Shop servicing or DIY?

zumzum

New Member
Hi all, after doing around 600 miles on my GT zum s2, i have noticed a distinctly "worn" feeling come about.

I have gears that slip regularly and slightly creaky crank.

Now i have had a play about with the gears/cable adjustment etc.. however i can't seem to get it spot on.

I am considering having a proper service but having seen some of the costs, i am having second thoughts.. Obviously i want to have preventative measures, however i wonder if most people use any sort of guide and do it themselves? After all there arent that many components so how hard can it possibly be?

Any tips and advice most welcome guys, cheers!
 

Gerry Attrick

Lincolnshire Mountain Rescue Consultant
OK, given a modicum of practical ability, bike maintenance is not rocket science..........unless your bike is rocket powered. You will certainly save yourself a dolop of dough by diying.

First, get yourself a good bike maintenance book. There are heaps out there so I won't recommend one as the level you need depends on your own existing knowledge, but go for a good comprehensive version. Then to reinforce what you read, check out Sheldon Brown.com and Bicycle Tutor.com which will both add layers of understanding and technique.

You will inevitably require some tools, but if you buy them as you need them, you will not notice the pain, but in any event, buying tools is a one-off, buying labour is repetitive.

Finally, ask any questions you have remaining on the forum. With practice, maintenance becomes an extension to your cycling, and what's more you do it when you want to do it, not when the LBS can fit you in.
 

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
I would always recommend the diy route. As others have said, it's not rocket science.

It's not like cars, where you have lumps of metal containing 247 moving parts (how does a carbuerettor work? Are you kidding me?) Bikes are for the most part Really Obvious. Take your creaky crank for example. How does it fit on? Well, there's the axle, the crank must be attached to it using a bolt or something. Where? Must be under that cap. How does the cap fit? There's a slot - probably screws off. Screw it off. Ah - there's a nut! Maybe that's loose...

And so on. Bikes make sense, in a way that most machinery doesn't (probably because they haven't really changed fundamentally in over 100 years).

You'll need some tools. You're spoiled for choice when it comes to help on the web (bicycletutor is a great place to start). And if it all goes pear-shaped, there's always the LBS. But it's easy, it's satisfying, and it saves a lot of money.
 

Barbelier

Senior Member
I had the same dilema, having got back into cycling recently and now that I'm doing quite a few miles traning for LEJOG. Also I have two kids who abuse their bikes and which regularly need something fixing: "It just fell off Dad!":troll::sad:
Taking the bikes to the LBS could cost me a fortune, plus all the hassle of getting the bikes there.

I've gone the DIY route and bought a reasonable set of tools. So far I done a fair few jobs, changing types, replacing inner tubes, removing chain links, adjusting gears and cables, taping handle bars, changing mudguards, etc. I bought the Hayes cycle maintenance book and use the web to help when I'm not sure. There seems to a Utube video for pretty much every bike maintenance topic (although the quality varies a lot).

It probabaly takes me 10 times as long as the LBS first time round and can get frustrating a times. However,there's a great deal of satisfaction from fixing something yourself and I'm getting a lot more confident about my ability to handle any roadside problems.

My advice would be have a go! You can always take it to the LBS as a last resort if you really screw it up.
 

Dan B

Disengaged member
I used to have a rule that I did everything myself but left headsets to the LBS, but more latterly I find that I do everything myself including headsets.

This weekend I have to disassemble (and preferably also reassemble) a sturmey-archer hub which is relucatant to go into first, which will be a new experience
 

Genman

New Member
coruskate said:
I used to have a rule that I did everything myself but left headsets to the LBS, but more latterly I find that I do everything myself including headsets.

This weekend I have to disassemble (and preferably also reassemble) a sturmey-archer hub which is relucatant to go into first, which will be a new experience
Best of luck with that project.
Personally I would forego 1st gear but every credit to you for giving it a go.:sad:
 

Dan B

Disengaged member
Genman said:
Best of luck with that project.
Personally I would forego 1st gear but every credit to you for giving it a go.:sad:
Bah. Sheldon says it's easy. I trust Sheldon
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
Barbelier said:
Also I have two kids who abuse their bikes and which regularly need something fixing: "It just fell off Dad!":troll:;)

Hah - four kids, MTB and road bike each here. Believe me you soon build up to LBS mechanic type speeds on most jobs!
 
I'd recommend the DIY route for a number of reasons:

1 It's ultimately cheaper (the early jobs may not be as you acquire a range of tools).
2 It's fun, and there's plenty of satisfaction to had when you ride a well set-up bike that you have fixed yourself.
3 There will be times when you can't take it to a LBS - if you cannot fix a rear wheel puncture late at night, miles from home, who else will do it for you?
4 You can fix a problem tonight and ride the bike to work tomorrow when the LBS cannot book it in until next week.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
DIY'er here - you'll have all the tool kit eventually and will know when something isn't quite right and adjust it. I do everything on my bikes (other than build wheels - I'm great at trueing them...)

Good chance you've got muck in the cables etc if you can't get the gears quite right.....

Certainly learn, especially if this is a lifelong hobby/sport
 
Top Bottom