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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 11-24-10, 01:28 PM   #1
kegoguinness
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From the Mechanically Declined to the Mechanically Declined...

Just a friendly reminder that there's not really anything special about folder maintenance, as far as the basics. I reminded myself of that yesterday when I replaced my chain and tightened my brakes. It feels good to do basic maintenance.

I'm no mechanic, but with some good instructions printed out and the right tools (very simple ones at that) these kinds of maintenances save money and prevent more costly repairs down the road. Replacing the $15 chain helps keep the drivetrain going longer and is much cheaper than getting all new sprockets.

My point is this: even if, like me, you aren't much of a mechanic, take advantage of the internet, pull up the repair section here, or youtube away; put your laptop by your bike, and give bike maintenance a try. In under an hour I had replaced the chain (on the first try!) and tightened up my spongy back brakes. No money spent at the LBS (other than the buying the chain) and I was out test-riding in no time.

Happy folder riding!
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Old 11-24-10, 05:22 PM   #2
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Good post.

When I got into cycling a few years ago, I wasn`t expecting to actually enjoy working on the bikes almost as much as riding. But yeah, now I really enjoy it - and I agree, the internet these days, is an amazing resource for cyclists. I think many who might like to try cycling don`t, because they are put off by the imagined complexity of maintanance and repair. They would be so surprised by how easy 90% of it is.
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Old 11-24-10, 10:36 PM   #3
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and the best investment you can do is to buy the proper tools. you'll be surprised at how much savings you can get by doing all the maintenance yourself.
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Old 11-24-10, 10:47 PM   #4
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I'd say about 3/4 of the problem is looking for the answer on the internet and 1/4 is your patience and time.
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Old 11-28-10, 05:41 PM   #5
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I must say I enjoyed tinkering with the Raleigh. One of my aims when doing the R20 was to learn more about basic bike mechanics and I accomplished that goal.

Last year I couldn't even adjust the saddle by myself. Now I can adjust or change it and a whole lot more. I still have a lot to learn but that will come in time.
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Old 11-28-10, 06:11 PM   #6
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Bike maintenance is pretty straight forward, just think the process through before you tear stuff apart. Also many times the adjustment range between just right and too much is pretty small.

Proper tools help, but a lot of things can be done with basic tools.

Aaron
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Old 11-28-10, 09:32 PM   #7
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Learning basic, or even advanced, maintenance can not only save you money, but is also very satisfying. You learn the quirks of your bike and it gives you the needed knowledge to deal with problems if they should crop up in the field. I'm amazed when at a bike shop and some middle aged guy brings in his kid's bike to fix a flat. Another benefit is when you do run into something beyond your expertise, you are better able to spot whether the shop is trying to skin you. This also applies to cars. Just about everyone should take a basic auto repair class, if for no other reason than to recognize when the tech is blowing smoke.

Good tools are highly recommended. With a bit of research and patience you can pick up deals on Park tools. Their Big Blue Book is also a wealth of practical information. I've been repairing/building bikes for fifty some odd years and still keep a well thumbed copy at hand.
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Old 11-29-10, 04:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Clownbike View Post
Learning basic, or even advanced, maintenance can not only save you money, but is also very satisfying. You learn the quirks of your bike and it gives you the needed knowledge to deal with problems if they should crop up in the field. I'm amazed when at a bike shop and some middle aged guy brings in his kid's bike to fix a flat. Another benefit is when you do run into something beyond your expertise, you are better able to spot whether the shop is trying to skin you. This also applies to cars. Just about everyone should take a basic auto repair class, if for no other reason than to recognize when the tech is blowing smoke.

Good tools are highly recommended. With a bit of research and patience you can pick up deals on Park tools. Their Big Blue Book is also a wealth of practical information. I've been repairing/building bikes for fifty some odd years and still keep a well thumbed copy at hand.
Another great thing about Park Tools is that they have A LOT of information and how to's on their website.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon

Last edited by wahoonc; 11-29-10 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 11-29-10, 01:02 PM   #9
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Park Tools website is great. If you would rather have something in print in front of you, their Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair is worth the money.

Two things you should do to maintain your bike if you do nothing else: wash it and lube the chain. Wash it every month or so if it's a daily rider, more if you feel like it. Lube the chain every other week or every month after your bike is dry from the wash.

If you don't feel comfortable with brake and shifter adjustments, checking bolts all over for tightness, bearing tension adjustment, bring it to a bike mechanic for a tune up every year. But really, a weekend morning and some time spent with your bike, tools, and a source like Park Tools repair reference, and you can do a fine tune by yourself.
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Old 11-29-10, 04:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Park Tools website is great. If you would rather have something in print in front of you, their Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair is worth the money.

Two things you should do to maintain your bike if you do nothing else: wash it and lube the chain. Wash it every month or so if it's a daily rider, more if you feel like it. Lube the chain every other week or every month after your bike is dry from the wash.

If you don't feel comfortable with brake and shifter adjustments, checking bolts all over for tightness, bearing tension adjustment, bring it to a bike mechanic for a tune up every year. But really, a weekend morning and some time spent with your bike, tools, and a source like Park Tools repair reference, and you can do a fine tune by yourself.
Another good book if you can find a used copy is Sutherland's. A new edition runs close to $200 but I have picked up an older edition off ebay for $30.

Aaron
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Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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