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.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    8

    Who works on their own bikes and who takes them to the LBS?

    Who works on their own bikes and who takes them to the LBS?-old-rusty-bike-big-900x597.jpg
    Today we’re going to talk about the guy that owns this bike, the scourge of the professional bicycle mechanic. A man that doesn’t care what happens to his bike or his mother. A godless man who tips 4% and eats the last cookie without even asking.
    The most uninterested man in the world.
    He doesn’t always clean his bike, but when he does, he throws it in the ocean and waits for it to wash back to shore.

    I want to make a case for working on your own bike. At least give it a try!

    I jotted down some other reasons in a recent blog article, you can find it here if you feel like an informational laugh.

    Keep the rubber side down! Cheers!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    454
    Definitely a good article...those reasons are among the reasons I started learning maintenance myself, which ultimately led to being a shop mechanic. I think everyone who rides should learn at least basic maintenance...or at the very least clean and take care of their bike so it doesn't end up like the one above.

    It's a bit of a double edged sword, though. If everyone learned how to fully maintain their bikes, a lot of shops would go out of business and there would be less bike mechanics out there. Even so, I still teach bike repair clinics and allow customers watch what I'm doing if I'm not swamped.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    330

    Re: Who works on their own bikes and who takes them to the LBS?

    The thread title is misleading.

    Anyways, I clean my own bike. Any work that requires specialty tools or skills, I have the bike shop do it for me.

    For now, the only technical work I can do is fix a flat tire. My local shop has to do the cable adjustments and fork maintenance for me.
    What works for me may not work for you. What's best for you depends on many factors. We are different from each other.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Shakester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    836
    One of my first jobs was at a LBS that was a few blocks away from my house when I was in HS. Back then, it was about BMX bikes so it wasn't anything tough at first, but then I started learning about 10 speeds and then started working on those. So I've always worked on my own bikes, unless its truing a wheel, then I'd bring it into a shop. Half my garage is my bike work area with two workstands. I work on all my friend's bikes as well. These days, there isn't much you can't learn to do with a bike that isn't on Youtube. All you need are the tools which I invested in to save me money. I do all the oil and seal changes on my fork (Fox). Seal changes in my RP23. For me, its also a way to escape from the family. I go downstairs, turn on the radio and its just my bikes and I.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hey_poolboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    293
    I've been on an mtb for two years. I make a living fixing stuff and I'm a tool hog. I work on my bike myself for the most part. If I'm having trouble diagnosing a weird problem I'll run by the lbs. Last time they helped me figure out a problem I fixed it in their shop on their stand with their tools.
    I buy any tools I need from them, and most of my parts too. Keeps them going, and it's cheaper for me.
    The only thing I have yet to tackle is fork service....maybe soon.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Puma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    52
    Buy most of my tools and parts from the LBS, but prefer to do the work myself. No better way to know your bike. I do all the cabling, wheel truing,and other stuff, and have built a bike or two from the frame up. I enjoy the experience.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Carraig042's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    763
    I do almost all the work myself. I will rebuild my dropper post, I have rebuilt forks and shocks, wheel truing, cleaning, etc. It saves a lot of money and I really like to tinker on thing.

    -Brett

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Gouda Cheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    703

    Who works on their own bikes and who takes them to the LBS?

    I'm a pretty big n00b still but I started small (chain lubing) and have worked my way up to installing some parts and taking stuff apart. I really enjoy learning about the bike and look forward to learning more in the future. My wife bought me a repair stand for Xmas and it made life 100x better!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TiGeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,384
    All me with exception of my pf30. I think I will by the removal tool next time around and fab up a press...then again...at this point I may spring for a Park press and just be done with it...it will last a lifetime.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by TiGeo; 01-18-2014 at 01:21 PM.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  10. #10
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,317
    I do 90% of work myself EXCEPT:

    1) Wheel truing and tensioning(leave it to the PROS)
    2) Disc brake bleeds
    3) Bottom bracket/headset installs
    4) Tubeless sealant(hate the mess/fuss)
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jetboy23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,176
    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I do 90% of work myself EXCEPT:
    Make that 97% since its all so easy after the first time or so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    1) Wheel truing and tensioning(leave it to the PROS)
    Agreed. This rarely is required, so, i will give it a 2% since i have yet to need it in the 3yrs of riding (weekend warrior).

    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    2) Disc brake bleeds
    I found i do just as good a job as the shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    3) Bottom bracket/headset installs
    Exteranal BB, square taper, or EBB. All super easy to install. Headsets even using a large bolt and washers. No problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    4) Tubeless sealant(hate the mess/fuss)
    I can run tubes at 24psi and don't trust a tubeless front in case of a burp at speed. So, N/A.

    I will add the additional 1% that i use a shop for is for when i may need to service my fork. I've done all of my Rockshox service and modifications, but, i just bought a Manitou Marvel and it may be more complicated. So, 1% just because i "might" have to take it in if i can't figure it out.

    Honestly, youtube, Park, and Pinkbike have about every video i've needed to learn to do all of my own work. Tools almost pay for themselves after about the first time you use them.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Shakester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    836
    My first half of tools are Park Tools because that was just the shop standard. But I've figured out that some of the cheaper brands work just as well, especially if you don't use them that much but just need to have one just in case. I found Spin Doctors make some pretty good stuff (Performance stuff) and I bought a set for like $40 with pretty much everything I need. My headset press works on press fit bottom brackets. Buying tools was like buying parts for me. I just got addicted and just had to have them.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: friz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    371

    Who works on their own bikes and who takes them to the LBS?

    I maintain, build, repair almost everything in my life from my cars to my phone. The exception being my furnace. Always breaks when I have to go to work. Furnace guy fixes when I'm gone. The biggest advantage for me is not having to wait for someone else to fix my stuff. My shop has every thing from an engine hoist to precision screw drivers needed to repair electronic devices. In my opinion, you are always money and time ahead tacking a new skill and learning it. My exception to this would probably be welding. My buddies that do this as a profession always lay a nicer bead with better penetration then I can and I have other skills to trade for their time. BTW I do not come from mechanical parents, I just chose to learn how to fix my own stuff after mechanics screwed up my car a couple times. I figured I couldn't do any worse and I was right.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11,826
    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I do 90% of work myself EXCEPT:

    1) Wheel truing and tensioning(leave it to the PROS)
    2) Disc brake bleeds
    3) Bottom bracket/headset installs
    4) Tubeless sealant(hate the mess/fuss)
    Sounds familiar.

    1) Wheel truing and tensioning -- Even at my weight, my wheels are overkill and rarely need truing. Apparently, it is not all that hard, after you spend some time patiently learning it.

    2) Disc brake bleeds -- Should be easy but I rarely need it and haven't bothered to try it.

    3) Bottom bracket/headset installs -- BB installation itself is easy - but I get the facing and chasing done at a shop. Cannot justify buying the tools for a job that needs to be done just once for a frame. While they are at it, I let them put on the headset and shorten the steerer.

    4) Tubeless sealant(hate the mess/fuss) -- Still running tubes.....

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: HillbillyTom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    219
    I do most all of the stuff on my bikes. Something like facing a bottom bracket tube I'll take to the shop because I don't want to buy the tool that I may seldom ever use (so far had one done in all my years of riding). Everything else I do. Working on cars and motorcycles all my life leaves bicycles being pretty simple items.
    2013 Salsa El Mariachi 29er
    1995 Giant CFR Team Road Bike
    2001 Bianchi Volpe
    2009 KX250F ... 2004 KDX200

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    63
    I have only taken my bike to the LBS once. I was trying to take off the fork on my road bike and when I jerked the fork out of the frame, the headset "exploded" and went flying into different directions. I had no idea how to put it back together. LBS put it together for like $10.

    I have not had to mess with the BB yet, but when the time comes, I might have to take the bike to the LBS. I don't have the tools and I heard they are expensive.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,828
    the only time I have ever paid anyone to work on my bike was when I had a bmx wheel built with a freecoaster hub when I was 15. otherwise, I build my own wheels, service my own suspension, and everything else. it helps that I work in a bike shop, but if i didn't I would have to visit a bike co-op or just build up my own tool kit.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sandiego's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    174
    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I do 90% of work myself EXCEPT:

    1) Wheel truing and tensioning(leave it to the PROS)
    2) Disc brake bleeds
    3) Bottom bracket/headset installs
    4) Tubeless sealant(hate the mess/fuss)
    Pretty much this. I'm looking to upgrade my fork soon but I'll probably have my LBS do the install.

  19. #19
    Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
    Reputation: CannondaleF9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2,438
    I have done everything to my bike except for the first (and only) tune up, and the crankset.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

    Forth Eorlingas!

  20. #20
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,484

    Re: Who works on their own bikes and who takes them to the LBS?

    I vary. I don't have as much time on my hands as I'd like to anymore. That happened before I needed my first brake bleed. So I've never bled my brakes or rebuilt a modern fork. I've done pretty much everything else, but have started dropping my mountain bikes at the shop once a year. They do a better job than I care to. I think a thorough tuneup once a year is helpful.

    Routine stuff, I do myself. Quicker than a shop run.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #21
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11,826
    Oh yes... suspension components... I've seen the face of a guy who put the circlips in the wrong way during fork reassembly ... and didn't stop when he lost damping

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Lone Rager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    127
    100% myself incl building wheels.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    463
    Is he talking about maintaining your bike or actually fixing/repairing/tuning the bike? I'm a noob but I take great care of my new machine cleaning it regularly, expecially after muddy rides, cleaning and re lubing the drivetrain regularly. Obviously I maintain the tyre air pressure and set the shock to the appropriate psi/sag etc. That's all pretty basic of course as is fixing a flat when it occurs. So I'm not like the guy in the article that let's his bike become a rusted out wreck but I'm also not 'wrenching' on my own bike either. I leave the fine tuning to the professionals because:

    a. I don't have the tools to do it and, more importantly
    b. I don't know what I am doing.

    I'd rather let the professionals fine tune my bike so I can enjoy riding it. Plus good bikes are expensive. I don't want to damage the bikes or void the warranty by say servicing the forks myself and screwing it up.

    The only tinkering I have done is adjusting the cockpit by moving the seat back and forth and trying different size stems, spacers and flipping the stem to adjust the fit. Oh and putting new pedals on.

    Since my bike is still relatively new it hasn't needed much maintenance yet but when I need the brakes bled, derailleurs tuned, fork serviced etc I'll get the LBS to do it for me.

  24. #24
    FBI tested, NSA approved!
    Reputation: Forster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    918
    I've been doing about 97% for the last 30 years. Admittedly, hydraulic disc brakes and I were not friends at first and suspension forks and I have had a falling out. I built my first wheelset in 1979 and have done dozens since without a truing stand (but I do own a dial indicator) or tension meter (although that would be a great next tool). I don't face my head tubes or BBs myself because it's just more economical to have that done with the proper tools and they cost a bit and I have my fork done by an LBS (to save on the amount of damage I cause during disassembly). Their are pros and cons to each school of thought (do it yourself or have it done) ultimately, you should have a good grasp on the fundamentals (adjusting ders and brakes, lube, minor adjustment) and a working knowledge of diagnosing issues so you can avoid more serious stuff by being preventive. I find people broken down all the time and I'll teach anyone how to get underway themselves but I never "take-over" the repair and do it myself. You gotta learn somehow.

  25. #25
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7,909
    I wrench my own bike, most of the time I'd swapped parts just for fun(rainy day)because I have most of the tools do get the job done but I have to agree with Zachariah on a few things I'd rather have the LBS do. Headset and tubeless is not so bad I do that all the time on my own. I definitely don't like to face stuff, it's dusty and messy.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Who here works on their own bikes?
    By Trailrider92 in forum Women's Lounge
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: 01-09-2014, 05:31 PM
  2. Keener Cycle Works 36 inch mountain bikes.
    By ZeffKS in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-15-2013, 06:11 PM
  3. Jamis Bikes Demo with Cycle Works
    By @Jamisbikes in forum Pennsylvania
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-22-2013, 02:11 PM
  4. Are there any 650B XC FS bikes in the works?
    By K1P1G1 in forum 27.5 - 650b
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: 02-06-2013, 07:24 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •