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  1. #1
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    The best thing about owning two bikes: wrenching on the old one!

    I've been mountain biking, on and off, since the late 80s and have only ever had one bike. That changed recently when I bought a new Yeti ASR-5 even though my 2005 HT was still functioning fine.

    With a brand new bike to ride, I am doing something I've never done before: Stripping my old bike down to the frame, thoroughly cleaning it, and rebuilding it.

    MAN THIS IS FUN!

    I've only ever minor maintenance on my bikes. I'll adjust a derailleur, change out a handlebar, replace a cassette, etc. But I've never done anything more than that. I've got the tools...I'm not sure how or when or why but over the last 20 or so years, I've built up a pretty good collection of tools...mainly Park. I've got cone wrenches, a chain whip, cassette lockring tools, a torque wrench, a few spanners, hex keys, etc.

    The one thing I've never owned is a workstand. I just bought one and I've spent the last week slowly and methodically disassembling the bike down to the basic components and tearing those components down to their base.

    I had no idea wrenching a bike could be this fun. I'm an engineer by degree so I've always had an affinity for how mechanical components work. Taking a mechanical disk brake down to the shell is candy for an engineer! Why am I discovering this just now? Mainly because of risk. With only one bike, I didn't want to risk extended downtime due to screwing something up or not knowing how to put something back together.

    But with two bikes, I'm LOVING taking the first one apart and rebuilding it. I'm really getting into it. I cleared out a large area of my basement to dedicate to bikes. I built a nice long workbench. I put up a pegboard and organized all my tools. It's fun and it's a way to enjoy mountain biking when you're not actually riding!
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  2. #2
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    Good Job!

    It is a fun thing to be able to do all your bike maintenance yourself. It's also a good thing to have a 2nd ride in case your main rigs down. This way you will still be able to ride! I have enough bike parts laying around that i could put another bike together, & that's what i think i'm gonna do. You gotta have something to do on those rainy days you can't ride. I also could not even imagine not being able to ride my rig because it was sitting in a bike shop to be worked on because i didn't know how to fix it. cool thread.
    -always thinking about the next ride-

  3. #3
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    Couldn't agree more. Almost as much fun as biking itself. Almost...

  4. #4
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    Add a beer fridge and your workspace will be complete!!

    Good post! Agree that wrenching is really fun and a much underappreciated facet of riding MTB.
    Check out my You Tube Channel

  5. #5
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    I agree, been fixing my own bikes since i was a teenager. use to go out on spring cleanup days and bring home 20 bikes, strip'em for parts keep 1 or 2 frames and ditch the rest. Had a bike stolen, walked home 2 hours later out again on a bike I just built. All done with a slot screw driver, adjustable wrench and vise grips, LOl the good old days when thats all you needed or thought you needed.

    30 years into the future I now have a full tool chest of just bike specific tools, who knew?
    Giant XTC 2 29er
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  6. #6
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    Working on bikes is lots of fun, I always look forward to spending some quality time with my bike on the stand.

    Sounds like you built yourself a nice workshop, post it up here:
    The "What's your shop look like?" thread

  7. #7
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    My workshop is already posted in there
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  8. #8
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    I love to wrench on my bikes, for me its like a hobby within a hobby. The only thing I have yet to master is wheel truing and building. I began my affair with bicycles almost 2 years ago. In that time I have learned to do the basic jobs like tuneups and deraileur adjustments to more complex tasks like suspension fork rebuilds using the unlimited resourses of the internet and books like "zinn and the art of mtb maintnance". I wrench on my bikes but I will also wrench on friends bikes for free if I have the time just for the fun of it.

    As fun as it is to mantain/adjust/clean/modify your own bikes (and friends bikes) I am surprised to see how few people do it, at least in this part of the world (Honduras). I joined an mtb group about a year ago. Its the oldest and most experienced group in this part of the country with some of its members having been mountain biking for 20 years. I was appalled when I saw how few could do the most basic of maintnance tasks on their bikes. Out of the 30 something members of the group, only about 4 of us do our own wrenching. Most of them have no idea how to adjust a derailleur, brakes, set up a suspension fork, cut/repair a chain etc. and I have seen one guy who has about 15yrs of mtb experience that couldnt change a tube when he got a flat (extreme case). Every time someone in the group has a trailside brakedown, its the same 3 guys repairing the bikes for the rest of them. Most of these guys dont even wash their own bikes and take them to the lbs every couple of weeks to have them washed and lubed. I see this in other riding groups around here also.

    Do you also see this in other parts of the world like the US and Europe, or is the typical rider more DIY oriented in your neck of the woods?

    Cheers

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Mac View Post
    Add a beer fridge and your workspace will be complete!!
    Very well said.
    I agree as well, fixing my own gives you much more appreciation to it, as well when you are on the trail, and have a mechanical, you're not relying on a friend to fix it for you...
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  10. #10
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    Building a 2nd bike and making room for a workstand and work space has been a lot of fun for me as well. For starters my bikes and their chains have never been so clean. I enjoy being able to take the time to make adjustments or replace parts on my own since I know I have another ride to take out.
    Mostly a rigid SS, sometimes a geared HT

  11. #11
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    Only 2 bikes? Why so few? I find working on my bikes very meditative and relaxing. My wife keep thinking there is room in the garage for her car, nope.

  12. #12
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    What took you so long. Got my second bike after only a few years of riding. I currently own seven. I have plenty of time during the winter to tear them down and get them ready for spring. It helps keep me sane.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenspokes View Post
    What took you so long. Got my second bike after only a few years of riding. I currently own seven. I have plenty of time during the winter to tear them down and get them ready for spring. It helps keep me sane.
    Yes I agree, like today just to chill out I went and polished up the GF bike for her, made sure no dirt was on it for the ride tomorrow. I know they get dirty but I like to start the day off clean and with keeping them tidy I know if something is amiss.
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  14. #14
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    I perform most of my own maintenance also but every now and then I like to take my bike into the bike shop for them to work on something. I like to throw them a bone occasionally...to me it's the right thing to do. The reason I do this is in case I need something in a emergency...just me though.
    Too wet to ride!

  15. #15
    Just Ride
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    Ha, ha, I just swapped brakes between my 2 bikes. The brakes that came on my SS were tektro garbage. I took the BB7s off my geared bike and put them on the SS. My intention was to put the crap brakes on my geared bike just so it's rideable, but didn't get around to it. Maybe I'll take the time and strip the bike down the rest of the way. Lord knows it could use it!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  16. #16
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    Wrenching is definitely part of the fun. Last year my son outgrew his hand me down dualie so we stripped the parts off and bolted them onto a hardtail frame. Good bonding experience and he now knows a lot more about bikes. I try to do everything I can but still use the LBS for stuff I can't or won't do myself like headset installs and wheel truing/building.
    2009 Redline Conquest Pro, 2008 Trek Fuel Ex8
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    Yes I spent too much on bikes.

  17. #17
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    I'm the "bike guru" among my clan, so I do all the wrenching on mine, plus my friends' bikes, too........I own three bikes, all different, and find it easier to work on one when I have others to ride - I don't feel rushed to get the work done so I can ride.......taking the time to do it right means finding that "zen" moment - beer in hand, new parts on the bench, and the bike in the stand, ready for upgrade / maintenance........ahh, its the little things in life..........
    Trifecta is Perfecta: 26" FSR Geared / 29er SS Rigid / 29er Ti Hardtail Geared

  18. #18
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    Can't call it wrenching for much longer, all I use on my bike is allan keys.There isn't a nut on the bike besides the one riding it.
    Giant XTC 2 29er
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