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  1. #1
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    How many people actually work on their own bikes?

    I am curious, I was talking to a worker at a bike shop and he said that majority of biker riders don't work on their own bikes. Why is that? Is it because they would rather spend their time out on the road or just scared they will screw up their bike?
    Sometimes you wonder why things fall apart and then you realizze..a bolt is missing.

    www.mrmetric.com

  2. #2
    Hazardous to your health!
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    im afraid ill mess up my bike and itll cost more for HUGE adjustments when it only needed small adjustments lol However, i am starting to work on my bike now, in fact in a few weeks i plan to replace the chain all by myself
    2011 Specialized Rockhopper: Captain Tires, Disc Brakes, 24 speed

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  3. #3
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    the same reason you are not a banker, truck driver, sky diver. they don't want to

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMetric View Post
    I am curious, I was talking to a worker at a bike shop and he said that majority of biker riders don't work on their own bikes. Why is that? Is it because they would rather spend their time out on the road or just scared they will screw up their bike?
    Your LBS guy is likely correct. We on MTBR represent a skewed sample base. In the wider scheme of things, most whom I know go to a shop. Some do a few things themselves, and go to the shop for the rest. Some go to the shop for everything.

    Some just plain don't like to wrench. Nothing wrong w/that. I hate working on my car, so I pretty much always take *that* to the shop.

    Some are afraid of screwing up.

    Some might be capable but too busy.

    All sorts of reasons. Liking to ride a bike and liking to work on a bike are really two different things. One does not necessarily need to lead to the other.

  5. #5
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    I love working on my bike.

  6. #6
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    I do what I can. If it's something I am afraid of screwing up or I can't figure out, I'll take my bike to the shop. For instance, when the time comes to press in the headset on my new frame, I'll take it to the shop. I don't want to chance destroying a $100 headset when my shop will do it for $10 and if they break it, they pay for a replacement.
    Kona Big Unit SS
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  7. #7
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    Who on here actually rides their bikes? I'm just kidding, but reptilezs by far has the best response. So true.

  8. #8
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    Mountain Bikes aren't cheap. Fiddling around when you got no idea what you're doing could cost you.

    Regular maintenance - tyres, chains brake wiring I'm happy to do myself.

    But it's always nice to just hop over to your local, support their business and maybe just chat a little bike talk.

  9. #9
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    I try....tools, patience and finesse projects tend to limit me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    Who on here actually rides their bikes?
    I am a poser. But forums.poser.com doesn't seem to exist, so I come here instead.

  11. #11
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    I haven't taken my bike to a shop in a couple years. I do most things myself. In fact, I just serviced my fork yesterday.

  12. #12
    Down South Yooper
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    I've not been serviced by a bike shop since the 1990's sometime, I'd guess. No black art here. Take your time and anything can be one.

    Plum
    This post is in 3B, three beers and it looks good eh!

  13. #13
    Chamois Dropper
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    I do all my own work as well. Of course coming from a mechanical background doesn't hurt. I'm somewhat new to bike repair, but a few bucks on some special tools and time spent researching goes a long way. I sometimes get a little apprehensive ordering an expensive part when I'm not 100% sure it will work, but so far so good. The members here have been a great help as well.
    2008 GT Force
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  14. #14
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    I do all my own stuff. I dont trust the bike shop folks to do anything. Also, in the amount of time it takes me to go to the shop, wait for the bike, then go pick it up, I could do it myself alot faster, and know that it was done correctly.

  15. #15
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    I used to assemble bikes in a shop back in the 90's so I picked up a few tips from the mechanic at the time. Lack of the correct tools has been a problem since then.

    However I recently got a bicycle toolkit which has all the specialist tools like cassette tool, chain whip, crank extractors, BB tool etc.

    A truing stand is on my list now.

  16. #16
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    Mostly scared that I'll screw it up. It's a catch-22. If I try to figure it out and mess it up the LBS gives me a dirty look because they have to fix it. If I bring it in to get looked at before messing with it, there's the same dirty look because they figure you should be able to do it yourself. I can't win.

    I wish LBS could give quick lessons on the simple things instead of getting the death stare of stupidity. I'm not mechanically gifted but trying to learn as I go. I'm a visual learner so any kind of basic lesson is appreciated. Most shops don't have/don't want to take the time to do that hence the catch-22.

  17. #17
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    Some people like food better when someone else cooks it. A lot of my plumbing customers are more than capable of most repairs but feel better about the repair if they spend money on it. Some are looking to screw some one out of money for the repair.

    I don't parachute but for me I would pack my own chute. Same for my bikes.
    lean forward

  18. #18
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    Got my 1st shop job at 16 years old. Been working on my own bikes since then. I have always enjoyed taking things apart and understanding how they work, my father must have spent a fortune having the bikes I either rode the hell out of, or took apart to get fixed. But dad always made sure I was on 2 wheels.

    I am 30 now.

  19. #19
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    lots of people who own good bikes, their time is worth more than the price they pay the shop.

  20. #20
    the catalan connection
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    My riding buddy neither goes to the shop nor does it himself...he invites me to her house for lunch which has a nice big terrace, a bike stand and always cold beer in the fridge
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    lots of people who own good bikes, their time is worth more than the price they pay the shop.
    They can probably afford good bikes because they do their own maintenance.

  22. #22
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    I am a construction machinery mechanic and engineer but some things are just not mine:
    lacing and truing is not relaxcing for me but makes me squirelly

    way back in 1993 there have been no good bicycle mechanics in Germany, so one had to learn the hard way..

    so this is for my friends in the LBS
    ????

  23. #23
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    In most cases, you can purchase whatever tool is necessary to perform a repair or adjustment for less than what your lbs will charge you to do the same thing. And you get to keep the tool, do the next time the issue comes up, you are all set. There are limitless resources online to learn how to do things. I do all my own repairs, and taught myself everything. I'll still support my lbs when I can't wait for an online order, or I'll even buy the necessary tools there. I own 4 high end bikes that I perform about 500 dollars worth of maintenance/installs/adjustments per week on. Mostly just switching parts and experimenting with different set-ups. This would not be possible if I were to bring it to the shop each time. This is also a huge learning experience, and an even huger money saver.

    PEACE!
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  24. #24
    local trails rider
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    I don't do everything.
    Most people that are into cycling that I know (as opposed to people who just ride to school or work etc) do at least some work on their bikes.

    I have never:
    - faced a headtube or BB shell because the tools are pretty expensive, I don't need it done often, and the LBS doesn't charge all that much for the job.
    - cut a steerer tube because I let the shop install headset and fork while they have the frame for the facing.
    - laced a wheel because it just seems like so many things to put together and I've found complete wheels for less than the individual parts would cost.
    - bled the brakes. Don't know why.

    "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"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bethany1 View Post
    Mostly scared that I'll screw it up. It's a catch-22. If I try to figure it out and mess it up the LBS gives me a dirty look because they have to fix it.
    Don't even worry about that. We all make a mistake now and then. I remember once I broke two detanglers in a row while working on a BMX bike. The shop guys and I laughed about that one for a long time. I still laugh when I think about it. They were happy because they sold not one, but two(!) detanglers in just a days time.

  26. #26
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    I do everything myself. wheel lacing, tube facing (only if needed), whatever. I'm a tinkerer, and I love how everything works/goes together on bikes... If I didn't have to support a family, I'd be a bike mechanic simply because I enjoy doing it.

  27. #27
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    Do all my own work other than I'm not equipped for facing etc and I find you can buy wheels cheaper than building. I am mechanically inclined and after all, a bicycle is a pretty simple machine.
    I started working on my bikes long before the internet - now, its just way too easy with all the videos and instructions out there.
    I've just finished building 3 frames up and took all of them in for the face and chase. I realized at the time that it was the first time I'd ever been to the bike shop for work.

  28. #28
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    My dad did a lot of the mechanical work at home. His drive was to "save money$$", and he felt he could take the time to do things better than a mechanic did.. He taught me and my brother to work on cars; brakes, wheel bearings, water pumps, etc. I took to it, found it fun, my brother didn't.
    To me working on anything you own is an individual choice/like/dislike, and we do what we have to. Not EVERYONE does their own car work, taxes, plumbing, electrical, construction, roof repairs, oil changes, and bicycle work, etc. And the "why" is an individual choice.
    I bough my first motorcycle in '81 and when the piston skirt broke I didn't have the $$$ to re-build it. I had some tools for working on my car, so I bought a shop manual for the bike and asked a LOT of people for info, ideas, suggestions and help in re-building it. I liked doing it so I really got into it, to the point of doing speed work on engines for people, for $$$.

    In '82 i needed to borrow a bike for my first Tri, and a big time bicycling friend lent me a bike that was in pieces. He taught me how to put it together, which I really enjoyed. From then on I read all I could read in bike magazines about bike building and repairs and asked a lot of people for info, suggestions, etc. And started buying the needed tools. And I've always enjoyed working on my bikes. There is something to say about "pride in your own work". I've built a wheel set but THAT I feel is an art and I leave that to the "wheel artists". As they say:"Whatever works for you".
    Training on Hills Builds Character, That's How I Got To Be One!

  29. #29
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    I've always worked on my bikes since I was young. We did not have a real bike shop in the town I grew up in, rather just a mechanic in the back of a local hardware store. I would hang out there and buy the parts I needed from that store, but do the work myself. I think I built my first set of wheels at 16 or 17 years old, after reading an article on wheel building in Popular Mechanics. In fact I am still riding a set of wheels I built back in the early '80s on my touring bike and I have not broken one spoke on those, likewise I built the current wheels on my road bike around the same time and still riding those wheels as well.

    On my new CX bike, I am having the LBS fit it with a headset, since I have never worked with the newer headsets and lack the tools to do that myself. But I'll be assembling all the rest of that bike myself. That way I'll know how to fix anything if it goes wrong on a ride.

  30. #30
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    I do the work myself, except for facing/reaming the headtube and bb shell of new frames. I even started building my own wheels. Do I enjoy wrenching on the bike. Not really, but I enjoy the work being done right (usually the first time). Unfortunately, the main reason I do most of my own work is that I do not trust the shops. Too many screw-ups by "well-respected" shops.

  31. #31
    Dave's not here.
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    I work on my own bike because my LBS just plain sucks. For this reason, I have learned how to do all repairs and maintenance on my bike and I have purchased the necessary tools I need to do it. I am the type of person that likes to tinker with things and figure out how they work. I guess it's in my nature to work on things and figure out how they work. I have always been like that.
    Craig

  32. #32
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    I do all the work on our bikes. It would look bad otherwise, I fix other people's bikes for a living.

    - Joel
    Cycling is Serious Business.

  33. #33
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    I learn out of necessity almost 35 years ago (I'm 49)and I have to say I get almost as much joy working on them as riding them, I even try to make my own frames but I suck at it so I stop after making three.

    The only time I start to dislike working on bikes was working at shops, do to all the stupid politics and cheap skate bosses so I quit working on shops and now I enjoy wrenching as much as ever did even if I wish I know how to work on current suspension forks and shocks since is the first time in many years I contemplate taking the shocks to a shop to get them work on..

    Ps: when I was working at shop I try to encourage/teach people as much as possible to work on their own bikes and share the of self reliance, even if the bosses and managers did not like the idea to much.

  34. #34
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    I do all of my own work. After my first crappy HT i built my next 3 MTB's with youtube videos and a couple of maintenance books. Owned a few road bikes and ended up restoring a few vintage road bikes. I like bikes.

    I now own just 1 mtb bought from a shop (giant trance x)
    And 1 city commuter built up (old ross eurosport)

  35. #35
    Huckin' trails
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    I first had my lbs to do some basic stuff when I was new to the sport, like BB cleaning, installing a chainguide, trying wheels and such. But I was always there watching how and what they did and asking questions about the process and how they do it and they were always happy to answer and teach me up. Now I've learned pretty much everything I need and which tool is required so I do it all by myself. Paid $15 to get the work done, but in exchange I learned how to do it next time and now it's free.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  36. #36
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    I started to do all the work on mine and my GF's bikes. At first some of the repairs / upgrades took a while but it's nice to learn things yourself. Plus, I like being independent.
    On the flip side, I have a brother that rides both road and mtb and he doesn't even change his own flats. He doesn't mind spending the $$'s and doesn't have the desire. I still haven't been able to figure that out.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooch View Post
    On the flip side, I have a brother that rides both road and mtb and he doesn't even change his own flats. He doesn't mind spending the $$'s and doesn't have the desire. I still haven't been able to figure that out.
    Nothing really wrong w/that. I used to try to do my own automotive work, but realized one day how much I hate working on cars. We've good mechanic about six blocks away, and I am happy to pay him.

  38. #38
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    It's fun, what else is there?

  39. #39
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    In the last few years I have had to visit a shop to face bottom bracket on a titanium frame.

    Everything else - much faster and simpler to just do at home. Not even the $$ - but I would much rather spend them on parts and other toys.

  40. #40
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    I'm a heavy duty repairman by trade and sometimes I just get sick of wrenching. I found a nice little LBS around the corner that will answer millions of questions and really take time with you.

    Mostly I'm very particular and end up doing things myself to acheive results to my liking, but if time is an issue or a task like changing my ghetto tubeless tires feels like a hassle I'm happy to thow a couple bucks to the LBS to get it handled.

    Trails end bike shop Home

    Don't tell anyone how good they are or they will get to busy to spend all day talking bikes with me

  41. #41
    FresnoGiant
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    I do all my own work. Build my bikes from frame up, and do all wrench work except hub service. Just haven't learned how yet.
    As for how common this is; of the group of about ten guys I ride with regularly, I am the only one that does this. Most of them go to the LBS or to my garage to have work done.
    I do it for several reasons. I am curious about how things work, I like hands-on stuff, I don't trust other people with my life, and I take pride in being a do-it-yourself'er.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMetric View Post
    I am curious, I was talking to a worker at a bike shop and he said that majority of biker riders don't work on their own bikes. Why is that?
    Many reasons, answers, and it depends...

    1. Is there a friendly, reasonable bike shop near by, or along the routes you travel

    2. Area you a person, who enjoys tinkering, or just a rider. Of course, there's some learning involved, either from books, mags or others.

    3. If you're an old timer, changes are you you grew up, when people worked on things mechanical, as there were no electronic toys.

    4. Many things I need done, I can do quicker, than a drive to shop, leaving it there, another trip to pick it up, maybe a follow up trip. So it's worth investing in a few tools and some knowhow, regardless how you acquire it.

    ...the list goes on...

  43. #43
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    I'm not mechanical at all. I'd eventually like to learn how to take apart and put together a bike and maintenance. Not because I want to build a bike, but so I can better understand the mechanics of everything.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRILLINDK View Post
    I'm not mechanical at all. I'd eventually like to learn how to take apart and put together a bike and maintenance. Not because I want to build a bike, but so I can better understand the mechanics of everything.
    That is an extremely rewarding and worthy pursuit.

    It started for me when I was about 10 yrs of age. I got a beating from my father because he came home from work to discover his lawn mower torn apart. In my defense it was killing me to not understand how you could just pour in some gas, pull the string, and make power.

    Good luck on your journey, just don't let curiosity kill the cat.

  45. #45
    All fat, all the time.
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    I enjoy doing a much as I can on my bikes. Haven't learned to lace a wheel from scratch though...some day.
    Only other things I dont do are the ones like face/chase, as the cost of tools isn't worth it for personal use.

  46. #46
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    I've always been mechanical inclined, but when I was young (~5) i started playing around on computers and stuff. At 10 I was able to do a full computer install for both software and hardware and now I'm helping out people in school for installing softwares and learning how it works. I've started really working on bikes in early 2009 and commuting daily in summer that year. First MTB in April 2010 and since I had build up myself about 5-6 bikes and rebuild a few.

    I have learned and now I can service hubs, BB, headset, forks and rear shocks, drivetrain, build wheels, setup disc brakes, true my rotors, etc. This forum has been very helpful and I like to return the favor whenever I can.

    And I like to learn how things work. Still have to put back the lawn mower engine back together though.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  47. #47
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    I do all the work on my own bikes (and my friends' bikes). I've spent the money on the needed tools, so I never have to go to a shop again. It's because having the shop do all the work would cost too much, and if I do the work I know it's been done right.

  48. #48
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    Noob here... I would love to learn how to do basic maintenance on my bike and then work my way up to more complex things and eventually do my own build. Do you guys have any good resource suggestions for someone who is completely clueless about bicycle repair?

  49. #49
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    I have to completely agree with bad mechanic. When I do the work, I know that it is done right. I am also saving tons of $$ that will be used for more tools and beer.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjarrett79 View Post
    Noob here... I would love to learn how to do basic maintenance on my bike and then work my way up to more complex things and eventually do my own build. Do you guys have any good resource suggestions for someone who is completely clueless about bicycle repair?
    Take your bike apart. Than come here to ask questions on how to put back the parts you have problem with
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  51. #51
    No Stranger to danger....
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    myself and most of the riders i know do it themselves, just get a cheap bike toolkit n get to work, if you dont know how to do some thing just do a bit of study on the net n youll be sweet..... i live in sydney city n there are to many maggots in the local bike shops here, they'd have to pay me to let em do a **** job on my bikes.......

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    Take your bike apart. Than come here to ask questions on how to put back the parts you have problem with
    Lol, not sure if serious bit I think learning gradually or as you go along is best.

    sent from one of my 4 gold leafed iphone 4s's

  53. #53
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    I try and do what I can on my bike as there is a lot of information online.

  54. #54
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    I just tuned up my coworker's sons' bikes last night. It reminded me of how much I love wrenching. Taking two completely crap running 'wheels 1/2" out of true, seized chains' bikes and bringing them back to life and running smooth is awesome to me. Bonus points because it was fun working on late 90's brass again. I forgot how easy 7 speed cassettes are to tune haha...

  55. #55
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    +1 for Scared to mess something up.

    I enjoy working on my truck, mower, and other small engines, but a bike is delicate. a lot of the video's on parktool seem old and I cannot find something that looks like my component, I feel that I need to take it to the LBS. as an example, I have a slight creak in my BB or crank, but I'm afraid to take any of the seals off because it will take a week for my LBS to get my bike back to me if I mess it up. I wish I was more comfortable with it, but I guess that will come with time. I have only been riding for about 3 months, so I haven't been exposed to as much as all you mtbr'ers. I guess it will come with time?

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeybutt711 View Post
    +1 for Scared to mess something up.

    I enjoy working on my truck, mower, and other small engines, but a bike is delicate.
    I work on bikes all the time, and my neighbor's wife was astonished that I'd come to him for help fixing my snowblower. She wanted to know how was it that could tear a bike to bits and rebuild it, and yet I'm clueless when it comes to carburetor jets an small engines.

    It's probably down to cycling being a passion and source of great enjoyment, whereas blowing snow is just a chore that must be done.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeybutt711 View Post
    +1 for Scared to mess something up.

    I enjoy working on my truck, mower, and other small engines, but a bike is delicate. a lot of the video's on parktool seem old and I cannot find something that looks like my component, I feel that I need to take it to the LBS. as an example, I have a slight creak in my BB or crank, but I'm afraid to take any of the seals off because it will take a week for my LBS to get my bike back to me if I mess it up. I wish I was more comfortable with it, but I guess that will come with time. I have only been riding for about 3 months, so I haven't been exposed to as much as all you mtbr'ers. I guess it will come with time?
    Don't be. A bike is much simpler than any of those.

  58. #58
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    I'm a college student with more free time than money so I always go on YouTube or google and see if I can fix/adjust things myself first before taking my bike in.

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    I can do most of it but have trouble with setting up the shifting. Although I haven't actually sat down and read instructions while I do it, so that might contribute to that.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Don't be. A bike is much simpler than any of those.
    I guess it would be easier if I was able to watch someone work on their first. Everything I have done was with the aid of YouTube. It's weird to try and adapt it to your bike when they are different components.

  61. #61
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    I like wrenching more than riding

    It's sad really. For xmas my wife sent me to wheel building school. It was maybe the best gift ever.

    Sometimes it gets to be a bit much. When one of my buddies drops off a bike and I spend 45 minutes getting the pedals off, or an hour getting handlebar tape adhesive off the bars.

    But when the project is done and he's got a new bike assembled, or new parts on the bike and it shifts like butter, I feel a great deal of satisfaction.

    I recently rebuilt the rear wheel for my friends commuter, he'd been breaking spokes for a while and the shop had been replacing them with all different sizes. When I got that crappy rim true and evenly tensioned, it felt like I had beat Joe Frazier.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by nbwallace View Post
    It's sad really. For xmas my wife sent me to wheel building school. It was maybe the best gift ever.


    Too bad I can't rep your wife. What a wonderful and thoughtful gift.

  63. #63
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    A few years back my bikes were in the local shops having work done a lot. Since then Ive tried to learn about the mechanics of bikes and now do as much as my tools will let me. Mistakes have been made, some really sloppy, but the successes are worth it!

    Buying tools has been the biggest problem, all too often the money goes elsewhere. There are jobs I know the theory of very well and have even done in the past but still dont have my own tools for.

    Its a long road to mechanical self sufficiency but Im getting there!

  64. #64
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    For me working on the bike is part of the passion and stoke that fuels me to ride.

    With all the good info online and how to videos save your money and buy tools instead of labor. Aside from that most stuff can be done in 30-60 minutes.
    Fargo Ti + Moonlander + Necro Pug + Nature Boy

  65. #65
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    I started working on my own bmx bike when I was 12. the only time I ever had a bike shop work on my bike was when I was about 14 and I had a custom wheel built around a Ukai rim and a Primo freecoaster hub. a few years later, I learned to build my own wheels. after spending countless hours working on my own bike, I started working at a bike shop and managing a bike co-op. imagine that.

    with the right tools and a little patience, I think any one can learn to work on their own bike. the internet is an amazing tool where you can learn to do just about anything. it's a bit of a threat to my job security actually. however, most people seem too intimidated to try something as simple as installing new grips and are willing to pay me to do it. if someone started a special shoe-tying service, I think it would go well because people are so mechanically helpless. so I think I'll be fine.

    I challenge you call to learn to build a wheel some time! take an old wheel, a front wheel for simplicity, take some photos of the lacing pattern, and take all the spokes off. read some online guides to wheel building and get started. if you don't have access to a truing stand, put the wheel in your fork and strap three zip ties on the legs near the rim so you can adjust the wheel for straightness, dish (center it over the hub), and lateral roundness (take out the hops). once you get the basic pattern down and know how to measure the right spokes (google: spocalc), it's easy.



    I find wheel building to be a rewarding and relaxing experience. I often go to the co-op take old, useful rims with busted hubs and wheels with good hubs and bent rims and build new wheels out of the parts. I sit on the floor with a truing stand, a box of various spokes, home-made nipple driver (flat screwdriver with a point ground out of it), spoke wrench, a little oil for the nipples, get a beer and a movie and go to work. it usually takes me less than an hour to build a good wheel, so I can build two if I have the right parts and a good movie.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 05-17-2012 at 05:10 AM.

  66. #66
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    There are some great posts in this thread.

    I do everything on my bikes incl. things like rear shock damping oil changes, revalves, making stuff from carbon fiber and machining up specialist things I need. I also make all of my own specialist tools if there isn't something readily available.

    The only mechanical thing I have ever had someone else do for me was wheel building.

    A while back I needed a new wheelset and I dropped off new rims and hubs at my LBS. My LBS needed to order the correct spokes and build the wheels. After a couple of weeks waiting, I went down there and retrieved my wheel bits, measured and ordered some spokes and built my first set of wheels.

    Since then I've been totally self sufficient. It's a great feeling and source of satisfaction. If you're methodical and careful in your approach its highly likely that you will do a better job with more care than anyone at your LBS will. The money you save wrenching on your own bike will easily pay for all of the tools you need, plus a truckload of spare parts that will keep you riding when others are sitting around waiting for something come in.

  67. #67
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    I just tried to change my pedals... but no, I can't even $#$#%$% do that. How hard is it to get the GD pedals off anyways. FML

  68. #68
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    The left one has left hand thread. The drive side has regular threads.
    Gets chain-ring tattoos on both legs!

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeybutt711 View Post
    I guess it would be easier if I was able to watch someone work on their first. Everything I have done was with the aid of YouTube. It's weird to try and adapt it to your bike when they are different components.
    Just try. It you are mechanically inclined, most stuff is self evident.


    When I work on a new fork though, or rebuilding hub or pedals that I have not done before, I often take pictures now as I disassemble it. Just in case.

  70. #70
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    I tend to wrench on my bike

    2 reasons my bike goes to the shop
    - fix requires special $$$ tools
    - I royally screw something up and need a bailout
    Current Ride:2012 BAMF Full Nelson

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlefin View Post
    For me working on the bike is part of the passion and stoke that fuels me to ride.

    With all the good info online and how to videos save your money and buy tools instead of labor. Aside from that most stuff can be done in 30-60 minutes.
    I'm with you, it's a big part of the mtb passion.

  72. #72
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    I decided I'd do everyhting I can myself and use the LBS as a last resort. Took the bike to the LBS for some fd adjustments. The chain kept rubbing against the deraileur in the 50t/12 and 34t/28. I took it back 3 different times and they couldn't get it right. I decided to buy the Haynes bicycle repair manual watched a few Youtube videos and started fiddling away. After not thinking I was going to be able to get the adjustment right I finally got everything shifting smooth with no chain rub. I did what the LBS mechanics couldn't get right and know how my bike works more intimately.
    Last edited by ibadfish; 05-22-2012 at 11:51 AM.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibadfish View Post
    I decided I'd do everyhting I can myself and use the LBS as a last resort. Took the bike to the LBS for some fd adjustments. The chain kept rubbing against the deraileur in the 50t small cog combo and 34t big cog combo. I took it back 3 different times and they couldn't get it right. I decided to buy the Haynes bicycle repair manual watched a few Youtube videos and started fiddling away. After not thinking I was going to be able to get the adjustment right I finally got everything shifting smooth with no chain rub. I did what the LBS mechanics couldn't get right and know how my bike works more intimately.
    Great start. Invest in a good toolkit and repair stand if you have not done it yet. It pays back.

    ...but try not to crosschain it like that. 50 to 34? Kind of an odd setup.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post

    ...but try not to crosschain it like that. 50 to 34? Kind of an odd setup.

    No crosschaining. The crank is on my road bike it's a compact 50/34 the combos I meant where 50/12 and 34/28.

  75. #75
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    Since taking up ultra-endurance racing and riding, I do 97% of my own bike work. I decided that I really didn't want to get stuck somewhere with a small problem that I could fix if I knew how. So I've learned how to fix just about everything myself. I'm even going to rebuild my rear shock next weekend!

    There are so many good manuals and videos available--not to mention forums like this one--that it's really gotten easy to learns the ins and outs of even the most technical repairs.

    One additional benefit of doing my own work is that it gets done right. So many bike shops seem to hire morons instead of mechanics, and they've done some stupid things to my bike in the past. Not that I don't do stupid things sometimes, but at least I learn from the mistake. There are some great mechanics out there, but most bike shops refuse to pay for them.

    The one part that I'm not planning on working on is my Lefty fork. Mendon Cyclesmith is quick, affordable, and damn good.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    I don't do everything.
    Most people that are into cycling that I know (as opposed to people who just ride to school or work etc) do at least some work on their bikes.

    I have never:
    - faced a headtube or BB shell because the tools are pretty expensive, I don't need it done often, and the LBS doesn't charge all that much for the job.
    - cut a steerer tube because I let the shop install headset and fork while they have the frame for the facing.
    - laced a wheel because it just seems like so many things to put together and I've found complete wheels for less than the individual parts would cost.
    - bled the brakes. Don't know why.
    I have never built my own wheels but I will soon. Just gonna build a stand first.

    Never faced a headtube or bb shell either. But everything else there is.. I do it. like facing/squaring stems in a lathe and making my own special tools such as crank extractors. I even made a tool to face to bottom of the fork steerer where the headset ring rests. The next step for me is wheels. and finally to build and machine and weld my own titanium bike, and then I mean build everything including the fixture and learning to TIG.

    My father always tell me: If you want something done correctly you have to do it yourself.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  77. #77
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    I have only taken my bike to the LBS 4 times since I started riding 3 years ago. My main reason for doing my own work is convienience. It really is a big pain in the butt for me to drag my bike to the LBS and wait... and wait... and wait for them to finally get to it. I even have free lifetime tuneups on one bike but it's not even worth the hassle. If I were to pay myself I feel that I would spend more in time alone going back and forth to the LBS rather than just doing it myself. I ended up purchasing a set of Park Tools and just started doing my own wrenching. I buy 90% of my parts online so when I do an upgrade and I know I don't have the correct tools I just order them as well. The only thing I have yet to do is build my own wheelset. I get a lot of help from MTBR, Youtube, Park Tools website, manufacturer's websites etc. I have even rebuilt a few forks and must say it's not too difficult (except for the FIT damper which is a little tedious). I say most anyone can do their own work without personal guidance as long as they have access to the internet.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  78. #78
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    New question here.

    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    I have only taken my bike to the LBS 4 times since I started riding 3 years ago. My main reason for doing my own work is convienience. It really is a big pain in the butt for me to drag my bike to the LBS and wait... and wait... and wait for them to finally get to it. I even have free lifetime tuneups on one bike but it's not even worth the hassle. If I were to pay myself I feel that I would spend more in time alone going back and forth to the LBS rather than just doing it myself. I ended up purchasing a set of Park Tools and just started doing my own wrenching. I buy 90% of my parts online so when I do an upgrade and I know I don't have the correct tools I just order them as well. The only thing I have yet to do is build my own wheelset. I get a lot of help from MTBR, Youtube, Park Tools website, manufacturer's websites etc. I have even rebuilt a few forks and must say it's not too difficult (except for the FIT damper which is a little tedious). I say most anyone can do their own work without personal guidance as long as they have access to the internet.
    Is this the Link you use within ParkTool? (Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog). Some of this stuff seems very old and I wasn't sure if it still applies?

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeybutt711 View Post
    Is this the Link you use within ParkTool? (Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog). Some of this stuff seems very old and I wasn't sure if it still applies?
    Some of the pictures may be old but the information is current. The site is a good all encomposing source for bike repair. Obviously, it wont cover every product made by every manufacturer (i.e. the section on replacing derailleur cables is semi-generic). I usually look at the manufacturers documentation before going to the Park Tools website but the Park Tools site is a good place to go when the manufcaturer documentation isn't that great.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  80. #80
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    I take it in for headsets and press fit bbs. I have also never bled hydro brakes or needed it. I do have a kit waiting for when I need to learn though.

  81. #81
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    I like to work on my bike. I recently had a problem with my sram crankset. Long story short, I got a warranty replacement and installed the new one myself. I'd rather buy a tool to do the repair than pay someone else. I haven't tackled building wheels or frame prepping (facing) yet, but have done most other repairs/installations.

  82. #82
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    I am trying to work on my own bike, this is my first non department store bike so i actually care for this bike and I get worried the LBS won't take as much care in it as I will. I just hope i don't screw something up... I'm having one hell of a time getting my front derailer adjusted right now but ill figure it out!

    And I like to know that if something goes wrong in the field i'll know what to do to fix it myself instead of having to walk back.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj1008 View Post
    I just hope i don't screw something up... I'm having one hell of a time getting my front derailer adjusted right now but ill figure it out!
    If you don't force anything, and you probably won't screw up too much. Buy a couple of books, watch videos, and check out the Park Tools website.

  84. #84
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    Just serviced my fork yesterday. Easy as 123.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  85. #85
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    Part of the fun of riding for me is upgrading and installing new parts.

    Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk 2

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbVII View Post
    Part of the fun of riding for me is upgrading and installing new parts.

    Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk 2
    Agree

  87. #87
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    Bought a new fork today, installed, realized steer tube is waaaayyy too long. At the shop so they can cut it and adjust the star nut.

    That and pressfit bb/headsets are the only thing I can't do.

  88. #88
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    I wouldn't let ANYONE touch my bike. And that hasn't changed for the 50 years I've been into hi-end bikes. I do it all.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa View Post
    Bought a new fork today, installed, realized steer tube is waaaayyy too long. At the shop so they can cut it and adjust the star nut.

    That and pressfit bb/headsets are the only thing I can't do.
    12 dollar pipe cutter from lowes does a perfect job to cut steer tube

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40er View Post
    12 dollar pipe cutter from lowes does a perfect job to cut steer tube
    Damn, didn't know that. How do you move the starnut?

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa View Post
    Damn, didn't know that. How do you move the starnut?
    You just punch it down. But be wise and use some piping to push it square, not like I did with a bolt and hammer.

    And be sure to check the top of the tube after cutting since it may have created a lip and you'll have to filled it off not to interfere with the stem and spacers installation.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40er View Post
    12 dollar pipe cutter from lowes does a perfect job to cut steer tube
    So does a simple hacksaw.

    I do not push starnuts out (trying to avoid using them altogether - with those long bolt compression thingies) but when I do I prefer to break it in place with needle-nose pliers. Usually turns out to be clean. If just moving it a little bit down - gentle tap on a bolt does the trick. Once it is installed straight, it moves down pretty straight.

  93. #93
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    I do but.....

    I try to work on my own bike but I usually (as in now) end up with more trouble than I started with. I would like to be able to do it right though. If I could only get my steering to loosen up I would be great...probably headed to the bike shop HAHA

  94. #94
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    I love to work on bikes, They are such simple machines, I have realized that over the years working on bikes the skills I have learned are very transferable to other mechanical things. The proper tools and parts and making sure you take things apart and pay attention to what order things come off and you can take apart and rebuild just about anything.

    The thing I am amazed about is how much people are afraid of things like suspension and breaks but when you break it down they are very simple a little messy with the fluids but very simple. I realized this the first time a hayes mechanic talked me through rebuilding a hayes nine caliper. and since then I have done many different break rebuilds and replacing both lever pistons and caliper pistons.
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  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    So does a simple hacksaw.
    And a file to finish it up...

    Even though I'm a machinist, or sado machinist if you like, I still go for the simplest tool.
    But yeah sometimes I turn my stem in a lathe , not thats its really needed but I like it. A few hundred kilos of chippings a day keeps the doctor away.. Its quite a sweet symphony punishing that metal with 20kw. Bye bye.. if you were hearing it that is.. Which I almost never am. You hear the first kilos of it and thats it. Files and hacksaws are quite underrated tools. seriously.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  96. #96
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    I signed up to go to UBI in Ashland, so I'll see how that goes.

  97. #97
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    I'm a D.I.Y kinda guy, plus i know that the work i put into the bike is specificly talored to my needs. As for expensive facing tools, i'll just take it to a shop and have them do it. No need to spend $300 of a facing tool to only use once or twice it's life time.

  98. #98
    El Gato Malo
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    I trust my own work more than I trust other's.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail6 View Post
    I trust my own work more than I trust other's.
    Unfortunately that is some people's first problem...


    As much as I push working on your own stuff, there are still just those certain people out there who should never pick up a tool in their life.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    So does a simple hacksaw.

    I do not push starnuts out (trying to avoid using them altogether - with those long bolt compression thingies) but when I do I prefer to break it in place with needle-nose pliers. Usually turns out to be clean. If just moving it a little bit down - gentle tap on a bolt does the trick. Once it is installed straight, it moves down pretty straight.
    I am a hack with a hacksaw. Pipe cutter is so much cleaner for me.

    You are right on with those long bolt things though - they work really well and are much easier to "install" than a star nut!




    And I work on my own bike because:

    1. A lot of shop mechanics are idiots, and;
    2. Shop labor is stupidly overpriced (in my frugal opinion.)

    The only time I go to a shop is when I have serious suspension issues I can't fix, or stuff that takes expensive tools (like facing/chasing tools.) Hell, I did all my own work at home even when I lived in the city and didn't have a garage.

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