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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 02-07-12, 04:47 AM   #1
Rdrcr
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Question about doing own repairs.

I have to change the bottom bracket and rear derailleur on my Schwinn. My question is would it be something I can do on my own? I don't know much about bike repair but figured I could find videos online to help me. I have the money or the parts but can't really afford paying my lbs to do full repairs. Thanks or any advice given.
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Old 02-07-12, 04:50 AM   #2
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Hey there, research is key! If your bottom bracket is cartridge or you plan to go to that, that part is ez as pie. If not plenty of info to be had around here (the interwebz), derailer adjustment is a learning curve but not too hard at all either.. so what kind of schwinn are we talking here?
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Old 02-07-12, 05:08 AM   #3
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Hey, thanks for quick reply. It's a cheapy sidewinder. I just ordered a new fuji bike so I want to try and repair this one to have as back up. I plan on replacing the tourney derailleur with a little better one and bottom bracket I believe cartridge ones are better so if it's possible to put on bike ill go that route.
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Old 02-07-12, 06:29 AM   #4
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No problem. Go to the Park Tools website and follow the instructions there. You will need a tool for the bottom bracket, and possibly install a new shift cable.
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Old 02-07-12, 07:47 AM   #5
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Personally I really don't follow the logistics of doing something like this yourself. In Canada the charge for having a shop do the BB installation is all of $7 when the part is bought at the shop. For someone who has to ask advice on how to do this it should be a good bet to assume they don't have the specialized tools required to do the job. Tools normally used would be whatever BB tools are needed to remove the original plus whatever BB tools are needed to install the new one. Which may be different. And the new one needs to be torqued to boot? Personally can't see how this could possibly be a DIY situation that would save money, even assuming your time is worth so little it doesn't natter how long it takes to do the job.

The most I can see anyone 'saving' doing a BB and derailleur installation themselves themselves is $20 assuming the shop has to check the hanger alignment and adjust the rear gears. On the other hand what it might cost in tools could easily exceed that - excluding a torque wrench.

Last edited by Burton; 02-07-12 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 02-07-12, 09:01 AM   #6
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Buy yourself the ZINN book and save $100s each year. I bought my book years ago and it paid for itself with my first repair when I saved $60. You don't need to buy a big tool set either. Just buy GOOD quality tool when ever your repair calls for one. Then you build your set slowly as you need it. I haven't had my bike in a shop in probably 10 years or more. Now I buy my frames and build them up my self to suit, as well as lace my own wheels. It's not rocket science. Park and Sheldon browns website are great for on-line tips. There once was a free download for Barnett's whole manual.
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Old 02-07-12, 09:20 AM   #7
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Personally I really don't follow the logistics of doing something like this yourself. In Canada the charge for having a shop do the BB installation is all of $7 when the part is bought at the shop. For someone who has to ask advice on how to do this it should be a good bet to assume they don't have the specialized tools required to do the job. Tools normally used would be whatever BB tools are needed to remove the original plus whatever BB tools are needed to install the new one. Which may be different. And the new one needs to be torqued to boot? Personally can't see how this could possibly be a DIY situation that would save money, even assuming your time is worth so little it doesn't natter how long it takes to do the job.

The most I can see anyone 'saving' doing a BB and derailleur installation themselves themselves is $20 assuming the shop has to check the hanger alignment and adjust the rear gears. On the other hand what it might cost in tools could easily exceed that - excluding a torque wrench.
Your logic could be applied to any DIY repairs on any device. However, tools are a one-time expense and while they may be expensive for the first job, they are free after that. We have to assume the OP will work on this bike again in the future and on any other bikes he may own thereafter. Having the knowledge and tools already on hand can be a big time and money saver then.

Taking the bike to an LBS is not as "efficient" as you make it sound. Yes, their installation cost is reasonable but their parts cost is usually much higher than mailorder. Finally, the time needed to take the bike to the shop and, most likely, make another trip to pick it up when the work is complete can far exceed the time to do the work yourself, not to even mention gas and car expenses for the trip(s).
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Old 02-07-12, 09:49 AM   #8
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Your logic could be applied to any DIY repairs on any device. However, tools are a one-time expense and while they may be expensive for the first job, they are free after that. We have to assume the OP will work on this bike again in the future and on any other bikes he may own thereafter. Having the knowledge and tools already on hand can be a big time and money saver then.

Taking the bike to an LBS is not as "efficient" as you make it sound. Yes, their installation cost is reasonable but their parts cost is usually much higher than mailorder. Finally, the time needed to take the bike to the shop and, most likely, make another trip to pick it up when the work is complete can far exceed the time to do the work yourself, not to even mention gas and car expenses for the trip(s).
Wish I lived where you do! My experience with ordering things online is that shipping costs start at $25 and up and are non-refundable even in the event of a warranty issue. Personally I'll order on-line only as a last resort.

But I'd be interested in your experiences with BB performance. I generally get 10 years out of one so would consider tool purchases on that basis a really loooooooooog term investment!
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Old 02-07-12, 09:59 AM   #9
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I've collected tools and books over the years. Not much I won't tackle, but there are some things I'll take to the shop - especially if something is "frozen" or such. But then, it depends on the bike, too. I'm a lot more adventurous on my beaters!! But, then, I did all the wrenching on my Campy equipped Colnago.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rdrcr View Post
I have to change the bottom bracket and rear derailleur on my Schwinn. My question is would it be something I can do on my own? I don't know much about bike repair but figured I could find videos online to help me. I have the money or the parts but can't really afford paying my lbs to do full repairs. Thanks or any advice given.
Easy peasy. Doing the research first is smart, but you'd probbly be OK just diving in. Bikes are very easy, logical to work on; unless you are an 'all thumbs' person it's unlikely you'll make a big mistake. Changing derailleurs and learning how to properly adjust a new one is a good skill, it comes in handy for all your biking years.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:12 AM   #11
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Wish I lived where you do! My experience with ordering things online is that shipping costs start at $25 and up and are non-refundable even in the event of a warranty issue. Personally I'll order on-line only as a last resort.
Well, you are indeed being taken. Shipping costs here are anything from $10 to free depending on the amount I spend and the dealer I use. Many of the UK sites (Wiggle, ProBikeKit, CRC, etc) have free shipping to the US on orders of $85 or more and Jenson USA has free shipping on many items. Nashbar also runs free shipping or low cost shipping specials quite often. Between low cost shipping, car expenses and the saving in sales tax, I usually can't afford not to use mailorder.
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But I'd be interested in your experiences with BB performance. I generally get 10 years out of one so would consider tool purchases on that basis a really loooooooooog term investment!
Well, my bbs do last a long time too. Typically 30,000 miles on Shimano cartridges and I have a 6500 Ultegra Octalink with over 40,000 miles and still going strong. However, I work on several of my own bikes as well as friends and family so my tools have ammortized themselves many times over and, as I mentioned, the savings of buying mailorder plus the time and money running to the LBS make them a good deal even for infrequent use. Also, I remove, check, clean and relube the threads and reinstall all my bottom brackets with each overhaul, so, even if they aren't replaced, the tools for their r&r are used with reasonable frequency.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:05 AM   #12
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Some of that sounds good Hillrider. And like I said - I'd like to live where you do!

Well, maybe not literally, but I'd like to have the same access to those sources. Unfortunately I'm in Canada and parts here not only typically cost more than in the US (for no reason I can understand), the companies you listed don't offer free shipping to Canada.

I also find some of these postings more than a little difficult to answer.

I can see where working on multiple bikes as well as your friend's stuff might justify keeping a repair shop, but do we recommend that the guy that bought that $7 bike earlier and wants to keep costs down also buy a bunch of tools to do his own work?

And here in Montreal most people that own bikes in the city aren't even allowed to bring them in the apartment building let alone work on them. Not everyone owns their own house or have a garage and I'm sure some people in the US have similar limitations. As well as the expense, not everyone is has a high mechanical aptitude so personally I'm usually reluctant to simply recommend everyone start doing their own stuff.

In fact I've seen so many people do really dumb things and make things worse by attempting their own repairs that in many cases I really think they'd be doing themselves a favor taking it to the shop.

And you've also stated that you personally do work for your friends and family. IMO that would put you in the same category as a 'shop' so clearly you don't expect everyone that owns a bike to buy tools. Here we also have co-ops that work the same way. The whole idea is to manage overall costs effectively.

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Old 02-07-12, 11:38 AM   #13
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I realize your situation is quite different from mine and I agree that not everyone has access to the space or has the ability to do their own repairs on bikes, or anything else for that matter. I've heard the saying that "one of the greatest sources of untapped wealth in this world is an unknowing armature with a spoke wrench".

However, given favorable circumstances of room, willingness to learn and mechanical ability, I recommend riders do as much as they feel comfortable with and learn to feel comfortable with more.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:44 AM   #14
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YOU CAN DO IT!!

If your only concern is cost, then as Burton mentioned you will want to include the cost of any tools you may need (crank puller for one to service the BB) in your calculation. However, I prefer to do the work myself even if it doesn't necessarily save me any money. I consider the knowledge of what I learn to hold more value than a few dollars I may save by letting someone else do my work - but this applies to all things in my life and I realize it does not hold true for everyone.
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Old 02-07-12, 12:45 PM   #15
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I work on several of my own bikes as well as friends and family ...
There's the answer the OP needed. Buy the parts and get a friend like HillRider to do the work for free. Thats what my friends do. Just last week a friend asked me to replace is worn chainring. I discovered his rear derailleur was hosed up and his rear brake was not functioning, so I fixed those too. But not for free; he compensated me with some very fine Russian Imperial Stout.
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Old 02-07-12, 01:04 PM   #16
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Personally I really don't follow the logistics of doing something like this yourself.
And I really don't follow the logistics of paying somebody else to have the fun of working on my bike. I guess that's why they have both chocolate and vanilla.
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Old 02-07-12, 02:23 PM   #17
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Buy More Tools, then you develop a tool addiction.. too ..
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Old 02-07-12, 03:00 PM   #18
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Buy More Tools, then you develop a tool addiction.. too ..
+1
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Old 02-07-12, 04:06 PM   #19
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Since this will be a "back up" bike, do you really need to change the RDER?
Maybe a cleaning & cable lube would make it adequately serviceable?
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Old 02-07-12, 04:09 PM   #20
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Oh it's a sidewinder.. yeah get a new cartridge and RD for that sucker and do it yourself, be great to get some wrenching experience.
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Old 02-07-12, 04:47 PM   #21
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And I really don't follow the logistics of paying somebody else to have the fun of working on my bike. I guess that's why they have both chocolate and vanilla.
LOL Kinda agree with that part. But personally I can drop into a number of shops and commandeer a work station and borrow as many tools as I want so I've never felt obliged to buy every tool available just becauase I might need it ocassionally. If the whole 'learn on your own' thing really made sense people wouldn't be on here looking for advice - or giving it for that matter.

The pooled help, advice and resources of friends are a much more effective approach than trying to do anything on your own. Plus its an excuse to open a beer and celebrate once the jobs done.

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Old 02-07-12, 06:29 PM   #22
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But personally I can drop into a number of shops and commandeer a work station and borrow as many tools as I want so I've never felt obliged to buy every tool available just becauase I might need it ocassionally.......The pooled help, advice and resources of friends are a much more effective approach than trying to do anything on your own. Plus its an excuse to open a beer and celebrate once the jobs done.
OK, I benefit from low cost shipping and enough room to work on my own bikes. You benefit from having free access to work space and tools and assistance. I'm not sure who is ahead in this contest.
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Old 02-07-12, 06:33 PM   #23
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OK, I benefit from low cost shipping and enough room to work on my own bikes. You benefit from having free access to work space and tools and assistance. I'm not sure who is ahead in this contest.
People give me beer when I fix their bikes. Do I win?
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Old 02-07-12, 06:53 PM   #24
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people give me beer when i fix their bikes. Do i win?
we have a winner!!
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Old 02-07-12, 07:21 PM   #25
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Wish I lived where you do! My experience with ordering things online is that shipping costs start at $25 and up and are non-refundable even in the event of a warranty issue. Personally I'll order on-line only as a last resort.

But I'd be interested in your experiences with BB performance. I generally get 10 years out of one so would consider tool purchases on that basis a really loooooooooog term investment!
I run into the shipping issue a lot too. Only the vendors I work with have limits above which, shipping is free. My solution? I hoard hw parts and order enough to meet the minimum to get free shipping. For example, I needed a bunch of semi-slick 26x1.5 tires for my Scouts who will be attempting a 50 miler soon. Many are still riding knobbies. I found a source for $5.50 a tire. But for rims/wheels/tires, min order is $250 USD for free shipping. Well, that's not hard. Some Velocity Fusion and Alex rims, some 32H hubs, a bunch of spokes, then 20 tires of one kind, and 4 tires of another...and whooooaaaa!.... we're at $300+ already. But free shipping and it all showed up last Friday and weighed a tonne. The hardest part isn't getting the parts in bulk at a fantastic price; the hardest part is dealing with the look on my wife's face.
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