components work and you know when something isn’t right. This collection of recent stories takes you to the next step of setting up shop to adjust and repair your bike and will put you in positon to assemble your next bike.
Good advice is readily available – If you feel like it will be hard to match the expertise of your local shop mechanic in replacing your cassette, overhauling your hubs, servicing your headsets and a lot of things that may seem more dicey, you are probably right. But, fear not. Great YouTube videos for the first-timer who wants to do most anything are available from Art’s Cyclery, Park Tool and GCN, making most things very doable yourself. Here’s an example.
When you go into the shop, be careful what you say – Even though I’m handy, I know my limits. When you go into your local bike shop and talk to a mechanic, respect where he’s coming from before you say something stupid, as James Huang of Bike Radar bluntly explains.
Some jobs call for a professional – I love Gerry’s Vicious Cycle blog (“A man searches for meaning…in between leg shavings”), but he, like all of us, demonstrates how you can sometimes put yourself at risk, in his case his knees, by not getting some good help.
Dont forget to do the easy, often overlooked things – While you may be planning to become a do-it-yourself wrench to handle the big, expensive jobs, make sure you are keeping on top of the basics. Service your pedals, freehub, chain, etc.. Once again, David Rome lays it out for us here and a you can go through a good video checklist below.
Building your own bike is the best part – Some of us set up a workshop, acquire the tools and build the confidence to repair bikes with the real goal of eventually building our own bike. While assembling a bike is usually easier than fixing one that needs a lot of work, having done that work at different places on the bike puts you in a good position to build one from its components. Skip down to Step 3 in this piece from Gear Patrol for some good tips.
While you’ll have to spend some money on tools and your workshop to save some money on shop repairs, you’ll eventually recoup your costs and save the time and trouble of having others fix things you can do yourself. Beyond that, there’s a lot of satisfaction in being able to take care of a lot of your own cycling needs. Lift a glass to toast your accomplishment.
Enjoy the ride!