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Old 04-02-07, 12:21 AM   #1
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Are there any bike classes in East Bay?

Trying to find a bicycle repair/maintenance class somewhere in the East Bay (Pleasanton-Dublin-Livermore areas)... any leads?
I would like to learn how to fix my own bikes. I have an en early 90's Specialized Hardrock I want to restore as my daily commuter.

I've searched the local colleges online course catalog (Chabot, Las Positas) and found 2 classes listed, but they are mostly about getting into physical conditioning/shape for cycling, with a small side order of basic maintenance items to check)

I also called Livermore Cyclery, but they don't have any classes offered either.


So far, the only good lead I've found by searching was REI up in Berkeley. They have a class on the 22nd that I plan on attending, unless I can find one around here.
Here's the link for the Berkeley class
http://www.rei.com/stores/store_even...ignore_cache=1


Thanks for any tips!

Last edited by Researcher; 04-02-07 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:40 AM   #2
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I was going to suggest REI so it seems as though you and I might be attending the same one. Trying to arrange the day off so I might attend.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:45 AM   #3
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try www.missinglink.org in berkeley
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Old 04-02-07, 12:32 PM   #4
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Cool. Thanks for the replies

Achu717 - thanks for the info on Missing Link. I'll check them out now

Ok, checked out ML. It looks like their classes are free (awesome!), but appear to be segmented to 1 part of the bike per class, and might be very basic. So right now I'm leaning towared the REI class. 5 hours doing a full, comprehensive tuneup sounds like just what the doc ordered.

I'll continue my hunt for East Bay classes, and if I find anything I'll post here

Thanks for the replies!
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Old 04-02-07, 02:56 PM   #5
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Well crud!
I just got off the phone with REI Berkeley and the 4/22 class is already booked =(
Their store is doing a remodel in June/July, so they're not sure when the next class will be.
FWIW, I put my name/number on their waiting list.

Siu, were you able to register for the 4/22 class?

I guess this means I'll need to expand my search and keep looking...
Thanks
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Old 04-02-07, 09:32 PM   #6
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I was gonna say that the REI class is booked up. I am #2 on the wait list. I've been trying to get into one of their classes for a couple of years now.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:47 PM   #7
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" I've been trying to get into one of their classes for a couple of years now. "

Omg -- well, I guess this helps me adjust my "hopes" accordingly, grin.
Thanks for this info cantdrv55

I'm supposed to take my new mtn bike back for its free 30-day adjustment. My LBS said I could watch closely and ask any questions, etc. So maybe this will help me learn a little, plus I bought a decent bike maintenance/repair book that may help fill in the gaps.

Darn, that REI class really sounded perfect too
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Old 04-03-07, 07:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Researcher
I'm supposed to take my new mtn bike back for its free 30-day adjustment. My LBS said I could watch closely and ask any questions, etc. So maybe this will help me learn a little, plus I bought a decent bike maintenance/repair book that may help fill in the gaps.
What about using the Park Tool repair site? It might be at least as good as watching the LBS guys and asking questions. I've done a few tuneups/repairs/upgrades using their instructions, they are very good.

http://www.parktool.com/repair/
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Old 04-03-07, 12:42 PM   #9
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Abrinton: Ahh, thank you for mentioning the Park Tool website.
I had actually discovered these great HowTos last week, and bookmarked them but have since forgotten about them. Thanks for mentioning these - I'll definitely use these this weekend (restoring my old mtn bike)

I think I recall bookmarking another site that had videos as well. But I'm at work right now, so I'll check when I get home.
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Old 04-13-07, 12:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Researcher
Trying to find a bicycle repair/maintenance class somewhere in the East Bay (Pleasanton-Dublin-Livermore areas)... any leads?
I would like to learn how to fix my own bikes. I have an en early 90's Specialized Hardrock I want to restore as my daily commuter.

I've searched the local colleges online course catalog (Chabot, Las Positas) and found 2 classes listed, but they are mostly about getting into physical conditioning/shape for cycling, with a small side order of basic maintenance items to check)

I also called Livermore Cyclery, but they don't have any classes offered either.


So far, the only good lead I've found by searching was REI up in Berkeley. They have a class on the 22nd that I plan on attending, unless I can find one around here.
Here's the link for the Berkeley class
http://www.rei.com/stores/store_even...ignore_cache=1


Thanks for any tips!
I'm in the same boat as you, and I saw this guy's ad on CL.

He offers private or small group sessions for the basics of bike maintenance. He charges 25/hr - if you have a friend, you can both split the cost as his rate is still the same. He's located in Emeryville, but he makes housecalls, and has tools and parts. I've scheduled a session with him for this coming Mon.

I figure one-on-one sessions as a primer (I've never done my own bike maintenance before but am mechanically inclined) is money well spent (the LBS wants 60-80 for a full tune up), and afterwards, I can join something like the Bike Kitchen in SF (a local bike cooperative: the $30 annual/$5 walk-in fee allows you to come in and use tools, parts, and tap the knowledge of volunteer staff) to do my own routine maintenance.

I can give a report back here afterwards and let you know how it goes if you want.

Last edited by orpheus100; 04-13-07 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 04-13-07, 01:35 PM   #11
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orpheus: Awesome find!
Yes definitely post a review and let me know how it went. I am very interested.

Are you going to his location, or having him come to you?

Thanks
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Old 04-13-07, 03:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Researcher
orpheus: Awesome find!
Yes definitely post a review and let me know how it went. I am very interested.

Are you going to his location, or having him come to you?

Thanks
He's coming to me.

I offered to BART out w/ bike and ride over to his place, but he's going to be in SF on that day so it worked out. I'll post a review here afterward....stay tuned.

OR if you're free on Monday morning at 10 (admittedly not the most convenient time for most, but I work from home ), you could join if you want and the expense would be cut in half (ie $12.50 per person per hour). PM me if you're interested.
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Old 04-13-07, 05:04 PM   #13
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Thanks Orpheus
Yeah, Mon @ 10am I will be at work so I can't join in (but thanks for the invite!)

Looking forward to your review! Thanks
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Old 04-16-07, 04:27 PM   #14
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Bike Maintenance 101

So today I had a visit from my 'instructor' for Bike Maintenance 101. It went pretty well and I got a lot out of it. Here's what we covered:

- Brake and Gear cable inspection and replacement
- Housing inspection and replacement
- Brake shoe adjustment and replacement, and caliper calibration
- Rear derailer adjustment
- Basics of wheel truing
- Chain cleaning and lubing
- Brief overview of bottom bracket, crankset, headset
- Adhoc analysis of my bike and its mishmash of parts (campy, shimano and their unhappy marriage)

We probably would have look at tube patching and replacing, but it turns out that my tires, unbeknown to me, are tubulars. (I now have a more annoying problem of figuring out how to replace these tires or switch to clinchers - but I digress).

The long and short of it is that I was able to replace some cables and housing, adjust my RD, and clean/lube chains, and true a wheel 'enough' to ride (ie, the wheel no longer grazes the brake pad) - basically what I think is most of what you would get in a tuneup or have done at your LBS. The main thing, though is that this stuff is really not that hard, actually fun, and very economical in the long run. Total time spent was just under 3 hours. Highly recommended.
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Old 04-18-07, 03:51 PM   #15
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Great writeup Orpheus!

(I didn't notice your update until just now - Wed afternoon - I had accidentally set this thread for WEEKLY email notifications, doh. I fixed it so I should get them instantly)


Excellent review!
So how much did you end up paying for the 3 hours?
I think I will probably sign up with this guy, based upon your positive review. Thanks a lot!


Btw, I was perusing CL earlier and came across this guy in Berkeley offering repair classes:
$100 for (2) 4-hour sessions. It's at the Freewheel bike shop
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/bik/314382084.html
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Old 04-18-07, 05:25 PM   #16
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Researcher,

I live in San Ramon, and am a fair hand with a wrench (having built/refurbished more bikes than I care to count!).

If you want to come by with your bike, we can throw it on the stand and I can show you anythng you want to know. For free.
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Old 04-18-07, 05:30 PM   #17
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BigBossMan:

Wow... thanks for the really generous offer. I will probably take you up on it!
I just picked up a used bike off CL yesterday and I am not sure what things to check or repair, before I put it into service as my daily commuter bike.

I'll follow up with you via instant message. Thanks!
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Old 04-19-07, 12:18 AM   #18
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Bigbossman, how do you feel about doing an informal bike wrenching clinic for us locals?
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Old 04-19-07, 11:41 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Bigbossman, how do you feel about doing an informal bike wrenching clinic for us locals?
We could probably work something out.

I have a lot of experience on the "vintage" road bikes of the 70/80/90 era. I also have built a few modern road bikes, and have fooled around with many older rigid mtb's/hybrids as well as a few new ones. I've never built a wheel, but I've trued a few and replaced spokes many times.

That being said, I don't know everything, and don't claim to. And I don't have certain tools like headset presses, cotter pin presses, and so forth. But I've got a good stand, a good selection of bike-specific tools, and a solid general knowledge base built on years of wrenching on my personal bikes.

If I know how to do it, I will be happy to show you how, too.
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Old 04-19-07, 12:21 PM   #20
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So how much did you end up paying for the 3 hours?
I think I will probably sign up with this guy, based upon your positive review. Thanks a lot!
I was just under three hours so ended up paying like $70. Overall, it was worth it if for nothing else than to get hands experience adjusting things without the bike blowing up

For me, and probably others, I learn by doing. So even with 3 hours of training, how much of that you will absorb depends on how much hands-on experience you get. I'd say maybe 1/3 of the time (ie 1 hour) was spent with me getting my hands dirty. I think things like basic wheel truing, for example, is something you can't really learn to do from the sidelines. So subsequent practice is really important.
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Old 04-19-07, 12:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbossman
Researcher,

I live in San Ramon, and am a fair hand with a wrench (having built/refurbished more bikes than I care to count!).

If you want to come by with your bike, we can throw it on the stand and I can show you anythng you want to know. For free.

Wow, talk about a day late and a dollar short (or too much?!?)
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Old 05-13-07, 01:05 PM   #22
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Mike's Bikes does a weekly class.

Last edited by doc riverz; 05-16-07 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 05-13-07, 08:30 PM   #23
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REI Concord is having a class in June.
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Old 05-13-07, 10:40 PM   #24
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Thanks for the replies everyone

I ended up taking BigBossMan up on his offer (Thanks again!) and he showed me several procedures and helped examine the hybrid I bought off Craigslist. Thanks to his instruction I ended up replacing the rear derailleur and shiftlever-brakes. The RD had a lot of play in the cage, and the right GripShift broke on my commute home last week. I now have a new Shimano RD and new RapidFire "thumb"shifters on my bars, and the bike is running like new. Very appreciative of all the help, especially BigBossMan!
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