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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 05-22-12, 12:59 AM   #1
kengrubb
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LBS does free bike maintenance and repair classes

An Olympia LBS, The Bike Stand, does a free bike maintenance and repair class. Every Monday night from 7PM to 8PM. Sort of a rotating curriculum, and if you go long enough you get everything.

Last week was wheel building. Tonight was wheel trueing. Next week is gear ratios.

Took my 11 year old son tonight. He said he enjoyed it and wants to come back. At times I know his mind was distracted looking at things, but if he picks up a few things now and again, so be it. The instructor, Bill, commented how well behaved and quiet he was. I added it surprised me because he's normally very talkative.

We talked briefly about gear ratios. When we got home, I showed my son my Schwinn. Had him pedal while I held the rear wheel off the ground and switched gears.
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Old 05-22-12, 07:21 AM   #2
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If he understands the concepts of gears at his age he will be WAY ahead of his classmates when they get to middle school science.
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Old 05-22-12, 09:18 AM   #3
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Very nice. My daughter lives in Olympia. I'll tell her about this.
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Old 05-22-12, 03:04 PM   #4
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Their website isn't super busy, and the bike repair/maintenance class isn't shown.
http://www.alpinex.com/bike-stand/

Capital Bike Club shows the classes on their website. I recently joined and have been doing their Sunday "Leisure" ride.
http://capitalbicycleclub.org/educat...epair-classes/

Their newsletter has details about current classes.
http://capitalbicycleclub.org/WordPr...r_May20121.pdf
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Old 05-22-12, 06:05 PM   #5
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God I wish I had someone to turn me on to mechanics that early. It took until I was 14- there was a long winter and my brand new birthday (october birthday) bike needed some adjustin'. Very cool of you.

FWIW: One of the best ways I've found to illustrate what gear ratios mean as far as riding goes is to put the bike in a stand and line up the wheel with the valve stem at 6 o'clock and the right crank at 6 o'clock, have them count the wheel revolutions per crank revolution in the highest and lowest gears. It's pretty impressive how much difference there is.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:11 AM   #6
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IMO any shop doing something like this deserves all the support you can give it. This is great stuff.

As for ratios on a bike, I struggle to understand how anyone can look at a derailleur system and be unable to figure it out; doing just that is what ignited my passion for bikes at like age five.

I didn't need to move anything on the bike either; I just asked myself why you'd want all the different-sized cogs. It seemed readily apparent that on a bigger ring you'd pull more chain for a crank revolution, and only a bit harder to figure out that a bigger cog meant fewer turns of the wheel with more leverage.

It pains me immensely that others can't so easily share my intense appreciation for this gloriously ingenious yet wonderfully simple system. I get goosebumps remembering that moment of understanding.

I was insulted beyond measure a few years later when my old man denied me a multi-speed bike on the grounds of its supposed complexity : /
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Old 05-23-12, 12:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
IMO any shop doing something like this deserves all the support you can give it. This is great stuff.
Totally agree.

I have not heard bad things about any of the half dozen or so LBSes in the Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater area--only personality differences between some LBSes and some customers.

That said, The Bike Stand is my LBS.
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