Fix your bike?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by clearlybored, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. clearlybored

    clearlybored New Member

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    Hello everyone. I've had my bike about 4 months now and think its the best purchase I've made this year. What i've been thinking about lately are maintenance and repairs. While I do like my LBS, I prefer the feeling of doing things myself. My question is this. Who here does their own repairs/maintenance and how did you learn it? I saw in the store they sold a couple of books for either mountain bikes or road bikes. Is it that simple? Aren't different brands of bikes created differently with different components? I own a hybrid so which book should I buy? Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Start with the Park Tools repair site. It gives instructions for repairs of just about anything on a bike and for just about any type of bike:

    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help

    Best of all, it's free.
     
  3. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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    I also do all my own work.

    The Park Tool website listed above is great. If you are still unsure talk to your local bike shop and see if they will let you watch them fix it. A great way to learn and keep your bike working properly.
     
  4. old-n-slow

    old-n-slow Member

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    I've been building air cooled VW engines for years but working bikes is a different skill set. My son has been working at a bike store for the past 5 summers and maintains all his bikes. I've taught him a lot about general mechanics and he's taught me the finer points of adjusting the derailleurs. The "right" tools are a must, he purchased a number of tools from Park and I gave him a S/K torque wrench (not cheap) and explained that if the part is stamped with a torque spec, it's there for a reason. It's real easy to damage an expensive carbon frame by guessing if it's tight enough. The best way is to learn from someone who knows what they're doing. Joining a local bike club and asking if anyone can give a Tech Session on basic maintenance is a great way to learn.
     
  5. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    Old-n-slow has some good points. Bike maintenance and repair isn't necessarily difficult, but it does take both specialized knowledge and tools. Knowledge can come from websites such as the Park tool site or www.sheldonbrown.com (a late bike repair legend) or a mentor. For tools, if you have basic automotive mechanic's tool, it won't be long before you have spent a couple hundred dollars on the specialty tools for bicycles.

    The worst part is that if you have a tool collection addiction like I do, you'll soon find that the tools necessary for fixing your own bike aren't necessarily the tools needed for fixing your friend's bike...
     
  6. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    That is all good advice, but if you are like me, your workshop does not include a computer. A comprehensive book is as necessary as any tool. Go to your book store and look in the bicycling section for a a book that deals with both road bikes and MTBs. Leonard Zinn has a good one out whose title escapes me at the moment, and then there is Bicycle Maintenance and Repair for Road Bikes and Mountain Bikes published by Bicycling Magazine. It is the one that I use, mainly because it was the only one on the shelf when I went shopping for a book and it fit within my budget at $19.95 in 2004. If your Local Book Store comes up dry on these books, or if it no longer exists, either book can be found at Amazon.
     
  7. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    "Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance" and "Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance". Also excellent is the "Park Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair". All three are excellent and complete. The Park book has near bible-like status.

    I once leafed through the Bicycling maintenance book and found it a lot like their magazine: shallow and only really suited for reading on the toilet and for those rare times when you run out of toilet paper.
     
  8. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Falcon Guide Road Bike Maintenance. 14.95 Amazon. If you have a computer /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif You Tube or any online tutorial should be enough to get you through any maintenance.
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Shimano has a very good tech section on their website. Lots of product installation notes with step by step instructions as well as a good general tech overview. Campag's site is ok and I haven't looked as SRAMs... It's not rocket science. The big thing to watchout for is over tightening things, especially when it comes to clamping carbon parts. Read the instructions carefully ahead of time so you're not stuck wanting for some oddball thing like threadlock compound or a special 18mm cone wrench that needs to be special ordered.
     
  10. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty much it. Anyone with just a little time invested can learn to do just about everything that could be needed to be done to a bike. After all, one of the beauties of a bicycle is that it's such a simple machine. As for tools, it doesn't take as many as you might think. My smallish yellow toolbox holds everything I need to work on my Campy 10spd bike and a friend's bike currently in my repair stand, an old Mongoose mountain bike with 7spd Shimano Altus bits and cantilever brakes. If you want to face head tubes or BB's, align drop-outs, precisely straighten derailleur hangers, or set a wide range of bearings, you might need a bit more toolbox space.....but not so much as you would think.
     
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