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Old 04-08-03, 02:21 AM   #1
Raiyn
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Girlfriend won't do her own repairs.

Ok, here's the deal, my girlfriend shows absolutely no interest in doing maintenance on HER bike. Any and all upkeep is performed by me at present (not necessarily a BAD thing). Does anybody have any constructive suggestions on how to get her interested in exploring her own bike and learning why things work the way they do? I'm not asking for her to tear down a freewheel, but basic mechanical knowledge would be nice.
I've tried sending her to Sheldon Brown's site (try doing a search on Sheldon Brown here - it's INSANE) but to no avail. How can I make this interesting enough for her? I've asked her, during times of EXTREME boredom, if she wanted me to show her how to adjust something on her bike, No Dice.

I will say this much, she can fix a flat so she's not hopeless.


edit: spelling
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Old 04-08-03, 02:25 AM   #2
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Please ignore the poll
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Old 04-08-03, 06:07 AM   #3
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I have no interest (nor do I have the time) in fixing my own bike - none at all. Yes, I can fix a flat and change a tire, and oil my chain - but that is about it. I ride several 1000's mile per year. Why the big deal? Let her enjoy what she likes about biking and be thankful she even likes it.

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Old 04-08-03, 06:54 AM   #4
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She needs to be interested or at least curious in the first place.

My boyfriend knows a little more than the basics about making adjustments and fixing flats. One day at the LBS, he found out about a class they were offering on bike maintenance. I wasn't sure if it would be too advanced for me, but I signed up with him anyway. I figured that at very least, I'd learn how my bike works.

It was a really cool experience. There were 4 of us in the class and each of us brought our own bike to explore.

In both of the two hour classes, I actively learned how to true a wheel, clean the chain, tighten the cranks, adjust brake cables, etc. In short, just enough to be dangerous. Not that I plan to do every repair myself (I don't have a truing stand), but it's nice to know how it all works.

And... as a result, I'm not as afraid of messing with things on the bike.


It was great to learn from the bike shop guy who had experience with all kinds of bikes. My bike has Campy and my boyfriend's has Shimano components, so we were even using different tools.
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Old 04-08-03, 07:31 AM   #5
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Wow, if you have a girlfriend that rides with you and is willing to fix a flat, you're one or two up on a bunch of us!!! Count your blessings and keep on wrenching!!
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Old 04-08-03, 08:01 AM   #6
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Wow, if you have a girlfriend that rides with you and is willing to fix a flat, you're one or two up on a bunch of us!!! Count your blessings and keep on wrenching!!
Amen!
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Old 04-08-03, 08:42 AM   #7
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Quit your whining and fix her bike. Get used to it.
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Old 04-08-03, 08:47 AM   #8
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I said constructive Bobatin
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Old 04-08-03, 08:53 AM   #9
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yeah, i'd say offer to show her some things and then leave it at that. some people like to tinker with stuff like bikes and cars and some don't and women are usually more likely to fall into the "not" group.

if she rides and enjoys it then big deal. just make sure that she recognizes/appreciates your maintaining her bike (i'm sure she does things for you, so "trade") or if you hate it, tell her you'll show her how and help her learn to do it herself or she can pay for the shop to do it (or pay you?)
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Old 04-08-03, 09:09 AM   #10
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You DO have the option of NOT doing the work on her bike.
If she enjoys riding enough, she'll HAVE to eventually start learning to do at least some of the basics. I've been doing this with my wife.
I will put some lube on the chain periodically, and when I air up my tires, I'll do hers as well, but that's it.
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Old 04-08-03, 09:42 PM   #11
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You DO have the option of NOT doing the work on her bike.
If she enjoys riding enough, she'll HAVE to eventually start learning to do at least some of the basics.
Or alternatively, she might lose interest in biking altogether. I think I'll join the "count your blessings" club on this one.
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Old 04-08-03, 10:20 PM   #12
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Dump her!

I work on my own bike and I'm available!

Shoot, Raiyn, I'd even work on your bike.
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Old 04-09-03, 10:19 AM   #13
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Raiyn

Half of me says count your blessings, but I understand what you are saying (I think) Let me see "I don't mind fixing her bike I just can't undestand why she's not curious about how it works". Maybe like OctoberBlue (I could fall in love with that attitude) implies you could find a class to take together, maybe that would be better than you showing her?

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Old 04-09-03, 10:31 AM   #14
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I kinda like getting my hands dirty, and when I work on my GF's bike, let me tell ya, she's REAL grateful, so I don't mind doing it ... really.
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Old 04-09-03, 10:32 AM   #15
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You've hit the nail on the head Joe! I'm going to start looking for classes that we can attend.
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Old 04-11-03, 01:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by bac
Wow, if you have a girlfriend that rides with you and is willing to fix a flat, you're one or two up on a bunch of us!!! Count your blessings and keep on wrenching!!
too true!!
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Old 04-12-03, 10:07 PM   #17
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If my wife would bicycle, I would do all the maintanance, check the tires, wax the bike, and polish the saddle.

If your girlfriend at least rides a bike - or at least doesn't grump about your biking, count your lucky blessings.
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Old 04-18-03, 08:51 AM   #18
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Raiyn,

I found a class at the LBS, nothing too overwhelming,
just basic stuff, like fixing flats, lubrication, etc.
which I suggested my wife take. Sure I still do most
of the repairs but I know if her bike breaks down
and I'm not around she can at least get it to
limping home stage.

Marty
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Old 04-27-03, 07:44 PM   #19
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If you want her, then close your mouth and be happy she needs you.

My boyfriend, wouldn't let me do any of my own repairs. I could do them, but if I get a flat on a ride, he leaves his office and comes to rescue me. He will do the same if I get tired.

A real man wouldn't bellyache about a lady letting a man show his mechanical ability. Of course, maybe you don't have any.

If this is a guy thing, then the lady should run like the wind.

I have been riding with my partner for 29 years, and married to him for 28 years.

Now go tune up and detail her bike.
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Old 04-28-03, 12:40 AM   #20
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Well, she knows you will be around to repair whatever, so she has no desire to learn. Saying that, nothing you can say will change that.

For myself, I rather know how things operate even if I have my repairs done at the LBS.
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Old 04-28-03, 06:29 PM   #21
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Why should she learn what you think is important about her bicycle. Have you found out what she thinks is important about riding with you? It could be looking good ( ie matching outfits) or just doing something together. Expecting her to do it your way is a great way to start a fight.

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Old 04-29-03, 12:08 PM   #22
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If you want her, then close your mouth and be happy she needs you.

My boyfriend, wouldn't let me do any of my own repairs. I could do them, but if I get a flat on a ride, he leaves his office and comes to rescue me. He will do the same if I get tired.

A real man wouldn't bellyache about a lady letting a man show his mechanical ability. Of course, maybe you don't have any.

If this is a guy thing, then the lady should run like the wind.

I have been riding with my partner for 29 years, and married to him for 28 years.

Now go tune up and detail her bike.
I found your post offensive and without any constructive merit. What happens if I'm not around to "rescue" her Hmmm? She should have a basic understanding of what's going on with her bike in case SHE has to her own repairs. As for the questioning of my masculinity and / or my mechanical aptitude I think that you've got a pretty bass-ackwards view of things, probably due to having your man acting like a whipped puppy and coming to your "rescue" every time you get a boo-boo. Women NEED to know that they can do it themselves. She can change her own oil for crying out loud so what's wrong with her learning how to swap a cassette? Also matching outfits? Give me a break! Here's to strong independant women and the men who love and respect them but are not cowed by them as well.
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Old 04-29-03, 05:16 PM   #23
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I didn't mean to offend you, but the merit is it is great to have someone care about you. My husband can cook and clean, but he normally doesn't do it when I am available to do it.

I can change my own oil, plugs, distributor cap, rotor and then we go to the bike I can do any of the repairs necessary. While I could call my husband for help, I don't because I respect his position. I'm also capable of taking care of home repairs when he is out of town.

I wouldn't humiliate him though by doing a repair on bike or vehicle when he is standing there.

Maybe your girlfriend doesn't want to offend you. Plus what about the cost of a manicure they do get pricey.

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Old 04-29-03, 10:18 PM   #24
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It's not that she doesn't want to offend me by doing her own work. I'm trying to instill a bit of independance in her when it comes to the bike. As for the manicure: If she was such a simpering sop as to start whining about breaking a nail she and I wouldn't be dating. I despise the dainty, high-maintenance types who don't have any self-esteem or backbone unless they're got your Platinum card and a pre-nup. Give me a woman who isn't afraid to get dirty and would much rather volunteer to paint a house for charity than play a round of golf at the country club. Give me a woman who asks for help when she needs it, not just because I happen to be home. Give me a partner that sees herself as an EQUAL and isn't afraid to prove that she is. That is what I have with her, that is what I want from her. My only wish that she'd take a little more intrest in the mechanical workings of her bike so she's not completely lost whenever I am fixing something or so that she can diagnose a problem enough to either fix it for herself or give me enough info so that I know where to start looking. I do care for her, in that soft tender type of way, but the last thing she wants is to be mollycoddled by anyone.
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