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  1. #1
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    Reputation: Smilely's Avatar
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    How to learn to work on my bike?

    I've been riding reguarly for almost a year now, and upgraded to a used full suspension, hydrolic disc brake bike last summer (2007 Kona Coiler) and really feel like I don't know how to work on it. I've bought some books, and read online, but I learn much better when its hands on. Wondering if there is some class I could take, or if one of the clubs ( I know of Evergreen, I assume there are others as well) that might offer classes, or have some type of "work on bikes" parties?

  2. #2
    I didn't do it
    Reputation: Mookie's Avatar
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    You have the right idea-hands on is the way to go. I say just jump in and start working on your bike. There are a lot of good online resources, I think the Park Tool site is one of the better ones. Park Tool Co. Start with something easy like replacing your brake pads. Then move onto something a little bit more complex like changing a cassette or a chain. Then move up to more challenging fixes. Learning to wrench your bike will save you a lot of coin. Its also fun, I like working on my bike just because its a good time (provided its in the garage and not the trail).

  3. #3
    Last word is all yours...
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    IMO your first steps should be to pick up "Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance", and then start making friends with the techs at your LBS and don't be afraid to ask stupid questions. I'd recommend that over immediately taking apart things on your bike that you have no idea how to put back together properly, since certain areas can pose a $$/safety risk (headset & brakes, for example).
    --
    -bp

  4. #4
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    For real basic stuff, REI has free classes all the time on bike maintenance.
    Tarekith.com

    '12 RM Slayer70, i9 Torch, Flow EX, XT Brakes, 5050 s3.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. I have a copy of Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance that I have been reading and it does seem helpful. I guess I am a little concerned about trying something on my own, and then not being able finish, get it to work correctly, and have to miss riding while I take the bike to the shop to be fixed. I suspect I mostly just need to suck it up and give it a try. I have replaced the rear brake pads, they work, but I suspect I did not do a great job as the wheel no longer spins freely. Not enough drag to notice while riding, but enough to slow it down fairly quickly when I free spin it. Guess I need to read a bit more and try some adjustments, trial and error and see what I learn.

  6. #6
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    Smilely,
    Not sure where you're at in WA, but we offer maintenace classes periodically at BMB in Maple Valley. Please check out our website and FB page.

    I learned alot at Barnett Bicycle Institute and other formal classes, but mostly I learned by taking my own
    bikes apart and putting them back together. Just be methodical and lay things out in order. Clean, re-grease, and torque to spec, is my mantra. Sounds like you've got a good feel for it by your brake pad replacement comments. Now just go back and fine tune it until the brakes don't drag. Don't be afraid to go to your LBS.

  7. #7
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    Reputation: jlf.ski.bike.sail's Avatar
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    Good job!

    Just do it!

  8. #8
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    If youre close, take up BMB on those classes. I raced my first race at Soaring Eagle a few weeks ago and meet up with the owner (?) If the shop is like the racer they're a good outfit.

    If yourre closer to Seattle, Recycled Cycles does classes ($) as well as the before mentioned REI. Also youtube, many component makers make their own videos. I learned how to bleed my Hope brakes from a Hope produced youtube video.

  9. #9
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    The owner of BMB should have plenty of time to pull together a class now since he will not be racing or riding for a while. He took a spill at Duthie and broke is collar bone.

    Regarding his character....

    LOL!!!

    Ron is a good guy and will help you out!

  10. #10
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    So sorry to hear about the Broken collar bone! Ouch! I'm just north of Woodinville, so Maple Vally is a bit far for me, but if they do end up planning some classes be sure to post them, might be worth the drive.

    Thanks for all the advice,
    Smilely

  11. #11
    Just roll it......
    Reputation: ebxtreme's Avatar
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    The Zinn book is really a great starting point. To a degree, there's some trial and error.

    Also, a lot of manufacturers have good tech sections on their website. Fox, for instance, usually has great videos on their site about servicing their forks and shocks.

    Also, Pinkbike usually has "Tech Tuesdays" where they cover a very specific item like overhauling a fork or bleeding brakes. Some good /useful stuff, but it varies week to week.

  12. #12
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    I've found good tutorials on youtube.

    Personally, I don't like to work on my bike, I do it because I know how, but IMO, there are some repairs that are just easier to pay somebody to do the work.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  13. #13
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    you can do it. and remember: if it aint broke, fix it till it is.

  14. #14
    Slothful dirt hippie
    Reputation: verslowrdr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renfrini View Post
    ...if it aint broke, fix it till it is.
    I think I just found a new motto for work- LOL!!!
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  15. #15
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    I generally go to Youtube since most companies now have DIY videos posted which makes to real easy to follow along.

  16. #16
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    You should have started at around age 8 by taking your dads lawn mower apart then put it back together.

    I always end up with a few extra parts.

  17. #17
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    Funny^^^

    When I was about 10, my BMX bike ( a Takara) had a couple loose spokes. My budding bicycle mechanic jedi skills took over and I tightened the loose ones. To be thorough, I tightened all spokes until they would turn no more. Wheel got rebuilt that weekend by a local shop.

    35 years later, I am still apprehensive about spokes. I will tackle pretty much everything else on a bike though.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  18. #18
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    The Alliance should start doing the "Out There Repair" series again. Maybe get shops to sponsor them all around the greater Seattle area... If you can tear down your bike in the garage and put it back together. It makes it all that much easier to do a trail repair in the woods. Wrap electriacl tape and duct tape around your pump. Carry zip ties and bailing wire as well and you can fix just about anything. It's often been said that McGuyver must have been a mountain biker....

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