What would be the best way to learn how to work on my bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Idea! What would be the best way to learn how to work on my bike?

    Ive been riding bike now for a while so i know how to 'get by' like my brakes and lil thing but i would like to learn how to tune my bike.

    what would be a good way to start i know a lot about mechanics just need to learn my way around the bike.

    ohh i have a GT avalanche just in case

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Get a copy of Zinn's. Lot's of good advice.

  3. #3
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    The Park Tool website is great. I find looking up youtube videos of the repair or maintenance I need to do helps a bunch. I just got a great book for Christmas called "Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance".

    My biggest learning experiences so far have probably been trial and error though. Once I mess something up and then make it right again I usually remember how it works better in the long run. Which kind of sucks, but its only my own bikes I'm working on and I'm better off overall by knowing.

  4. #4
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    Agree with the two responses above. I use both resources, however, when you're in your shop, it's really convenient having a copy of Zinn's right at your fingertips. I have an old copy from the late 90's that I still use today.

  5. #5
    Natural Born Killer
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    The simple answer it seems to me would be to buy the necessary tools to completely disassemble your bike, then put it back together and tune it up till runs right.

    P.S. You probably wouldn't need to disassemble your hubs and wheels, or remove your headset cups but you could if you wanted to. The Park Tool and Sheldon Brown websites are great resources.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddyjaycountdown
    Ive been riding bike now for a while so i know how to 'get by' like my brakes and lil thing but i would like to learn how to tune my bike.

    what would be a good way to start i know a lot about mechanics just need to learn my way around the bike.

    ohh i have a GT avalanche just in case

    thanks
    Like they say get the books go on-line....

    And remember basically if you don't force or bust anything it is gonna cost the same for the shop to tune it up even if you have completely screwed it up....

    Then watch the guy tune it up .....really it will take you several tries to get it down pat...that is tuning the RD and FD.

  7. #7
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    Read what you need here. Then go and do it. You'll likely screw something up at some point, but in the long run you'll save a lot of money and the convinced of knowing how to do it yourself is priceless.

  8. #8
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    Go to your favorite Local Bike Shop with a case of beer every friday for a month. Then follow the next month with a six pack of more costly beer while they test your knowledge.
    By spring you'll either know all you care to know about bike wrenching or you'll have a tight group of friends that won't let your bike go without love.

    Everything I have ever learned to do well has involved lots of error. So I defer to those who have already made those mistakes.

    Bike wrenching has always seemed like more of a black art then a science. I can't imagine a book that really contains all the tricks of the trade, but a book is a good resource to start with.

  9. #9
    offroader
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    go to park tool website and check out youtube.

  10. #10
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    The best way is to...

    ...work on someone else's bike.

  11. #11
    Off the back...
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus
    ...work on someone else's bike.

  12. #12
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    from other mechanics... at least that'll be the quickest way. Zinn's and Parktool website is also good advice.

  13. #13
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    Get a good book or two on the subject (read), be a regular visitor the these good bike forums (read more), take advantage of other good information on the internet (keep reading) and don't be afraid to dive into the intricasies of your bike and any other one's you can. The response of knowledgable guys here can get you out of situations you don't know the way out of. Offer to help your friends with bike issues with what you learn.

    +1 to Zinn, Park, Sheldon, and hands on!
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  14. #14
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    Do what is relevant to your needs.

    Mechanics is something gradually acquired. Touch and method take time. The skills around the tasks you do which are relevant to you will stay with you. The more frequently you do them the more refined your touch will become.

  15. #15
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    I started with some common sense and a decent technical sense, paid attention to how things were disassembled, reassembled them the same way. There was some trial and error involved. I also used the Park Tools website, Zinn, Sheldon Brown's website, this forum, etc. I also ask a lot of questions at the LBS, I spend a lot of money there, so they have no problem teaching me!

  16. #16
    Paul
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    http://bicycletutor.com/ has some pretty good videos.

  17. #17
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    Hey thanks guys for all the advice i know im going to mess something up, but thats the best way to learn lol

    thanks again for all the info if any of you guys come to south Florida lmk and we'll ride

  18. #18
    How much further ???
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddyjaycountdown
    Ive been riding bike now for a while so i know how to 'get by' like my brakes and lil thing but i would like to learn how to tune my bike.

    what would be a good way to start i know a lot about mechanics just need to learn my way around the bike.

    ohh i have a GT avalanche just in case

    thanks
    Buy a 5mm allen and dig in. Bicycles are the easiest thing to work on.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  19. #19
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    As noted above: Buy some books and / or visit Park and Sheldon.

    The most important thing is to TRY. Unfortunately there is no way to figure out the limit of some things without messing up. Stripping a screw, cross-threading, etc. Just consider these mistakes as part of the cost of learning.

    The tools will end up costing you the same as one or two repairs at the LBS. Example: I call the LBS about adjusting the derailleur hanger on a couple of bikes. It was going to cost more than a Park DAG-2 Derailleur Hanger Alignment Gauge. Now I have a tool for life and don’t have to leave my bike for a couple of days…. BTW – you don’t need all Park tools for occasional use. Sette and Spin Doctor are fine for the home mechanic.

    My twin boys just started riding seriously last summer. Before I would take them on the Flume Trail Loop at Spooner Summit / Lake Tahoe, I made them pull their bikes down end to end. If it moved, it was taken completely apart and greased, tuned, tweaked, etc. I could not believe how the level of confidence in their machines (and themselves) increased. Absolutely no fear of having to walk 15 miles to the trail head if it was possible to fix on the trail… Priceless!

  20. #20
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    This is another good go to resource for basic things
    http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/fix/

    And of course Sheldon Brown

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/

    Dan's Comp Tech Help is also a good basic one but involves things that only can apply to BMX bikes but it's set up to be pretty idiot proof since it's geared towards mostly younger kids.


    http://www.danscomp.com/serve.php?serve=faq&html=faqs_tech.htm


    I learned the hard stuff by becoming friends with my LBS owner who enjoys teaching people. He taught me and totally hooked me up, letting me use the facilities and tools.

  21. #21
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    Is there a bike co-op in your area? My town has one and they have wrenching classes there for free.

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