Learn the basics of bike repair at home

It's spring! Time to watch some videos that will teach you how to tune-up and repair your own bike. (Not that I would need a pre-spring tune-up, of course. I've totally been riding all winter. Yeah. Totally.)


    1. I’ve been riding all winter (about 15~20 miles/day), and my bike looks showroom new; i do all my own work for the last few years. Once you get into the mode, it’s pretty easy to keep up, doesn’t take all that long. Most work consists of quick lube and wipedown; clean, lubed components require less adjusting.

      chain lube tip:
      One thing i’ve done is to eschew all those chain lubes and paraffin chain dips. Now days i just keep the chain liberally wetted with plain old motor oil (currently Mobil 1). It keeps water off the metal, it’s easy to clean off/replentish after a wet/gunky day and … it’s like 30 or 40 times cheaper than all that Race Day crap. Being so cheap, i find that i’m much more likely to use it. oh, and WD40 is NOT SUITABLE AS LUBE, although it’s a great cleaning aid.

      I highly recommend a bike shop stand, makes work a lot easier.

  1. All those things on how to tweak external cables and what. This is why I prefer internal 3-speed hubs… okay, one cable. And a brake. Maybe.

  2. I learned to fine tune a bike after it’s been in storage the hard way. My son was ready to go on his first real bike ride, with training wheels and helmet, on the park trails . Yeah! So I packed up his bike and mine, which is a rather nice mountain bike. It had been in storage for a couple years, waiting for this moment.

    A quick check and we were off. After a 30 minute ride, we were almost back to the car. I decided to show the kid how fast daddy could go. Kicked it into high gear and pedaled hard. Unfortunately the rear wheel nuts were not 100% tight. I managed to rip the rear wheel loose, which jammed it forward, instantly locking it up. This shot me forward over the handlebars (which conveniently dipped as the front shocks compressed, clearing the way for my flight).

    Here comes the pavement at my face! I “cushioned” my fall by putting my right hand out, arm straight. After 3 days of swelling and pain, I went to the doc. A radial head fracture. I still don’t have full mobility back.

    So for want of a couple extra minutes checking over my bike, I’ve wasted tons of cash and time and spent months in pain.

    Oh, and as I lay screaming on the ground, my son comes up to me and says “Daddy, you need training wheels!” Doh!

  3. I found these the other day, looking for how to repair the bottom bracket on my bike, as it makes a horrible clanking, squeaking sound. They’re very handy.

  4. I learned from The Bike Bag Book 30 years ago when I was 12. Worked well until I received my set of Barnett’s a few years ago.

  5. all that you need to become entirely proficient in bicycle maintenance is Sheldon Brown


    sadly died a couple of years ago but his website lives on as the best source of information around, especially if your bike is a little older.

  6. I normally do ride all winter. Had too many time constraints this winter but I’ve been riding for 3 weeks now. I’ll be glad when the temps are > 20*F in the morning.

    For those wanting a really good book on bike maintenance, I suggest the Park Tools Big Blue Book. I bought a couple others before that one. It’s the best I’ve found, and the only one that I actually sat down and read just for fun.

  7. I cycled all winter, but that’s not a big deal in London. The couple of times it snowed hardly delayed me.

    I did replace the chain and cassette last month, which was much easier than I’d been told it would be. It was less fiddly than fixing a puncture on the rear wheel, anyway. I complained it cost me £30, but a colleague spent £700 fixing her car, which made me happier :-).

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