Bike Wrenching and Maintenance
After several failed attempts at getting local bike shops to do correct work on my bike, I decided it was time to start learning bike maintenance and wrenching on my own.
In one specific instance, I was riding a local trail one hour after getting a new fork installed, and the front brake fell off during a downhill. It was at that point I realized that if I wanted it done correctly, I needed to learn how to do it myself. That next day, I went out and bought an Ultimate repair stand and several essential tools.
If you are even semi-mechanically inclined, bike maintenance is actually pretty easy. Essentially you are working with very simple parts that are all driven by cables or man power (sometimes hydraulic). I would venture to say that 95% of riders are able to perform basic bike maintenance if they gave it a shot. What you will find, at least I did, is that it becomes a hobby/passion as much as the actual riding does. A great way to clear my head these days is to put the bike in the stand and get to work. This hard work pays off in spades on the trail and I enjoy doing it. Most importantly, I know it is done right.
I started off just adjusting dérailleurs and simple greasing…now it is not out of the ordinary to see brake bleeding, line cutting and fork rebuilding going on inside my garage.
Over the years I have found two websites that you really can not live without in the wrenching world.
Unless something drastically changes in the biking world in the next couple of years, Sheldon’s website will be an invaluable resource for years to come. His passing last Feburary was a huge hit for the biking community, but his legacy will live on through memories and his website. His website is one of the best resources for bike wrenching and information. At SheldonBrown.com, you will find everything from fork rebuilds to dérailleur adjusting. I don’t think there is one subject that isn’t covered, so if you can’t find it here…it probably shouldn’t be done. It is also a great place to see his thoughts on trends and parts from a guy who had been around the biking community for a very long time.
Big surprise here…the leading manufacturer in bike tools has an incredible site on bike maintenance. Follow their bike map to find exactly which section of the bike that you need to work on. These instruction manuals have great step by step instructions that are aided by pictures. Park Tool also includes the exact part number of their tool that you need to complete the job. This will help when trying to decide on the tools that you need to purchase for your needs.
What do you think?