Poll: Do you do your own tune-ups or take it to a bike mechanic?

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  1. #1
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    Tune-Ups - Yourself or a bike mechanic?

    I have/had an order with a bike shop for a 2019 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 but they are talking as early as September and as late as November before I get to see her.

    Then luck would have it a member on here PM me and made me aware of a Trek Corporate store here in CT and it turned out they have the exact bike I want (color and size) in Utah. With a quick deposit with them it's on its way here and can get it as soon as Friday of next week.

    So that brings me to the first place, and they were kind-enough to go outside of protocol and give me a full refund. I expressed over and over again it's nothing personal and I really like them and their store but why wait months when I can get her next week?

    Makes sense right? But he kept using one selling plow that got under my skin for I don't know this stuff like you all do: free tune-ups for life of the bike.

    So I ask you, do you do tuneups yourself or have a bike mechanic do it?

    If yourself, what is the best way for me to learn how to do it?

    I live in CT so if anyone is willing to school me I am all in.

  2. #2
    SS Pusher Man
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    Free Lifetime tune ups are a scam.

    They may adjust your derailleurs and perhaps your brakes, but anything else they will charge you for.

    Learn to do it yourself and save the time of having to take it down, drop it off and wait days to get it back.
    Bicycles donít have motors or batteries.

    Ebikes are not bicycles

  3. #3
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    I do all my own tune ups. It's a great way to go imo. You don't have to wait for the shop to get to it. I hate the wait.

    You tube will be your best friend while you are learning. There will be some jobs initially that will be over your head. In those cases I broke down and took the bike into the shop. The only thing I'm really not comfortable with at the moment is wheel building. I leave that to the pros.

    Lastly, I don't really trust auto mechanics and bike shops. Some have been known to advise work that doesn't really need to be done.


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  4. #4
    Bicycles aren't motorized
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    I live in CT so if anyone is willing to school me I am all in.





    Use the zillions of Youtube videos on bicycle maintenance, get some good tools and have at it.
    Wanted, SRAM GX 2x11 rear derailleur

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  5. #5
    One ring to mash them all
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    Where's the option for, "I pay someone to do it for me after I **** up trying to do it myself?"
    A plateau is the highest form of flattery.

  6. #6
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    I had a bike shop build a wheel for me one time. that was over 20 years ago and the only bike mechanic that touches my bike anymore is me. I learned by necessity. if I had to pay someone to work on my bike, I would not be able to afford to keep the bike running.

    it helps that I worked in shops for a few years recently and I can get friends who are still in the industry to lend me tools when I need to do something that requires special tools.

  7. #7
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    similar thread getting comments as we speak...

    http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-cor...y-1084549.html

    Congrats on the new Trek! I'm in Eastern CT...TONS of great uncrowded singletrack to ride in this state.
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  8. #8
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    I bet 70% of the regular members here worked for the industry at one point. just saying.
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  9. #9
    Make America Bike Again
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one ring View Post
    Where's the option for, "I pay someone to do it for me after I **** up trying to do it myself?"

    I was looking for that button too. I can now do everything but:

    Correctly install the fork (do not have the right tools)
    Crankset/chainring modification/conversion (again, not the right tools, afraid of stripping the bb)
    Tubeless
    Change hydraulic pads w/o breaking the caliper seal


    Those last two things I've love to do myself but I'm simply not good at doing them so I take the bike to the LBS. I've watched the videos on them. I decided it's too much of a pain. All of the other maintenance is pretty easy now. Some people like to work on their bike. I don't.
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  10. #10
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    I don't trust most shops to have competent mechanics. If you find one, great, but for me its been so hit or miss i'd rather do it myself.

    Turns out, it's quite enjoyable too.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    Change hydraulic pads w/o breaking the caliper seal
    ???

    You reset the pistons with a tire lever or something. Just jam it in there and push on the pistons. Heck, use a butter knife and push on the old pads. No need to fuss with the hydraulics, same as your car. Hydros are EASY.

    ...I bleed them anyway, but that's just cuz worn pads is an easy reminder to do it.
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  12. #12
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    Having a good shop is always nice. One you can trust to do work you either don't have the skills or tools for. However tune ups are pretty basic and the more you can do yourself the more time you will be able to ride. You will always have to wait for a shop to do the work. 90% of the time is faster to just do the 10-15 minutes of tune up at home than go to the shop and wait. Plus if you are on trail and need to fix something or on travel to need to check up you need to be able to DIY. For example if the shifting is not good since you derailleur is not aligned you can solve that often in 5 minutes or less on trail with no or minimal tools or way 1 day for shop to do it.
    Joe
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  13. #13
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    Bike shop charges are pretty low compared to say, car repair. So for me, the issue isn't really money but time. I typically do tune-ups and adjustments myself because I do them frequently and have become good at it. So I can do it quickly. Basically, any work that is frequently repeated is something I'll do myself because it saves time in the long run.

    The stuff I won't do is infrequent work that is messy and requires special tools. My shop charges $45 labor for forks, $20 for brake bleeds, and $25 to repack/rebuild BBs. That is cheap and will easily pay for the time I would have spent learning and doing the work myself.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    Bike shop charges are pretty low compared to say, car repair. So for me, the issue isn't really money but time. I typically do tune-ups and adjustments myself because I do them frequently and have become good at it. So I can do it quickly. Basically, any work that is frequently repeated is something I'll do myself because it saves time in the long run.

    The stuff I won't do is infrequent work that is messy and requires special tools. My shop charges $45 labor for forks, $20 for brake bleeds, and $25 to repack/rebuild BBs. That is cheap and will easily pay for the time I would have spent learning and doing the work myself.
    I'm kind of the same. Basic tune up: I'll do. Installation of brakes, derailleur, dropper, etc; I'll do. But sometimes it comes down to knowing that if I do it myself, I'll have to spend time finding the part, waiting for it to arrive, and then wait for me to get around to doing the work. So sometimes it's just a lot quicker and easier to pay to have it done, especially if it is something that has to be done to get the bike back on the trails.

    My headset imploded and I just took it to the shop. I had my LBS service my fork but I serviced my shock. Last night I tweaked the rear rotor so that it no longer rubbed. I've got a fork that I plan to install (see "wait for me to get around to doing the work") but I'll have the shop cut the steering tube. Handlebar: I'll just cut it myself.

    Even if the shop has to keep it a few days, it's often faster than me getting around to doing the work. And I have backup bikes to ride so I can be without my main bike for a few days.
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  15. #15
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    i'v had over the years a coupe of really, really good mechanics that i'd happily let do anything to my bikes. But generally I do everything myself.
    Only things I don't do is anything pressfit (so headsets and BB's), need to buy the tool for that, I know you can do without the propper tool, but I'd rather use the tool or not touch it. And forks, I used to rebuild them back in the elasomer days, but these current day ones, no idea...but then again I havent had one serviced yet either haha (not since 2004)
    I taught myself how to bleed brakes last year, pretty easy, next step is to do fluid replacement, at least changing pads is about the simplest thing you can do on a bike.
    Did a freehub rebuild last week, that was a new one for me, but worked out pretty well.

    99% of things on a bike are pretty simple especially when using the right tools.
    All the gear and no idea.

  16. #16
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    Whatís a ďtune up?Ē Regular maintenance? Maintenance is needed regularly ó do it yourself. Repair? If itís broken, replace it yourself. Cleaning? Do it yourself.

    A tune up is for somebody who doesnít ride their bike. The leave it outside all year and donít ride it for extended periods, maybe years. They bring it to the bike shop for a ďtune upĒ which includes replacing all the oxidized rubber parts, lubing all the cables, greasing the frozen bearings, etc.

    People who ride their bikes donít do tune ups. They maintain their bikes. When something goes wrong (like I break a pawl in my rear hub, recently happened), I get in there and figure it out. And service the hub while Iím at it.

    If youíre riding your bike, youíll never tune it up. Youíll constantly maintain it.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    I don't trust most shops to have competent mechanics. If you find one, great, but for me its been so hit or miss i'd rather do it myself.

    Turns out, it's quite enjoyable too.

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    Don't trust is a very good point. I am an IT tech and seeing what many other employees do confirms your point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Whatís a ďtune up?Ē Regular maintenance? Maintenance is needed regularly ó do it yourself. Repair? If itís broken, replace it yourself. Cleaning? Do it yourself.

    A tune up is for somebody who doesnít ride their bike. The leave it outside all year and donít ride it for extended periods, maybe years. They bring it to the bike shop for a ďtune upĒ which includes replacing all the oxidized rubber parts, lubing all the cables, greasing the frozen bearings, etc.

    People who ride their bikes donít do tune ups. They maintain their bikes. When something goes wrong (like I break a pawl in my rear hub, recently happened), I get in there and figure it out. And service the hub while Iím at it.

    If youíre riding your bike, youíll never tune it up. Youíll constantly maintain it.
    =sParty
    That is a very broad statement and based on other replies IMHO quite wrong. Sitting something out and not using it would require less maintenance due to the lack of wear and tear. Using a product parts WILL wear out, things WILL need to be replaced, and things will get dirty. To think otherwise is asinine. It's like saying those people that build show cars and barely drive them need maintenance. Oh yeah change the oil and burn out the fuel and refill it with fresh fuel but that aside really? I don't know much about bikes but seriously dude!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    Don't trust is a very good point. I am an IT tech and seeing what many other employees do confirms your point.



    That is a very broad statement and based on other replies IMHO quite wrong. Sitting something out and not using it would require less maintenance due to the lack of wear and tear. Using a product parts WILL wear out, things WILL need to be replaced, and things will get dirty. To think otherwise is asinine. It's like saying those people that build show cars and barely drive them need maintenance. Oh yeah change the oil and burn out the fuel and refill it with fresh fuel but that aside really? I don't know much about bikes but seriously dude!
    Like the OP, I'm not as experienced as most of you. I do agree w/Sparticus though, a bike sitting around is going to get rusty, and will need to be revived. Wearing things out is normal, and good because it means you are riding it.

    I didn't change my drive-train for over a year, then I went 1x but I keep my drivetrains clean,and lubed that's regular maintenance in m eyes.

    As for the question, once a year I take it to the shop for a full overhaul, other than that I try to keep things clean. My key factor is also time, so big jobs go to the LBS.
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  19. #19
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    I'm somewhere in between. I do a lot of my own work on my bikes - installs and maintenance.

    However, as it's been pointed out in the thread, I don't have the time needed to work on all my bikes. I own 9 bikes (10 if you include my fiancee's) and I ride four of them regularly (plus hers). I just don't have the time to work on them all at once!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    ...As for the question, once a year I take it to the shop for a full overhaul, other than that I try to keep things clean. My key factor is also time, so big jobs go to the LBS.
    If I do probably will go with a mom and pop shop than a large place like Zanes.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Like the OP, I'm not as experienced as most of you. I do agree w/Sparticus though, a bike sitting around is going to get rusty, and will need to be revived. Wearing things out is normal, and good because it means you are riding it.

    I didn't change my drive-train for over a year, then I went 1x but I keep my drivetrains clean,and lubed that's regular maintenance in my eyes.
    Exactly. The "show car" bikers won't understand.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    If I do probably will go with a mom and pop shop than a large place like Zanes.
    Good thinking, finding a good shop is not easy but they are around. My LBS is a small SC dealer but they rock.

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  23. #23
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    I am NOT a bike mechanic, but consider myself somewhat handy. Through books and videos I have learned to wrench on and tune up my bike and now can do almost everything myself. I have cut and installed a new fork, bled my brakes, installed a dropper post and converted my drivetrain.

    I had my LBS build a new set of wheels a few years ago, and will NEVER attempt that, but really, the only other thing I have not done is set my wheels up tubeless, as I don't have a compressor. With what I just paid to install two tires, I could have paid for half of a good compressor! I will do my own tubeless set up next time.

    There are some really good shops in Connecticut and remember, you don't have to go to a Trek dealer (unless it's a warranty issue). The place where I bought my Specialized turned out to have the worst post-sale service so I bring my bike to a Cannondale dealer when I need to. Its a shop with great mechanics and they treat me no differently than someone who bought a bike from them. I will buy my next bike from them!
    AreBee

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arebee View Post
    I am NOT a bike mechanic, but consider myself somewhat handy. Through books and videos I have learned to wrench on and tune up my bike and now can do almost everything myself. I have cut and installed a new fork, bled my brakes, installed a dropper post and converted my drivetrain.

    I had my LBS build a new set of wheels a few years ago, and will NEVER attempt that, but really, the only other thing I have not done is set my wheels up tubeless, as I don't have a compressor. With what I just paid to install two tires, I could have paid for half of a good compressor! I will do my own tubeless set up next time.

    There are some really good shops in Connecticut and remember, you don't have to go to a Trek dealer (unless it's a warranty issue). The place where I bought my Specialized turned out to have the worst post-sale service so I bring my bike to a Cannondale dealer when I need to. Its a shop with great mechanics and they treat me no differently than someone who bought a bike from them. I will buy my next bike from them!
    And their name is???

  25. #25
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    building wheels is one of the most satisfying puzzles you will ever solve. it's like crack for me.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    building wheels is one of the most satisfying puzzles you will ever solve. it's like crack for me.
    I have to look this up for no idea what any of you mean when you say "building wheels".

  27. #27
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    Mine is 80/20 between doing own work and taking it to a shop. Oddly enough, I do take my bikes to get a derailleur adjustment if it's bad enough vs me dealing with it. It's cheap plus it let's me build a relationship with the shop. For bigger stuff like building a bike, suspension work, etc I actually do it myself as long as it's not too involved or doesn't require a lot of special tools.

    I usually take my gravel bike to the shop for a tune up, since it's a once or twice a year thing and it's inexpensive enough.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    I have to look this up for no idea what any of you mean when you say "building wheels".
    measure hubs and rims (I don't trust the published measurements) to calculate spokes, pick out the right spokes, prepping the spokes, lace the hub to the rim, tension, true, tension true, destress, tension, true, ride, true one more time. the mathematical perfection of the lacing pattern is very reassuring. feeling the spokes go from limp noodles to perfectly even, taught pillars of strength is amazing. the crisp feeling of riding a new rim and spokes is nice as well.

  29. #29
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    You can typically buy the tool for less than the labor costs that shops charge for almost any job.

    Wheels are the exception IMO. Wheel building isn't a joke, you can't learn to do it well quickly, and you can't stay good at it unless you do it a lot.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    And their name is???
    Central Wheel in Farmington.
    AreBee

  31. #31
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    Nothing against truly good professional LBS mechanics, but I decided to start buying tools and learning myself 1 repair at a time after some bad experiences from an LBS 30 years ago.

    Best decision I ever made. Sure, I munged up a couple things over the years, but now I can do pretty much anything that needs doing to a bike. Every bike I buy is built from the frame up, part by part. I build my own wheels, bleed my own brakes, install my headsets and BBs, rebuild hubs, replace hub and suspension pivot bearings etc...

    I also rebuild my own forks and rear shocks provided they are user serviceable without the need for some $300 tool that I would probably use 2 times ever. And the ones that aren't are readily user serviceable get sent in or dropped off for rebuild by a professional suspension tuning service (e.g. vorsprung) or factory authorized service center (which most LBSs aren't).

    The only time I even consider taking my bike in to a shop for service is if I'm traveling and break something. Had a fork rebuilt by a reputable shop (All Mountain Cyclery in Boulder City, NV) after blowing a seal. I actually had everything I needed to rebuild the fork, including fork oil, seals, tools, but I was camping and didn't feel like rebuilding my fork by headlamp on a picnic table in 40 degree temperatures.

    It's nice to have that option to hit up an LBS for a quick repair to get you back on the bike during a riding trip. But, having the skills to fix things yourself is even more important.

    Just last weekend, I broke a rear derailleur on a riding trip. Stopped by a shop, picked up a new derailleur, and asked them how much for install since it would have been quicker to have it done than taking 45 minutes to limp back to my car where I had a spare cable, cable cutters, cable end caps etc. They said it would take them a week to get to it. OK, then, I'll take care of it myself.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    If youíre riding your bike, youíll never tune it up. Youíll constantly maintain it.
    =sParty
    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    That is a very broad statement and based on other replies IMHO quite wrong. Sitting something out and not using it would require less maintenance due to the lack of wear and tear. Using a product parts WILL wear out, things WILL need to be replaced, and things will get dirty. To think otherwise is asinine. It's like saying those people that build show cars and barely drive them need maintenance. Oh yeah change the oil and burn out the fuel and refill it with fresh fuel but that aside really? I don't know much about bikes but seriously dude!
    You clearly don't know much about bikes. You really can't compare them directly to cars, for one. Especially show cars that don't ever get dirty. You've definitely never seen bikes that have suffered from neglect. Those bikes definitely need the "tune up" service from a shop on an annual basis. Show cars aren't ignored when they aren't being driven. Storage is done with care. If bikes were treated this way, they wouldn't need as much service, either. But too many aren't treated this way when they're put away. They're kept on porches, on racks in the elements, in barns covered in cobwebs, leaning against the wall in garages with other junk stacked against them, and so on. They get ignored for extended periods of time, and dropped off at the shop because it doesn't work right the ONE time the owner wants to ride it in the springtime. They might ride it once or twice after service, and then it goes back to being ignored and neglected.

    Maintenance on my bikes that get ridden most is a pretty constant thing. There's something that needs attention after every couple of rides. At minimum, a wipe and lube of the chain and checking tire pressure. But fairly regularly, it's a little adjustment of the derailleur, brake bleed, pad replacement, check chain wear, top up sealant, fresh grease where needed, clean out the freehub body mechanism, etc, etc. Keeps things running tip top. Waiting to do ALL of that stuff at once means that something is being ignored/neglected, because everything has different service intervals.

    If I took my bike to the shop for all of those little things, it'd be in the shop half the time and I'd never ride it. Because the shop would keep it for at least a couple days most of the time.

    I'm probably 90/10 on doing things myself vs. paying a shop. I worked in a shop for years, so I picked up quite a lot and have quite a few tools. I have a good press for bb's, but not for headset cups at this point. I have the tools to press bearings out of (and back into) my hubs, too. I also don't do wheel builds. I had to have my fatbike wheels rebuilt over the winter, because I kept breaking spokes. I also needed to service my dropper post this year. It's a Thomson, so the shop had to send it directly to Thomson for service (I paid the shop). I do suspension service myself. It's easy enough on most of them to replace seals and fluids. I don't have a hanger alignment gauge yet, but I really need to get one. That's a pretty simple thing to address at home if you've got the tool.

    I work with some heavier equipment at work and we do a decent amount of preventive maintenance to keep larger problems down. Big wood chipper, mini ex, skid steer, mini skid steer, several utility vehicles, etc. We hit the grease ports quite frequently on those things. And these things have a TON of grease ports. Our insurance company wanted us to run through a 16 point checklist for our vehicles DAILY. Management negotiated that down to weekly. We were already doing fluid checks on a weekly basis, though. I clean and maintain the chainsaws after EVERY use. We do regular maintenance on lawnmowers, trimmers, blowers, etc. If we neglected all of that stuff until there was a notable problem, and then sent them to the applicable shop for repairs and dealing with the fact that we never maintained our own $hit, costs would be astronomical. We're in the process of hiring a small engine guy ourselves so we can do even more work in-house on a more preventive basis. Less downtime is a major reason for that.

    And that's a major reason why I do so much of my own service on my bikes. Less downtime. The more I do on a preventive level, the more riding I can do while I wait for parts or tools. Or, alternatively, I can stock up on stuff I know I'm going to need, so that when I need it, there's no waiting at all. Most stuff on my bikes that would need replacing would involve waiting for parts while the bike sits in the shop, anyway. My brake pad preferences are particular enough that it's rare that a shop carries exactly what I need, anyway. Only things that most shops keep in stock that my bikes would need would be chains. Maybe cassettes, and maybe chainrings, depending on the bike. But I have enough bikes with enough different stuff on them, that most shops would have to order SOMETHING if I brought the bike in with a problem. I keep rigid seatposts around so that if/when I need to take a dropper post off for service, I can put a rigid post on and keep riding. Some shops might do that for a customer, but I've encountered more that don't. So if you don't have a spare post, your bike is out of service completely until the dropper is finished. Might be weeks.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    measure hubs and rims (I don't trust the published measurements) to calculate spokes, pick out the right spokes, prepping the spokes, lace the hub to the rim, tension, true, tension true, destress, tension, true, ride, true one more time. the mathematical perfection of the lacing pattern is very reassuring. feeling the spokes go from limp noodles to perfectly even, taught pillars of strength is amazing. the crisp feeling of riding a new rim and spokes is nice as well.
    Or I can just buy a wheel already built and slap on the tube and tire which I don't know how to do but since people do it while they are riding can't be that hard.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You clearly don't know much about bikes. You really can't compare them directly to cars, for one....
    I take it you clearly didn't read my OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    ...So I ask you, do you do tuneups yourself or have a bike mechanic do it?

    If yourself, what is the best way for me to learn how to do it?

    I live in CT so if anyone is willing to school me I am all in.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    Or I can just buy a wheel already built and slap on the tube and tire which I don't know how to do but since people do it while they are riding can't be that hard.
    I build wheels when
    A. a ready-built wheel with the hub and rim combo I want is not available, which is true most of the time, or
    B. I already have a hub or rim that I want to use but not the whole wheel. if you have a nice set up hubs and taco a rim, there's no reason to throw away a $200-500 hub because you don't want to be bothered to lace it to a new rim. I have a wheel set with Arch EX rims on my gravel bike right now and the rear hub is crap. rather than buy a new wheel, I am rebuilding it with a used hub and new spokes for less than $100. after that, I'll have a super nice wheel with a White Industries hub and freewheel. that does not exist as a complete, stock wheel and getting one built up would cost a few hundred bucks.
    C. making something yourself that is better than anything pre-built and costs less is way more satisfying than buying just anything and slapping it on your bike.

    and who used tubes in their tires? this is 2018.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    Nothing against truly good professional LBS mechanics, but I decided to start buying tools and learning myself 1 repair at a time after some bad experiences from an LBS 30 years ago.
    I moonlight as a bike mechanic, and I actually encourage people to do exactly what you're talking about in your post here. Bicycles are pretty simple outside of a few things that take some in depth knowledge and specialty tools. With YouTube and some affordable tools, the average person should be able to do basic maintenance to their bike.

    I will never understand why people bring their $9000 bikes to me to put a new chain on. You can buy a chain breaker for a one time cost of $10 (drop $20-$30 if you want a nicer one) and it takes a few minutes at most. Same with adjusting a rear derailleur. 10 minutes on YouTube and a little tinkering and anyone could get their shifting dialed in.

    If you need an internal dropper routed or a fork rebuilt, I get it. That's a little more difficult and takes a stand and some working room that most people don't have available.

  37. #37
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    I say we allow bicycles to remain mysterious so that good bike mechanics can stay in business. don't touch your bike! lubing a chain is voodoo!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I say we allow bicycles to remain mysterious so that good bike mechanics can stay in business. don't touch your bike! lubing a chain is voodoo!
    Please no... I have people come into the shop all the time because their "bike is making a funny noise". It's always something ridiculous like the wheel is about to fall out of the rear dropouts because the axle is insanely loose. I wish people would at a bare minimum learn to lube their chain and check obvious things like axle tightness.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    I wish people would at a bare minimum learn to lube their chain and check obvious things like axle tightness.
    for most shops, that kind of ignorance is their bread-and-butter. and it makes hilarious stories! I have too many to count.

  40. #40
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    Sad to say but based on my experience working in bike shops most people are better off paying someone else to do the work for them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    It's always something ridiculous like the wheel is about to fall out of the rear dropouts because the axle is insanely loose.
    Just going to say, this is how shops stay in business. Not a lot of hope for these souls...
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    ...and who used tubes in their tires? this is 2018.
    I watch YouTube videos constantly of the stuff I am into which includes bikes. I am seeing videos that were recorded in 2018 and before of people taking long trips and talking about fixing their tube, or talk about bringing tube patches and so on.

  43. #43
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    For anyone new to bike maintenance and wondering about fixing things yourself, the two most important tools you need are desire and determination. There are so many resources available these days that you can learn if you keep trying to learn.

    10 years ago I was starting out with just replacing tires v-brake pads and since then I've worked my way up to doing everything except a wheel build so far. All thanks to the Park tools site, this forum, and youtube. And that gave me confidence to start tackling sizable car repairs too.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    I watch YouTube videos constantly of the stuff I am into which includes bikes. I am seeing videos that were recorded in 2018 and before of people taking long trips and talking about fixing their tube, or talk about bringing tube patches and so on.
    mountain bikers? for touring and road riding sure, but only a few retrogrouch holdouts are still using tubes if they can help it.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    mountain bikers? for touring and road riding sure, but only a few retrogrouch holdouts are still using tubes if they can help it.
    Tubeless is just a fad, so are presta valves. Just wait...

    I still run them on bikes I don't routinely ride, the ones I leave up in Colorado over the winter for sure. Found out after trying to keep bikes up there over extended periods that it's just a total pain to deal with tubeless in that case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    mountain bikers? for touring and road riding sure, but only a few retrogrouch holdouts are still using tubes if they can help it.
    Why not? I'm getting about one flat every 3 years with tubes and I don't like running super low pressure; also I prefer narrower tires, just mounted up 2.25s. I've thought about it but it sounds like it would just be a lot of hassle and ongoing hassle with little real benefit for me.

    And I may or may not be a retrogrouch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    Tubeless is just a fad, so are presta valves. Just wait...

    I still run them on bikes I don't routinely ride, the ones I leave up in Colorado over the winter for sure. Found out after trying to keep bikes up there over extended periods that it's just a total pain to deal with tubeless in that case.

    I dunno, I had 3 tube flats in 4 days and so tubeless is looking better and better, even if I have to pay the LBS to do it, it would save money long-term compared with $10-15 tubes at this rate... And I do agree that the tubeless feel on dirt is much better than with a tube.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Why not? I'm getting about one flat every 3 years with tubes and I don't like running super low pressure; also I prefer narrower tires, just mounted up 2.25s. I've thought about it but it sounds like it would just be a lot of hassle and ongoing hassle with little real benefit for me.

    And I may or may not be a retrogrouch.

    It really depends on where you bike; if you are going over a lot of thorns or chipped rocks, eventually you are going to get a flat with a tube. I don't know why but they come in bunches. Last year, no tube flats in 8 months and then just last week 3 flats, all different causes. I don't mind tubes but this is getting ridiculous.
    Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres: quod Belgiae, quod Celtae, et quod Aquitainae.

  49. #49
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    You are in SoCal, we must run tubeless.
    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I dunno, I had 3 tube flats in 4 days and so tubeless is looking better and better, even if I have to pay the LBS to do it, it would save money long-term compared with $10-15 tubes at this rate... And I do agree that the tubeless feel on dirt is much better than with a tube.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Why not? I'm getting about one flat every 3 years with tubes and I don't like running super low pressure; also I prefer narrower tires, just mounted up 2.25s. I've thought about it but it sounds like it would just be a lot of hassle and ongoing hassle with little real benefit for me.

    And I may or may not be a retrogrouch.
    Lol when I saw that post, I thought of you right away.

    Not because of the "retrogrouch" comment.

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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Sad to say but based on my experience working in bike shops most people are better off paying someone else to do the work for them.
    Whoever doesn't like to work on their bike and/or is not mechanically inclined goes to the LBS. But that doesn't mean they should not learn how to change a tire or adjust their rear derailleur. What's funny is that when I was younger on BMX or road bikes, I never remembered having a problem with them. Just occasional pumping of air into tires, once in a while messing with the derailleur in back, that was it. I don't even remember oiling the chain. And now with a mountain bike it's constant tweaking and supervision, I assume because it rides on much rougher terrain.
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I say we allow bicycles to remain mysterious so that good bike mechanics can stay in business. don't touch your bike! lubing a chain is voodoo!
    Who uses chains? This is 2018.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    So I ask you, do you do tuneups yourself or have a bike mechanic do it?

    If yourself, what is the best way for me to learn how to do it?

    When I first started riding, many, many years ago, I just had the bike store do all my maintenance. But I quickly learned that while they SAY I'm a valued customer, I have to wait in line like everyone else. They might keep my bike for a week to do a simple task.

    Soon, I decided that a highly compensated guy with impeccable mechanical skills should NOT have to wait for some kid to "get around" to fixing his bike. In actuality, I can do the task in the time it takes to throw my bike in the truck and drive the single mile to the bike store. Further, I can do better work. Even more compelling, I can usually have parts delivered to my door tomorrow, while the bike stores can take several days and charge much more.

    If you want to "do it yourself," you'd better first have some degree of mechanical skill. If you can't already fix things, then I don't have advice. Also, you need to have tools. My garage contains a LOT of tools, but you can get by with a couple hundred bucks worth of bike-specific tools. If you have these prerequisite items, but lack specific knowledge, you can always turn to MTBR and Youtube for advice. If you turn on your A Game and pay attention to detail, you'll be up-to-speed in no time.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    I take it you clearly didn't read my OP.
    Yes, I read it. Your previous statement that I quoted was patently ridiculous because you don't understand enough to make a legitimate assessment of Sparty's comment. He's 100% correct, and the rest of my post went on to detail WHY. You clearly missed that whole point, too.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one ring View Post
    Where's the option for, "I pay someone to do it for me after I **** up trying to do it myself?"
    Don't know about bike shops, but in my line it doesn't bother me a bit. I charge by the hour.

  56. #56
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    I don't let anyone touch my bike. I won't even buy a complete bike. I'd rather build it myself. The last complete bike I bought was 20 years ago.

    I've only had a shop touch two parts in 33 years of riding and racing, and they did a crap job. I had Jensens install a bolt on axle and they didn't seat the bearings correctly. I had a shop in Mammoth rebuild my fork that was leaking badly. I suspect they reused the seals because it was still leaking. I brought it back before I drove home and asked for the old seals. On the drive home, I got a call that they had forgot a retaining clip.

    Park Tools has instructional videos for every part ever made for bikes. For instance, if you need to rebuild a ball bearing square taper BB, it's on their site.
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  57. #57
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    Buy a frame and do a build, that's how I learned.
    I also keep a quick reference notepad file to remind which way to turn the bolt or barrel adjuster on which side when it's been a while and I've forgotten everything.

  58. #58
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    Do everything but suspension service and wheels.

    Sometimes pay for brake service if I don't have the parts or bleeding kit.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abox View Post
    Buy a frame and do a build, that's how I learned.
    I also keep a quick reference notepad file to remind which way to turn the bolt or barrel adjuster on which side when it's been a while and I've forgotten everything.
    If you have a kid, this is an amazing way to get them into the sport and to have a clue about everything it takes for a bike to work, not to mention they learn a lot of skill in general working with all the tools and everything. Did a build with my daughter and we had a great time. Probably better to have some clue yourself first, but otherwise they can learn a ton from it.
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  60. #60
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    I have a phenomenal relationship with my local shop, so I purchase my parts etc from them. Then, they let me borrow a stand and do the work myself. Keeps my tool cost down, and provides them with a ridiculous amount of cheap advertising...

    Iíll cheerfully admit that itís a unique relationship, and quite rare, but it works for me.
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  61. #61
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    I spent 15 years working in bike shops in the 80's and 90's and haven't let anyone else work on my bikes since. I do have a couple of friends who own local shops and I would trust their expertise, but I don't want to wait several days for the repairs. Maintenance on my bikes is almost constant, but I build my bikes to be cheap and easy to maintain and I keep backup parts and maintenance items at home so I have them when I need them. I also like to build my bikes with similar builds so that parts are interchangeable between bikes. Knowing how to do everything on the bike means I have to try pretty hard to be stranded by a mechanical.


    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    I actually had everything I needed to rebuild the fork, including fork oil, seals, tools, but I was camping and didn't feel like rebuilding my fork by headlamp on a picnic table in 40 degree temperatures.
    I rebuilt a Mavic rear hub by headlamp on a picnic table in 40 degree temperatures a couple of years ago in Walden, Colorado. No bike shop around.

  62. #62
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    I needed my fork serviced and figured a custom tune would be good too, so I knocked it out in a couple hours after dinner. Rode the next day!

    I like my bike to be perfect, so a couple minutes of tinkering is a common occurrence. No way I could keep that up if I had to use a shop. Even if it was free, the downtime would blow my season.

    That could have been a month out, plus shipping, plus at least a couple hundred bucks if I had to pay.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    Free Lifetime tune ups are a scam.

    They may adjust your derailleurs and perhaps your brakes, but anything else they will charge you for.

    Learn to do it yourself and save the time of having to take it down, drop it off and wait days to get it back.
    Eh, depends on the shop.

    Arguably, my experience might be what could be classified as warranty work vs. maintenance, but that's kinda pushing it I think.

    I've had my Stumpy in a few times and they've resolved backpedal chain drop, loose crank preload that was causing some annoying noise/chainline issues under power, tweaked a few teeth on the 50t cog that got bent in a minor crash, and of course the typical 'tune up' activities while it was there each time. Never a penny charged.

    I do concur that it's worth learning to do work yourself, obtain quality tools to do so, etc. I only take it in when I encounter an issue that has me stumped, which is (so far) pretty rare.

    The things that are usually explicitly included in the 'free tune up' offerings are just easier done at home in a few minutes vs. driving to a shop, dropping the bike off, waiting however long for them to get around to it and do their thing, drive back, pick up, etc.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I bet 70% of the regular members here worked for the industry at one point. just saying.
    True of some forums, but I doubt it here.

    I am sure you could train a chimp to do what bike shop mechanics do. Bikes are not complicated, and if some minimum wage nose picker high school kid can figure it out, so can you.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    True of some forums, but I doubt it here.

    I am sure you could train a chimp to do what bike shop mechanics do. Bikes are not complicated, and if some minimum wage nose picker high school kid can figure it out, so can you.
    That is profoundly ignorant.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    I am sure you could train a chimp to do what bike shop mechanics do.

    Maybe, but it's actually a lot easier to train a chimp to be an investment portfolio manager.
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  67. #67
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    It seems to me tuneups are beside the point. You said you wanted the bike sooner and to do that you had to go another route.

    Mission accomplished!

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Lol when I saw that post, I thought of you right away.

    Not because of the "retrogrouch" comment.

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    I've been thinking of tires and rims a lot lately, they are so important to match up to what you are doing out there.

    If someone is running skinnier tires then no, they don't need to go tubeless, I don't really see why they would. You have to have a higher psi in a skinny tire and that kind of defeats the purpose of going tubeless. But start going 2.35 and wider, then tubeless becomes more and more relevant.

    My plan is to finish wearing out a few tires on the front and back and then buy Maxxis 2.8 front 2.6 rear and make them tubeless. Need to go from 3x to 2x on the front derailleur to accommodate the 2.6 in back though (it's not the frame that's restricting the wider tire, it's the front derailleur/chain in the 1st chainring). Sorry to disappoint everyone but I'll go 22/36 9-speed instead of 1x10. 1x10 even with 11-46 does not have enough total range for someone in a very hilly area. And no I'm not going to spend $1500 on a Shimano 1x12 setup lol.
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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    If someone is running skinnier tires then no, they don't need to go tubeless, I don't really see why they would.

    Fewer flat tires? Less fixing = more riding.
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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Like the OP, I'm not as experienced as most of you. I do agree w/Sparticus though, a bike sitting around is going to get rusty, and will need to be revived. Wearing things out is normal, and good because it means you are riding it.

    I didn't change my drive-train for over a year, then I went 1x but I keep my drivetrains clean,and lubed that's regular maintenance in m eyes.

    As for the question, once a year I take it to the shop for a full overhaul, other than that I try to keep things clean. My key factor is also time, so big jobs go to the LBS.

    I'm a bit confused about 'changing' your drivetrain even if it's still working.

    I have my backup bike in an LBS that I haven't used before, and they recommended an entire drivetrain overhaul. Only one problem, the bike still shifts fine. Why not wait until there is an actual problem before replacing stuff, especially if they are recommending the whole drivetrain. Even if you get a serious problem later, OK you replace the drivetrain then, big deal. It's not like a car where you don't add oil and then later the engine burns up. It's just a bike. Ride it until there is a problem that you can't fix in your garage, bring it in, pay money, ride it again, no need to overanalyze.
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Fewer flat tires? Less fixing = more riding.

    I guess what I was trying to get at is:

    Skinny tire on dirt = easy area for riding, not a lot of chipped rocks, loose dirt, solid obstacles, maybe some thorns, but if it's hardpack and relatively smooth, then not much is going to make a tube flat. Roadbikes have skinny tires and they rarely get flat tubes compared with mountain biking in rougher areas on dirt. No offense to anyone, but a lot of this 'lighter' riding on dirt is not much different than road biking off-road. Just because it's on dirt doesn't mean it's the same as really tough trails in the hills that have loose rocks, loose dirt, and all kinds of other obstacles that can cause a tube flat. Not all dirt is created equal.

    If the riding environment is harsher, then that more or less forces someone to go with wider tires and then their tube flats will increase with tire width and correspondingly lower psi.
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  72. #72
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    When I upgraded my dt, it was needed, I have the cassette some where in the shed, it was way overdue. Plus I got a dropper and really could use the room for the remote. Also the front rings were in bad shape. Now, it will hopefully last another 1200miles.
    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I'm a bit confused about 'changing' your drivetrain even if it's still working.

    I have my backup bike in an LBS that I haven't used before, and they recommended an entire drivetrain overhaul. Only one problem, the bike still shifts fine. Why not wait until there is an actual problem before replacing stuff, especially if they are recommending the whole drivetrain. Even if you get a serious problem later, OK you replace the drivetrain then, big deal. It's not like a car where you don't add oil and then later the engine burns up. It's just a bike. Ride it until there is a problem that you can't fix in your garage, bring it in, pay money, ride it again, no need to overanalyze.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I'm a bit confused about 'changing' your drivetrain even if it's still working.

    Plenty of people just ride it out until it stops working entirely or something breaks, nothing wrong with that really.

    However other people (e.g. me) replace chains before they're totally worn so they can use several chains on one cassette and chainring and retain smooth, reliable shifting and also reduce their chance of having any problems in the field, like a broken chain.

    Also it depends a lot on how much you ride, one persons year is another's decade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I guess what I was trying to get at is:

    Skinny tire on dirt = easy area for riding, not a lot of chipped rocks, loose dirt, solid obstacles, maybe some thorns, but if it's hardpack and relatively smooth, then not much is going to make a tube flat.

    It depends where you ride. Around here I'm more likely to flat on dirt/gravel roads or atv trails than on singletrack because that's where the goatheads live.

    If you don't need it you don't need it, for me though tubeless was a revelation and I couldn't imagine going back.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I guess what I was trying to get at is:

    Skinny tire on dirt = easy area for riding, not a lot of chipped rocks, loose dirt, solid obstacles, maybe some thorns, but if it's hardpack and relatively smooth, then not much is going to make a tube flat. Roadbikes have skinny tires and they rarely get flat tubes compared with mountain biking in rougher areas on dirt. No offense to anyone, but a lot of this 'lighter' riding on dirt is not much different than road biking off-road. Just because it's on dirt doesn't mean it's the same as really tough trails in the hills that have loose rocks, loose dirt, and all kinds of other obstacles that can cause a tube flat. Not all dirt is created equal.

    If the riding environment is harsher, then that more or less forces someone to go with wider tires and then their tube flats will increase with tire width and correspondingly lower psi.
    Lol, bring your bike and we'll go for some of that "easy area for riding". The trees, roots and rocks are pretty solid around here. When was the last time you clipped your handlebar?
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  76. #76
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    Hi,

    I vote to do the tune up myself. I have done that on pretty much everything I own. Being new again to biking I will be doing my own work. If I canít I will get rid of the bike to someone who can.

    I hate dropping anything off and waiting to see how much they are going to soak you for. I understand some things you need to have done but for most they can be done myself.

  77. #77
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    For me it depends on either time, or money.
    I recently dropped my bike off at the shop to replace sealant in a tire. I dropped it off a lunch and picked it up on the way to the group ride. After having to air it up too frequently I decided I didn't want to mess with a puncture ON a ride. So off to the shop it went.

    I recently dropped it at the same shop to replace a rear derailleur cable housing and hanger adjustment. I could have done it, but didn't feel like running the housing through the internal frame. I had them do the hanger adjustment since it was already there. Plus, the shop wasn't very busy and I was able to throw a few bucks at them. Nothing wrong with keeping a local shop in business a few bucks at a time. Fast forward, this morning I straightened the hanger myself. No big deal. Been tired of sloppy shifting so I addressed it.

    As far as "tune-up's" it isn't likely I will drop it at the shop, unless it's for like I mentioned above, to throw money at the shop for revenue.
    You can easily learn how to check your chain and sprockets. Cable adjustment is easy for your shifters, once you understand how the system works. Bleeding Shimano brakes is easy. Replacing brake pads is easy. Generally speaking, changing cables is easy as well. Those are good tune-up options in my opinion.

    You can straighten a hanger at home, but maybe build up to that type of maintenance until you have an understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. $15 to have crisp shifting is well worth it in my mind. $70 for the Park took though, better plan on using it often enough. Or, like me today, it paid for itself as my hanger was bent pretty bad and I got to fix my sloppy shifting on a Sunday morning.

    Of course it depends too on one's mechanical aptitude. If you are good with you hands and understand the mechanical aspect of fixing things then a lot of stuff you can tinker with at home and learn in the process.

    I am fortunate enough now a days to choose if I want to pay for labor or not. I replaced my drivetrain after purchasing the tools. I did have to have a shop break the crank arm bolt loose though, for fear I was doing something incorrectly. I have a reputation with them and do buy products and have labor done there, so they were happy to remove my crank. It is easy work and now having the tools I can do it whenever I feel up for it.

    I do like to purchase parts locally when it makes sense. I got the chain ring from them but I ordered a chain and cassette, same price as LBS but for the next level up product.

    We all think we are better than the mechanics. Sometimes that is true. It is not true for me. They do work every day, I do not, or have never done it. I have enough common knowledge to know right from wrong sometimes. For instance, fork service was done but the caliper was reinstalled with the hose on the outside of the fork. So I rerouted it. No biggie and not the end of the world. That's just an experience thing though. I like the shop to do the work I don' know how to do but don't have the desire to deal with.
    I had rear wheel bearings replaced. Wasn't sure how to remove the freehub body and didn't feel like learning it. On the flip side, I enjoyed changing wheel bearings on dirt bike. Go figure.

    So for me, I have what I feel is a happy balance with paying for some minor services or performing work myself. And I assume I will have more challenging work performed at the shop.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    Free Lifetime tune ups are a scam.

    They may adjust your derailleurs and perhaps your brakes, but anything else they will charge you for.
    How is that a scam? It's a pretty valuable resource for most casual riders (not mtb, like hybrid types). On a MTB it is true that typically a bike will need more than is covered, but you'll still get that part of the service for free.

    At the shop I work at we call it 'lifetime adjustments' not tune ups and are very clear about what it includes and what it doesn't. When one of our bikes come in we do what would normally be a $60 tune with a wait for free and same day... That's huge for many of our customers.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    How is that a scam? It's a pretty valuable resource for most casual riders (not mtb, like hybrid types). On a MTB it is true that typically a bike will need more than is covered, but you'll still get that part of the service for free.

    At the shop I work at we call it 'lifetime adjustments' not tune ups and are very clear about what it includes and what it doesn't. When one of our bikes come in we do what would normally be a $60 tune with a wait for free and same day... That's huge for many of our customers.
    As you say.....it is in the terminology. Most shops refer to it as a Free Lifetime Tune Ups.....yet they rarely specify what is included in that service. It was different back in the days when you had 2 derailluers and rim brakes. Now with so much more items on the bike requiring "maintenance" and adjustments....shops are giving that away for free. They aren't checking/bleeding brakes, checking that BB's are torqued...some will do a quick wheel true.

    Sounds like you have one of the good shops.....unfortunately, you are outnumbered 10:1 by the bad shops out there.
    Bicycles donít have motors or batteries.

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  80. #80
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    I worked at a shop that offered "free adjustments" for the life of the bike. We had customers who brought their bike in once a month for years for the free adjustments. Every few visits, we'd recommend new replacement parts or an advanced service that would cost extra, but a lot of our labor was not directly paid. That shop still turned a healthy profit in the service department, perhaps because we kept people from riding worn out brake pads and chains. We didn't tell people to do work they didn't need at all. It was a win-win for the shop and clientele.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    As you say.....it is in the terminology. Most shops refer to it as a Free Lifetime Tune Ups.....yet they rarely specify what is included in that service. It was different back in the days when you had 2 derailluers and rim brakes. Now with so much more items on the bike requiring "maintenance" and adjustments....shops are giving that away for free. They aren't checking/bleeding brakes, checking that BB's are torqued...some will do a quick wheel true.

    Sounds like you have one of the good shops.....unfortunately, you are outnumbered 10:1 by the bad shops out there.
    To be fair, it's something we've adjusted over the past couple years due to feedback like yours here. We used to say 'free lifetime tune ups' but customers were hearing 'everything your bike could ever need done is free.' Now we say adjustments and I basically tell them 'if I can turn a screw and fix your problem I'll do it for free while you wait.' That does include wheel truing if it can be done on the bike.

    We also always go over bikes fully and lube chains, inflate tires when we see them. So if you come in for a 'lifetime adjustment' I'm going to check everything on the bike, literally, and adjust anything that is a quick fix while I do so. That way I tell you what I did, what still needs done and an estimate for the extra work if any is needed... To a casual rider who just dragged their bike out of the garage after a year that is a huge help to getting them rolling, especially since the free stuff often gets the bike rolling well enough.

    Again, for a mountain biker this is less of an asset. Most MTBers can do the basic adjustments themselves and many won't come in until they break something. I'll say something like 'I adjusted your derailleur a bit, so shifting should be better, but we still need to get a new wheel since you tacoed it.' Somehow that seems like less of a win for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I worked at a shop that offered "free adjustments" for the life of the bike. We had customers who brought their bike in once a month for years for the free adjustments. Every few visits, we'd recommend new replacement parts or an advanced service that would cost extra, but a lot of our labor was not directly paid. That shop still turned a healthy profit in the service department, perhaps because we kept people from riding worn out brake pads and chains. We didn't tell people to do work they didn't need at all. It was a win-win for the shop and clientele.
    I encourage this. When I sell a bike I tell them to bring it in each season for a quick look over to avoid more expensive issues. It's great when we catch a screw backing out before it causes a failure, or something along those lines.

    Not only does it give the customer warm and fuzzies, but it keeps them coming back. They grab a water bottle, some Gu, maybe even check out new bikes. If it's needed we sell additional parts and service, but as you said we don't recommend anything that isn't needed and actually have no issue saying 'X part is pretty worn, but it'll be OK for a bit longer if you want to wait.' Customers appreciate that and often say 'just do it.'

    It's interesting, because my shop has discussed ending the program several times. Apparently many shops have stopped giving free service beyond maybe the first tune up. I'm glad we have kept the policy, it makes it easy for me to keep customers feeling like the shop is really an advocate for them rather than just a retailer.

  82. #82
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    I'm retired and always have a bike on the 4 wheel poptop camper. Because we like to go to very isolated places, I have to be able to fix many things on the bike. I only go to the shop for repairs that I need special tools for and won't do more than once or twice (like bottom bracket changeouts).

    For instance, I lost my front derailleur cable on the old 26er at the naked hippie hot springs in Saline Valley last week. I was stuck in low - also known as slow. I did have a cable and changed it out in an hour or so. Then, of course, I had to readjust the cables to shift OK. Not the toughest job and one you can learn quickly on youtube. I really like the Park Tool videos with that tall skinny guy. He's thorough, knows his stuff, and professional.
    My mantra: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Ski

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