A few weeks ago I posted about a curbside treasure that is now my daughter's bike. She's home from SUNY Albany for a couple of days, we're moving her back there on Thursday and she's taking the old beater with her as she has neither a driver's license nor a car. She'll be a bikin' and a bussin' all over town.
She asked me to assemble a rudimentary tool collection for her and to show her some basic bike maintainance!!! Skip Christmas this time 'round as my year is already complete!!
O.K. now, down to basics.
With the bike on the repair stand we reviewed how the brakes work and she got to see what a simple system the brakes really are. Spring, cable, lever....how clever. I don't expect her to be able to service them, yet, but she does understand how they work anyway.
Next step was the stem mounted friction shifters. Her Cypress (which is staying safely stashed away at home) has nice indexed grip shifters so friction shifting sounded to her like quite a challenge. I peddled and she forced the levers through the full range of gears, all 10 of them. We didn't deal with theory at all. We just made sure she could shift and I tried to attune her ear to grinding verses smooth running. She'll do just fine.
Next step....battery operated head and tail light. Mounting and removal practice (don't want them to get stolen) and a quick demo R&R-ing the batteries. I also had her watch me pump air into her front tire and she pumped up the rear...with her brand new floor pump. We discussed the advantages of maintaining the proper tire pressures in basic, simple terms.....easier to roll, preventing pinch flats and helping to resist punctures.
Enough for one day, the bride was anxious to go on a shopping spree with her anyway. Tomorrow I'll have her R&R a tire and tube on an old wheel I've got kicking around the garage and we'll get the old quill stem and seat adjusted to a proper height for her, using her new Park Tools of course.
I promised her I'ld e-mail her the Park Tool web address which will most certainly help her with any little problems that may come up. I'll search for the nearest LBS to her apartment and as a last resort...I'm only a four hour drive away, though I'm confident she'll do just fine....not because she had a great teacher, but because she's a smart, resourceful, and confident young woman
Last edited by cranky old dude; 05-20-09 at 01:24 AM.
Reason: stupid old man can't type very well
nice. question though are the brake levers setup a tad high? if you rotate the handlebars down a little they might sit in a more comfy location? just asking.
Thanks, good observation. She's going to ride it a bit before we make any more comfort adjustments though. She knows how to make the adjustments (seat and bars), replace a tube, remove & replace the wheels......and as good fortune would have it, there's an LBS at the corner where she intends to catch the bus to Campus in case she runs into any problems.