I can remember how easy it was when I was little to fix my bike. Of course, it was single gear, and the brakes were the pedals. Fixing my bike back then was more about maintaining it, than it was fixing it. Realistically the only thing that ever needed to be fixed were flats.
We’d be in Papa’s garage, my sisters and I and we’d have our bikes upside-down and one of us would be turning the pedals of the bikes while another of us oiled our chains. That was our idea of maintenance.
If we ever had a flat Papa would help us with a wrench to take the tire off and we’d fill the sink with water to find out where the hole was and we’d mark it with a yellow or red carpenters crayon (the blue didn’t show up particularly well against the black of the tube). Then we’d patch it. I don’t ever remember having to buy tubes when I was little, we always patched them. That was repair.
Even when we got our first bikes with hand brakes we didn’t do anything more to them, than what’s mentioned above. And when we got our first mountain bikes, well, I think we liked to turn them upside and play with all the moving parts but even then there was no real maintenance going on.
Things haven’t progressed much since I got my road bike. I take it in for normal tune ups and occasional overhauls, but I really don’t know how to do too much myself. I always have it checked by the nice mechanic boys at each of the Tour de Cure’s I ride in and it’s typically okay, but on occasion they’ll tweak something that I should know how to do myself.
That, and Baboo once said that if before each triathlon, I take my bike out for a quick spin and I go through all the gears and check the brakes that I’m less likely to have a mechanical error while I’m out racing.
I trust Baboo, and that’s why (or 1 of the reasons why) I want
Bicycling Magazine’s Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair for Road and Mountain Bikes.
What can I say, I need to know how to fix my bike myself, at least the little stuff. I need some additional basic skills beyond changing my tires/tubes/brake pads and lubing my chain. It’s important stuff!
To the family member that drew my name for Christmas…all my cycling friends are probably laughing at me because I don’t know all my basic cycling repair and maintenance techniques…and I can’t always take a bike boy with me on my rides, as appealing as that sounds…This book can probably be bought at any bookstore, but Amazon sells it too.