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
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    New rider wanting to learn maintenance

    I have recently expanded my riding enviornment from greenbelt to cross country/trails and was curious as the best way to start maintaining my own bike without getting in over my head? I have a Boulder series Giant, 21 speed, medium frame, to give a quick description. Any suggestions would be sweet!

  2. #2
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    Without actually going through with professional bicycle mechanic school like the following:
    http://www.bikeschool.com/

    Check out the book, Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance:
    http://www.amazon.com/Zinn-Art-Mount...d_bxgy_b_img_c

    These are also decent:
    http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Bike-...1039983&sr=8-3

    http://www.amazon.com/Bicycling-Comp...1039983&sr=8-4
    Ever been to Mountain Bike Tales Digital Magazine? Now if only the print rags would catch on!

  3. #3
    curious noob
    Reputation: drbroccoli's Avatar
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    I learned by making terrible mistakes. I messed up so much stuff before finally getting confident with working on stuff.
    Science works.

    "Beliefs are what divide people. Doubts unite them."-Sir Peter Ustinov

  4. #4
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    There is a decent sticky up top. I'm new to bikes so it helped me out.

  5. #5
    MTB_Okie
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    Park's Big Blue book is pretty good. I'm just getting into maintenance myself, and it's helped a whole lot! It's already helped save me some money when trying to fix/repair my brakes.

  6. #6
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
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    +1 on park tool website.
    You tube is awesome too.

  7. #7
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    I learned a lot as a kid from my dad and older brother, but i use the Zinn books and the park website as a good reference

  8. #8
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    The biggest thing is the ability to remember how to put it back together. When I rebuilt my first transmission, I drew diagrams when I took it apart. Notes work well. As w as stated earlier, youtube is great. I have been wrenching on bikes since I could take them apart. Then I went to lawn mowers, motorcycles, then cars. Don't be afraid to go for it. Learn as you go. Sometimes the easiest way to retain what you learned is to do it the hard way and go from there. Keep in mind that it's a machine and someone put it together. It can be taken apart and made better. As far as adjustments go, just go for it. Try and try until you get it. You can read all the books and watch all the videos. You'll never be a wrencher till you get your hands dirty. Once you do it the first time, every other time gets easier. Then it becomes second nature. You can do anything you can set your mind to. There's my 2 cents worth. Happy wrenching dude!
    So other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

  9. #9
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    while we're on the subject... any 'basic' tool sets you guys recommend? looking for something not too expensive, but basically able to do pretty much there is to do on a bike...

  10. #10
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    Some of the sets are a rip. Be aware of what you have like crankset as there are different tools for different cranks. Same for the cassette. If you have any questions, take pics and post here or go to a reputable local bike shop (with your ride) and talk to them. Be sure to support those guys as they are indispensable to the bike world. start with a good multitool and go from there. If you want to be able to rebuild your bike, you will need more. Price point is a great place to get tools, but don't be afraid to ask your LBS as shipping can get expensive. If you buy a bunch of tools, PP will work and the savings will offset the shipping. If you go one tool at a time, get it local.
    So other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

  11. #11
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    Well I asked this same thing a few weeks and got many people ripping me a new one for asking about the schools :P Now that I have the funds to buy a beater bike , repair guide and tools. I'm just gonna start messing around on the beater bike. Who knows down the run I may look into the schools again but for now it will be the beater bike option.
    1.. 2.. 3... 4...........FIFFFFFFF !!!!!!!!!!

  12. #12
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    I have "The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair: For Road and Mountain Bikes" It's a good guide.

    I also go to Park's website. Great website.

    Problem... you can only read so much without visually seeing things.

    What I ended up doing was going to one of Performance Bike's free classes. They put them on about once a month. The classes are OK, not a professional class, but decent. The great thing about the class is you can ask questions and see exactly what they are doing. Well worth an hour of your time.

    Hope this helps.

    Hardwarz

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the reply, I think that I am headed in that very direction. Have a good week

  14. #14
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    Park website is cool.

    I also have a bike maint book(s)

    Then I tackled building my own bike.

    This website and the above references really helps a lot.

    Headset.
    You need to learn to clean and rebuild them (ball bearing type). You learn to orient the bearings correctly.

    bottom bracket/crank. Some proper tools will help in this area.

    But really, the biggest thing is to learn to adjust your derailuer and your brakes. These are fundamental. Also, how to replace your cable and housing.

    Everything else is pretty much bolt on.

    Well, ok, hub maintenance... But that can come later.

    Start with adjusting your cockpit (stem position, bar rotation, shifter and brake lever position) Also your seat post length and saddle position on the rail. Play around with these adjustments to get the most of your current bike.

    Then adjust your derailuer/shifters if needed. Replace your cable/housing to full length. Wow, what a big difference it makes in shifting.

    And make sure you are getting the most braking your brakes can provide. Replace pads, bleed lines or adjust cable.

    Start with the little stuff and then work up to the bigger items. Sometimes if you buy a part from your LBS, ask them if you can watch them install it and ask what they are doing.
    Just get out and ride!

  15. #15
    Underskilled
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    I have to stress get a GOOD set of allen keys.
    90%+ of all repairs will just use allen keys, so this is where you want to put your money.

    a cheap set will look like a good set until you use them.
    They will slowly round out your bolts on your bike until you cannot get something off.

    So good allen keys, park tools are quite nice.
    The Magnuson multitool I got is remarkedly good quality and has replaced my main allen keys

  16. #16
    local trails rider
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    Manufacturers' websites.

    They have all sorts of manuals for installation and adjustment of your parts.

  17. #17
    Bike builder
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    My advice (after 20 years of building bikes) is to do your research and don't rush things. Read up or watch some tutorials, then go for it.

    Bike maintenance is not hard at all, it just requires decent tools and some patience.

    Good luck!
    Free bike maintenance videos every two weeks!
    BuildYourBicycle.com video podcast

  18. #18
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    The late Sheldon Brown is a great resource for "how to"

    http://sheldonbrown.com/

    another vote for the park tool website as well.

  19. #19
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    hey 006-007,i like your I heart pic.where did you get it? that would make a great t shirt!

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