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  1. #1
    they took the bar
    Reputation: javelina1's Avatar
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    Bike riding or tinkering/tuning - all good therapy!

    I know our common bond here is that we all love to ride our bikes. No matter the bike type, or riding style preferences. Indeed, bike riding has really helped me with work stress, keeping my weight under control (sorta), and just my overall fitness and mental health.

    But I gotta admit, I also enjoy working on my bikes just as much. Whether it's tinkering, tuning, repairing, upgrading, or cleaning. I find it to be just as good for therapy (with stress relief too). A way of getting your mind off things.

    Over time, I've gradually acquired a number of bike tools, and now feel quite confident to tackle any issue or bike project. Without a doubt, the repair stand was critical to have initially. Swapping out headsets, running new cables, tuneups, all good. The one thing I haven't tackled, is building up my own wheel set. One day though, I'll give it a whirl.

    Whether riding or tinkering with bikes, life is great!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Big plus one from here. It all began with a bash guard. Bought one. Put it on myself. Bought a crank puller to make the job easier the next time. Found I enjoyed the wrenching. Things snowballed from there.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk. Typos and terseness are to be expected.

  3. #3
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    I actually just wrote something in my blog today that mentions some of this. I really enjoy just "getting away" while riding.
    Follow my mountain biking blog!

    http://transientmtb.wordpress.com/

  4. #4
    REALLY?
    Reputation: jeffgothro's Avatar
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    Never built a wheel either...but I been a mechanic since I was 5 years old...thats 35 years almost now, and I'm damn good at it. Thing is, its about all I'm really good at and to be honest, I hate working on my bike...I AM BURNT OUT, I burnt out about 10-12 years ago. Now, I try to ride as hard as I can without breaking anything, it cost to much, and I really don't want to fix it.

    Back in the day 10 or so years ago, I would hire a trusted friend, one whome I know, knows there sh*t, and I'ed throw my pal a 12 pack and my bike and...get busy. I work on my bikes still, or more recently I should say, and its ok sometimes, if I'm in the mood. I guess sometimes I find it enjoyable, but I think most of the time I dont, or, just dont feel like it.
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by javelina1 View Post
    The one thing I haven't tackled, is building up my own wheel set. One day though, I'll give it a whirl.

    Whether riding or tinkering with bikes, life is great!
    You should wheel building is quite easy. I have built all my wheels for the last 7 years or so. The very first attempt was far better than any factory wheelset I had previously. It only started to fail when after years of abuse some of the aluminum nipples cracked. It stayed true far longer as well.

    Just plonk yourself on the couch and watch a show and go to town.

  6. #6
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    Reputation: seat_boy's Avatar
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    I spend a lot of time tinkering. With three kids, I can either let them play in the garage while I work (getting them out of mom's hair for a time during the winter), or watch them play in the front yard during nice weather. It's probably not the most efficient when they want to "help," but I really enjoy it. Swapping parts, tires, bars, frames... it's all good stuff.

  7. #7
    A guy on a bike Moderator
    Reputation: TobyGadd's Avatar
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    While I'm OK at working on my bike, I'm way too slow. Seems like I have to fiddle and fiddle before I'm satisfied with my work.But once I'm done, I really do enjoy the reward of riding away on a bike that I fixed myself!

    Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of bike shops hire clueless mechanics. I've had 9-speed quick links slammed into 10-speed chains, hydro tubes cut too short, braze-ons stripped, brake pads misaligned, etc.--all at "pro" bike shops. As slow as I am, I at least generally get it right more often than not.

  8. #8
    Weekend warrior aspirant
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    While I'm OK at working on my bike, I'm way too slow. Seems like I have to fiddle and fiddle before I'm satisfied with my work.But once I'm done, I really do enjoy the reward of riding away on a bike that I fixed myself!

    Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of bike shops hire clueless mechanics. I've had 9-speed quick links slammed into 10-speed chains, hydro tubes cut too short, braze-ons stripped, brake pads misaligned, etc.--all at "pro" bike shops. As slow as I am, I at least generally get it right more often than not.
    I've seen a ton of this - especially at certain "big box" shops. I brought in a bike with a derailleur that needed a quick adjustment, and they wanted to charge me $120 and take two days for it.
    This, after they had been the shop that mis-adjusted it in the first place!

    Obviously, I just did it myself.
    Mountain bike with 15k miles, Road bike with 10k miles, breaking in my 29er by riding the entire AZ Trail

  9. #9
    REALLY?
    Reputation: jeffgothro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post

    Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of bike shops hire clueless mechanics.
    Lot of that here too...

    I wont let shops touch my bike(s) 95-99% of the time, unless I know the task is beyond my skills (i.e. building wheels, rebuilding shocks) or I dont have the correct tools.
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  10. #10
    A guy on a bike Moderator
    Reputation: TobyGadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgothro View Post
    Lot of that here too...

    I wont let shops touch my bike(s) 95-99% of the time, unless I know the task is beyond my skills (i.e. building wheels, rebuilding shocks) or I dont have the correct tools.
    I few months ago, I was thinking about bringing in my Cannondale Lefty for service at a shop. While chatting with the mechanic, he told me--in excruciating detail--how he'd just dropped a Lefty while he was working on it, which sent the bearing flying everywhere. He then he happily informed me that he scrounged around until he'd found "nearly every one" and then put the shock back together and that "it even felt pretty smooth, even with the bearings all mixed up." Anyone who knows anything about Leftys is probably feeling nauseous about now...

  11. #11
    they took the bar
    Reputation: javelina1's Avatar
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    Years ago, one of my first upgrades was swapping out a new fork on my HT. At the time, I didn't have a proper tool for setting the crown race on the fork.

    During one of my lunch breaks I went down to one of the more prominent bike stores. Figuring I'd chat with mechanic, and get an idea on how much it would cost, and pick up a few tips for installing the fork on the bike.

    Lucky for me, I got an opportunity to watch this "master" mechanic at work. While chatting with him, he said he had to install a new fork and I could watch. "Here, it's real simple to set the race." So he puts the race on and slides it down the steerer tube. He then puts the dropouts on the top of his shoes, and grabs a large crescent wrench, and adjusts it so that it barely clears the steerer tube diameter. I knew this was going South fast... He then grabs a hammer, and starts banging away on the side of the crescent wrench. Well it took this genius about 7 or 8 swings, and then by the look on his face, he thought success. "Ready to go..."

    From my vantage point, I could see the crown race was all scratched and pitted. No way am I letting this gorilla near my stuff.

    I ended installing the crown race myself, using the old 1 1/4" PVC pipe and a rubber mallet trick. Did a google search, and found that PVC method. I did buy a head set press, and also the park headset remover. So my fork and head set cups all went together just fine.

    Incredible yes, but it was also motivating. I fancy myself being a good mechanic, who's focused on quality work.

    I may try to build a wheelset after all.

  12. #12
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    Good post. Building and servicing my bike has been a joy since I got the special tools. My own wheel is a holy grail for me too, but the next big step is changing travel on my XFusion Velvet. Luckily with all the information on internet, one can tackle almost any job these days.

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