1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    29er and 26er
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    My plan to learn how to work on and repair my bikes

    I've never been one who has been too mechanically inclined, and the thought of working on my bikes has intimidated me greatly.

    Recently Iíve undertaken a project to have my old bike frame powder coated. This required me to strip the bike down to the bare frame. I didn't want to spend a fortune on this project so I would have to disassemble the bike myself. This is where teaching myself would have to come in, and I didn't want to screw up my bike.

    I've spent several hours watching YouTube videos and such on how to work on all of the different parts of a bike, and started to get comfortable.

    Here is a step I would strongly suggest to all noobs like me wanting to start some advanced work on your bikes.

    Get some old junk bikes and work on those first!

    I have a few older bikes that were either discarded or bought at a yard sale, and attempted to do the work on those before actually working on my "good" bike. This made me feel more comfortable and confident about the work I was doing. If I screwed them up, I wouldn't be out anything.

    ^^^^ This and buying the appropriate tools to do the job helped a noob like me succeed.

    Does anyone else have any good tips a noob could use?

  2. #2
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    If something isn't working out the way you think it does in the videos ask here or take it in to your lbs for a quick tip. Any charge will be minimal.

  3. #3
    duh
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    Also pick up some how to books on bike repair. And llike eb has said a lot of people here give advice.

  4. #4
    fly on the wall
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    The most important thing about working on a bike is having the right too for the right job, and there are a lot of special tools involved just for bikes. Bottom bracket wrenches, chain whips, crank pullers, etc. Make sure you have the right tool, or else you risk damaging and stripping some part. The right tool makes a night a day difference in working on the bike.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    Also pick up some how to books on bike repair. And llike eb has said a lot of people here give advice.
    I have done both! Just picked up "The Bicycling Guide to Complete Maintenance & Repair: For Road & Mountain Bikes" rev 6 by Todd Downs.

    I've also posted several questions here abou and everyone has been very helpful!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuarte View Post
    The most important thing about working on a bike is having the right too for the right job, and there are a lot of special tools involved just for bikes. Bottom bracket wrenches, chain whips, crank pullers, etc. Make sure you have the right tool, or else you risk damaging and stripping some part. The right tool makes a night a day difference in working on the bike.
    I agree 100% I said this in my first post in this thread! You can't properly work on a bike without the correct tools.

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    parktool.com

    I find it a lot easier to get something useful from written articles with good pictures. Which are available for free on parktool.com.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
    fly on the wall
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    Quote Originally Posted by p08757 View Post
    I agree 100% I said this in my first post in this thread! You can't properly work on a bike without the correct tools.
    You certainly did; I just wanted to emphasize it.

    Another one for beginners - don't forget that drive train parts on the left side of the bike are reverse threaded. And doubly don't forget that this side changes if you work on your bike by flipping it upside down. Can't tell you how many times I found I was tightening something when I was trying to loosen it.

  9. #9
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    The biggest thing about working on your own bike is the fear of doing it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuarte View Post
    You certainly did; I just wanted to emphasize it.

    Another one for beginners - don't forget that drive train parts on the left side of the bike are reverse threaded. And doubly don't forget that this side changes if you work on your bike by flipping it upside down. Can't tell you how many times I found I was tightening something when I was trying to loosen it.
    One of the videos I watched said on the drive train parts -- Screw them towards the front tightens and towards the back to loosen. Makes sence if you think about it. You don't want your BB to fall out or your pedals to fall off as you pedal your bike forward.....

  11. #11
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    if you have a bicycle co-op nearby, that would be the ideal place to borrow the tools and learn the skills you are looking to gain. here is a gigantic list of global bike co-ops: Community Bicycle Organizations - Bike Collective Network Wiki

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnking View Post
    The biggest thing about working on your own bike is the fear of doing it.
    Exactly!
    And if you don't think you'll get something back together the same way it came apart, take lots of pics, even just of cable routings.

    Taking the bike apart is easy, any monkey can do that. Putting it back together is the tricky part.

    One other tip to remember, everything should thread together smoothly. If it came apart smoothly, and it seems hard to tighten, or crunchy, when you try to put it back together, it either means the threads are dirty, or you are about to cross-thread it. Stop, look at what you're doing, and attempt it again more carefully.

    Andy B.
    Main Ride: 2015 Trek Superfly FS 9.7 SL
    Other bikes in the stable: '11 Pugsley, '97 Uber V conversion

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    if you have a bicycle co-op nearby, that would be the ideal place to borrow the tools and learn the skills you are looking to gain. here is a gigantic list of global bike co-ops
    The bike coop here in Fort Collins has been very helpful, whether I'm looking for a part, fixing something, etc.. The good thing is that you could use their place and tools to fix your bike, with minimal fees, while supporting a good cause.
    2009 Stumpjumper Comp HT.
    An old Trek 820 ST.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by p08757 View Post
    One of the videos I watched said on the drive train parts -- Screw them towards the front tightens and towards the back to loosen. Makes sence if you think about it. You don't want your BB to fall out or your pedals to fall off as you pedal your bike forward.....
    if you think about which way your pedal spindle turns when you pedal it is actually in the loosening direction I think the idea is that you dont keep tightening it to the point that the pedal cant come out.

  15. #15
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    Take your time and have patience
    A bike stand makes working on bikes easier.
    Do your research
    Never force something to fit or thread.
    If it feels like its being put on wrong then it probably is.
    Don't be afraid to ask for help.
    As already stated, have the right tools for the job.
    If something isn't working out, take a step away.
    Remember its just a bike. It's not like you are rebuilding and engine
    DO NOT follow bad cat's advice.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    if you think about which way your pedal spindle turns when you pedal it is actually in the loosening direction I think the idea is that you dont keep tightening it to the point that the pedal cant come out.
    You guys both have it right, in that the drive side pedal is reverse threaded, and the left side bb is reversed. Just a function of which way the part spins. I'm glad the bike industry designed these fail safes into bikes, but wow is it frustrating sometimes when I forget them while trying to take a part off.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattnmtns View Post
    Take your time and have patience
    A bike stand makes working on bikes easier.
    Do your research
    Never force something to fit or thread.
    If it feels like its being put on wrong then it probably is.
    Don't be afraid to ask for help.
    As already stated, have the right tools for the job.
    If something isn't working out, take a step away.
    Remember its just a bike. It's not like you are rebuilding and engine
    DO NOT follow bad cat's advice.
    Such fantastic advice. Especially because I've been feeding bad cat lately.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  18. #18
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    +1 to having the right tools... You definitely need them, and if you're planning on wrenching your own bike a worthwhile investment.
    '10 Hardrock Sport Disc

  19. #19
    dru
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    Quote Originally Posted by p08757 View Post
    One of the videos I watched said on the drive train parts -- Screw them towards the front tightens and towards the back to loosen. Makes sence if you think about it. You don't want your BB to fall out or your pedals to fall off as you pedal your bike forward.....
    People are giving you bad, incorrect advice. They should be posting in the Bad Advice Cat thread.....

    There are only two things on a bike that are reverse threaded; the right (drive side) BB cup, and the left pedal.

    Every other part on a bicycle has normal right hand threads.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

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