Bike maintenance learning

Rusty Nails

We remember
Location
Here and there
Just remember it's not rocket science.

Many of us started working on bikes as kids.

If you want to get more complicated you can, but there's no need to start like that.
 

Widge

Baldy Go
I would agree that it is surprisingly easy to get your head around most basic maintenance on yer average 'old-skool' road/MTB/hybrid bike with a bit of care, patience and online help. Look for more than one explanation (and any comments made) as sometimes there are conflicting (and; albeit rarely,) downright 'wrong' methods and bad practice. I learned to strip/replace/maintain most parts of my standard mechanical road bike armed with little more than a multi tool and a few simple/inexpensive extras as needed-such as a chain link separator, whip/cassette tool ,pedal spanner, cable-cutter etc. I drew the line at messing with bottom brackets, actually FITTING headsets and never really got confident truing wheels and fortunately never had reason to tackle these jobs.....they are still quite 'do-able' though if you have a mind,
Sadly-I now have a hydraulic braked, enclosed non-user adjustable motor assisted shimano 105 equipped electric Orbea Gain and am no longer sure where or even IF to start! The pain of tech advancement has reared it's head for me at the moment !!

Nil Desperandum

w
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I would happily admit to being able to do no more than change a tube and join a broken chain. I'm not mechanically minded. I have been on cycle maintenance courses and coped while there. I made copious notes. In my garage I'm as hopeless as ever. My efforts often result in a trip to the LBS!!!

The maintenance I carry out on my bikes is to keep them scrupulously clean which means I'm looking at them closely, regularly. I clean my chain after every ride and pay great attention to keeping the whole drive train clean.

I have a full service at my LBS once a year which costs about £80 per bike. I doubt I could equip myself with the necessary tools for this. I pop in to the LBS for occasional, often free, tweaks during the year.

In the past 25 years I've suffered one major mechanical, a failed bottom bracket.

I would argue a cycle maintained by a good LBS will not let you down provided it is well treated.

By all means learn maintenance if you have the inclination and interest but don't feel it is something you must do.

Serious failures, in my own experience and years of riding tens of thousands of miles on group rides, are very rare.
 
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All uphill

Active Member
Bike stand is a good start, and I would suggest you gradually collect a decent set of tools and workbench.

I do everything on my bikes, except paintwork, with tools from Lidl, an old kitchen table and a good quality stand. I also find a kitchen stool and radio help!

Get started!
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
A good old fashioned book covering bike maintenance, one you don't mind having next to bike whilst working on it, with dirty hands.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/zinn-and-the-art-of-road-bike-maintenance/lennard-zinn/9781937715373

Containers for placing any bits you take off such as bolts. Nothing worse than dropping a bolt or part on the floor then not being able to find it to put back together .

Take photos as you go for anything that looks moderately complex. It'll help you reassemble later. For instance not sure which way round a brake block fits? Take a photo before you remove the existing one...
 
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DSK

Active Member
I have just got into cycling again. I used the GCN channel to learn how to change my own tyres and tubes. Even used it to check the gear indexing. As mentioned, YouTube is a good starting point.
 
Unless you have a top end cycle with electronic gears, there is nothing but basic mechanical engineering about a cycle. However without the correct tools to do the work, it becomes a nightmare. It is well worth purchasing a good cycle specific tool kit, which will save the anger and frustrating using the wrong tools to do the job.
 

8mph

Senior Member
Location
Devon
Give it a go and be careful not to scratch your paintwork, it's easily done in the beginning, especially if your bolts are worn.
 
A good old fashioned book covering bike maintenance, one you don't mind having next to bike whilst working on it, with dirty hands.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/zinn-and-the-art-of-road-bike-maintenance/lennard-zinn/9781937715373

Containers for placing any bits you take off such as bolts. Nothing worse than dropping a bolt or part on the floor then not being able to find it to put back together .

Take photos as you go for anything that looks moderately complex. It'll help you reassemble later. For instance not sure which way round a brake block fits? Take a photo before you remove the existing one...
This is my approach for all things mechanical, not just bikes. :smile:

I like using the clear plastic trays that pre-packed meat comes in to put all my bits, as they're big enough to lay things out in the order in which you take them apart. And then when you don't need them anymore, they can always go in the recycling.

Unless you have a top end cycle with electronic gears, there is nothing but basic mechanical engineering about a cycle. However without the correct tools to do the work, it becomes a nightmare. It is well worth purchasing a good cycle specific tool kit, which will save the anger and frustrating using the wrong tools to do the job.
The right tools for the job does save a lot of hassle. But I'm the sort of person that rather than buying a whole toolkit, I'd rather buy as I need. Guess it's because I already have a lot of tools knocking around, and that other than the true bike-specific stuff, I'll have something that works. I will say though, that a good multitool is an excellent starting point, and then just build up from there.

Give it a go and be careful not to scratch your paintwork, it's easily done in the beginning, especially if your bolts are worn.
Masking tape. ;)
 

Kempstonian

Has the memory of a goldfish
Location
Bedford
After watching RJ The Bike Guy's video on servicing a Sturmey Archer 3 speed, I managed to take apart a completely seized one (due to rust, as it turned out) and reassemble it. It was an interesting exercise.

I also watch Park Tools videos and Monkeyshred, who builds/restores bikes. Between those three, almost everything is covered. The GCN guys are also good for modern bikes.
 
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