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Old 06-17-13, 07:16 AM   #1
rumrunn6
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anyone else solely responsible for the family bikes?

every year it's the same thing, get all the bikes ready (mostly due to annual camping trip) regardless whether anyone will ride them much. I don't think they appreciate all the work that goes into assembling and maintaining a family of bikes. making sure they are the right style, size, etc with whatever accessories are needed, like pedals, kickstands, and rear racks. honestly, with so little free time it's a challenge. then you accumulate more bikes than necessary and have to sell some just to reach equilibrium. yikes my Dad had little clue what was going on with my bike as a kid or young adult. I guess it is worth it when we all get out together for those precious few rides each year. please tell me I'm not alone in this regard.

the Treks, mostly 7.1 & 7.3 FX's are breeding on my patio ...
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Old 06-17-13, 08:17 AM   #2
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I'm getting the kids involved with maintenance but I'm with you.

Oldest son: 3 bikes (Upright, touring 'bent, racing 'bent)
Second son: 2 bikes(upright, racing 'bent)
Oldest daughter: 2 bikes(upright, racing 'bent)
Second daughter:1 bike (upright)
3rd daughter: 1 bike (upright)
3rd son: little glider bike
Wife: trike
Me: 2 bikes (commuter 'bent, racing 'bent)

two spare uprights for when the cousins come over

My alternate career is as a bike mechanic.
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Old 06-17-13, 08:30 AM   #3
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feel better already
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Old 06-17-13, 10:40 AM   #4
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I recently got rid of 2 and am now down to 4. But yes, I do all of the prep. Adjustments, getting everything out and set up before a ride and all the pack up. We do 3-4 rides a week! But, a plus is I get to pick out all the bikes too, just a little budget advice from the wife.
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Old 06-17-13, 10:46 AM   #5
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It is usually my responsibility getting my family's bikes ready to ride, checking wheels/tires/brakes, filling water bottles, making sure our bike shorts and jerseys are clean and ready to go, doing minor adjustments or taking the bikes into the bike shop for more serious problems. Trying to get my son to help more but mostly it falls on me. Its alright though. Plenty of things my wife does.
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Old 06-17-13, 10:57 AM   #6
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re: "I get to pick out all the bikes"
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Old 06-17-13, 12:00 PM   #7
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Depending on the ages, get the kids involved! I send our 2 older kids to our local bike shop to do a maintenance session, usually early in the year and then again come fall when they are beginning mountain biking. Each ride, pre-ride they check over their brakes and tires and also add air to all of our bikes!

I'm not very good at the bike maintenance thing however I am getting better. I would like for my kids to have the knowledge from the beginning. It takes some time before every ride to get out of the garage but it is all part of the experience.
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Old 06-17-13, 01:48 PM   #8
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feel better already
Glad to help.
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Old 06-17-13, 08:09 PM   #9
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Kinda goes with the territory, being the only one in the family with the skills....

So far, it's been a little easier this year than in the past; my sister and her husband haven't expressed any interest in riding this year so far -- in fact, when a "new saddle" discussion came up with my sister, she gave up her once-ridden Selle SMP Trk for my daughter's new build. So Sis has NO SADDLE!

My daughter has her new bike; my 2 nephews each have one -- the 19-y-o's bike has been upgraded, the 10-y-o's bike tuned and adjusted for him. (He's so impatient to grow up, he keeps after me to raise his saddle, although it's perfect for him!) 'Elder nephew' uses his to get around to friends' houses, rather than any fun group/family rides -- he's "outgrown" a family trip, gets impatient with his little brother.

Any maintenance that comes up is pretty sporadic -- which is a good thing. Some days, after building crap for 8 hours, I just don't want to see another repair........
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Old 06-18-13, 06:24 AM   #10
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re: " Some days, after building crap for 8 hours, I just don't want to see another repair........ " reminds me of a couple days ago when I was buying a couple kick stands and pedals at REI. was chatting with the bike salesman about the kickstands. on REIs web site I saw 285mm & 305 mm. I called the Trek Superstore in CA for advice for the new 7.1 and 7.3 I just picked up and he said he didn't know - just get the long one and cut it down. Sensible enough, so I'm looking at the kickstands at REI and they aren't labeled with length, salesman says a couple have imprinted on the metal itself 285 and a couple had 260. (no 305s) I told the guy, "sometimes after a while I just lose my sense of humor".

I grabbed 2 not caring which they were cuz they were going on small frames, figured I'd be safe and I was. One needed a little trim, the other needed a skosh more off. gotta have the right lean or the kids will be struggling to keep the thing upright on a hill facing the wrong way.

for the 4 bikes we go (camping) with this year I have a small handful of setup things to do. nothing major but it has to be done. swap a saddle & 2 racks, install a new saddle and a new rack. lube all and check shifting and braking and adjusting where necessary.

working 6 days a week now so I know what I have to do on that day off right? guess I just wish I worked less. I actually like working on bikes, especially the easy stuff.

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Old 06-21-13, 01:40 PM   #11
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I had no choice but be responsible for all the family bikes...and the cars! I had all girls in my home and neither possessed any resemblance to having any mechanical aptitude, either that or they were too lazy and knew I would do it! My oldest daughter takes after my wife, you see when I met my wife she hadn't changed her oil in her car in 4 years! My daughter never checks her oil either or would change it if I wasn't insisting on it. And checking the coolant or the transmission fluids gets you this blank "what's that" kind of reaction. And I've taught both of them over and over and over how to do this stuff, they just refuse to do it, they figure if the car is running it must be fine.
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Old 06-22-13, 06:18 PM   #12
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I had no choice but be responsible for all the family bikes...and the cars! I had all girls in my home and neither possessed any resemblance to having any mechanical aptitude, either that or they were too lazy and knew I would do it!... And I've taught both of them over and over and over how to do this stuff, they just refuse to do it...
OK, none of my business--but I think this is truly pathetic. From your description, you have an incompetent and lazy wife, at least in this area, and you're raising incompetent and lazy daughters. Why would you do that? We helped my daughter buy a used car when she was 17, and I walked her through the fluids and tire pressures, made sure she understood them, then said, "This is on you. If you don't do it and you blow this thing up, I won't bail you out." She let the coolant run out and blew a head gasket, and it cost her (not me) nearly $1800, earned over months of part-time waitressing while she was going to school. She's 28 now and married, and she checks her own oil and coolant.
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Old 06-22-13, 06:24 PM   #13
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My son has two, my wife has two and I have (Ithink) 9 or 10. I do all the work, but my son is going to attend Barnett in Colorado in the fall, so I think I'll let him take ove the regular stuff...
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Old 06-22-13, 08:16 PM   #14
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OK, none of my business--but I think this is truly pathetic. From your description, you have an incompetent and lazy wife, at least in this area, and you're raising incompetent and lazy daughters. Why would you do that? We helped my daughter buy a used car when she was 17, and I walked her through the fluids and tire pressures, made sure she understood them, then said, "This is on you. If you don't do it and you blow this thing up, I won't bail you out." She let the coolant run out and blew a head gasket, and it cost her (not me) nearly $1800, earned over months of part-time waitressing while she was going to school. She's 28 now and married, and she checks her own oil and coolant.
Hold your horses man, you don't know me or my family. And that's exactly what I've done with my daughter and her vehicle, if she doesn't check the oil and coolant and change the oil regularly and the thing blows it is indeed on her. She's in college and I'm not helping her with that either, so I'm plenty mean enough. The college thing, my parents didn't help me a bit, I helped her by giving her a car and that was it, because today's generation of young adults expect everything to be handed to them without being grateful, that isn't happening in my house with my daughter, if I pay for her college it will mean nothing, I want her to earn it. She still doesn't check it the fluids or change the oil! I don't care nor do I ask.

I also have a mentally ill daughter, she tried to burn down our house with my wife in the house sleeping, I called the cops on her and filed charges for juvenile arson. I had three choices, I could have not filed charges as most parents do, or filed for adult charges on attempted murder, instead I decided to give her a break on the adult charges but press the juvenile charges so she could get some help and be out of our home for the rest of her life. The police chief agreed with my decision and was glad I pressed charges but was also glad I didn't go the adult route and screw up the rest of life. She was sent to a youth opportunity place where she's been for the last 2 years, she's now 19 years old (next month) and is getting released to a place in town that has care for the mentally handicap. If she does do something extreme again, then my hands are 100% off, she will be at the mercy of the adult court, I've explained that to her as well so she knows.

Neither of these girls are genetically related, the youngest one came out of Russia. Russia only releases kids they know that have a high risk factor of mental illness or have a current physical issue so they don't have to pay for the care of these kids, and then tell unsuspected wannabe parents that the kids are fine, about 80% of the kids coming out of Russia for adoption end up having severe mental illnesses. Remember the parents that sent their child back to Russia? The parents should not have done that, that kid has no hope of ever getting help in Russia and will eventually get killed. My daughter is getting treatment and is a lot more settled now since she was placed in the youth opportunity place and getting the right meds that the doctors here could not get right for years! Is she ready to move into a place by herself? that is the million dollar question.

My wife is just highly mechanically challenged, I check the fluids and do the oil changes etc because those cars are our cars so I don't bother her with that stuff. I think any good husband would do that for their wives unless their wife is a mechanic or highly mechanical and the husband is the mechanically challenge. I know a lot of husbands who are, I see them go into LBS's to have flats fixed, I see them on the side of the road with flats and I stop and have to show them how to fix a flat and these men are all thumbs, like teaching a 2 year old how to tie their shoes. I know there are guys here on this forum who don't know how to fix a flat. Does that make them lazy in all aspects of life, no; today's electronic world is producing a slew of people who don't have a clue about mechanical devices, and in fact so much so that there is a shortage of mechanics that is going to get worse as the years go by.

Until you've walked in my shoes as long as I have, don't try to be a 10 cent counselor.
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Old 06-27-13, 01:30 PM   #15
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Hold your horses man, you don't know me or my family. And that's exactly what I've done with my daughter and her vehicle, if she doesn't check the oil and coolant and change the oil regularly and the thing blows it is indeed on her. She's in college and I'm not helping her with that either, so I'm plenty mean enough. The college thing, my parents didn't help me a bit, I helped her by giving her a car and that was it, because today's generation of young adults expect everything to be handed to them without being grateful, that isn't happening in my house with my daughter, if I pay for her college it will mean nothing, I want her to earn it. She still doesn't check it the fluids or change the oil! I don't care nor do I ask.

I also have a mentally ill daughter, she tried to burn down our house with my wife in the house sleeping, I called the cops on her and filed charges for juvenile arson. I had three choices, I could have not filed charges as most parents do, or filed for adult charges on attempted murder, instead I decided to give her a break on the adult charges but press the juvenile charges so she could get some help and be out of our home for the rest of her life. The police chief agreed with my decision and was glad I pressed charges but was also glad I didn't go the adult route and screw up the rest of life. She was sent to a youth opportunity place where she's been for the last 2 years, she's now 19 years old (next month) and is getting released to a place in town that has care for the mentally handicap. If she does do something extreme again, then my hands are 100% off, she will be at the mercy of the adult court, I've explained that to her as well so she knows.

Neither of these girls are genetically related, the youngest one came out of Russia. Russia only releases kids they know that have a high risk factor of mental illness or have a current physical issue so they don't have to pay for the care of these kids, and then tell unsuspected wannabe parents that the kids are fine, about 80% of the kids coming out of Russia for adoption end up having severe mental illnesses. Remember the parents that sent their child back to Russia? The parents should not have done that, that kid has no hope of ever getting help in Russia and will eventually get killed. My daughter is getting treatment and is a lot more settled now since she was placed in the youth opportunity place and getting the right meds that the doctors here could not get right for years! Is she ready to move into a place by herself? that is the million dollar question.

My wife is just highly mechanically challenged, I check the fluids and do the oil changes etc because those cars are our cars so I don't bother her with that stuff. I think any good husband would do that for their wives unless their wife is a mechanic or highly mechanical and the husband is the mechanically challenge. I know a lot of husbands who are, I see them go into LBS's to have flats fixed, I see them on the side of the road with flats and I stop and have to show them how to fix a flat and these men are all thumbs, like teaching a 2 year old how to tie their shoes. I know there are guys here on this forum who don't know how to fix a flat. Does that make them lazy in all aspects of life, no; today's electronic world is producing a slew of people who don't have a clue about mechanical devices, and in fact so much so that there is a shortage of mechanics that is going to get worse as the years go by.

Until you've walked in my shoes as long as I have, don't try to be a 10 cent counselor.
Very well thought out and reasonable response, I commend you on keeping your cool. I would have had a hard time responding in such a civil manner.

Jimbo
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Old 06-27-13, 01:45 PM   #16
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Yeah, I do it; but, it's a labor of love. For them, and the bikes.................

I'm lucky to have one son live right next door, and do all I can to help make their life easier, and better.

Them, providing the Grandchildren, is more than enough payback.............

Heck, all the Grandchildren's friends, bring their bikes around when they have a problem with them. Gives the Grandchildren bragging rights, and that's good enough for me.
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Old 06-28-13, 08:57 AM   #17
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Yeah, I do it; but, it's a labor of love. For them, and the bikes.................

I'm lucky to have one son live right next door, and do all I can to help make their life easier, and better.

Them, providing the Grandchildren, is more than enough payback.............

Heck, all the Grandchildren's friends, bring their bikes around when they have a problem with them. Gives the Grandchildren bragging rights, and that's good enough for me.
If each of your kids has a few kids and they all have bikes, you might become your own bike shop.
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Old 06-29-13, 06:39 AM   #18
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I do all the bike maintenance at my house. It's my hobby and while I have been teaching the kids some basic stuff, I enjoy it as long as I have good weather. I have space in the garage to work on bikes, I just prefer working outside.

On a side note, not everyone can grasp mechanics. My wife can spout off all kinds of stuff about child psycology that'd make you head spin, but give her a combination wrench and she'll find some way to break it. It's not that she's stupid or lazy, she simply doesnt pick up on that kind of stuff very easily. But that's why I'm here
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Old 06-29-13, 07:01 AM   #19
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I'm quite used to this situation.
As a kid I fixed all the bikes, mini-bikes, go-karts and eventually motorcycles in the neighborhood for my friends. My father was a journey welder & machinist, so I was taught well on turning wrenches. Even did some frame repairs (brazing) and some custom fabrication (like the trail-a-bike, but permanently welded together).
When my now adult children were young I fixed their bikes and several from the neighborhood, while trying to bestow basic skills onto the kids. Now its my garage where my sons come to use tools and a lot of my help. My wife can change a tire and do adjustments as well.
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Old 06-29-13, 07:27 PM   #20
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big day today

daughter's bike 15" Trek 7.1 FX
lubed chain
cleaned wheels braking surfaces
filled tires
centered front brake calipers

son's bike 17 1/2" Trek 7.1 FX
lubed chain
cleaned wheels braking surfaces
filled tires
centered front brake calipers
centered rear brake calipers
swapped saddle
adjusted saddle height
added rack
added 2 bottle cages

wifey's (new/used) bike 15" Trek 7.3 FX
lubed chain
cleaned wheels braking surfaces
centered front brake calipers
centered rear brake calipers
swapped saddle
adjusted saddle height
added rack
swapped pedals
added front & rear reflectors
tomorrow I will drill out wifey's wheels and install the schrader tubes I bought today

my bike (chosen from stable for the camping trip) 23" '90s era Schwinn LeTour
lubed chain
cleaned wheels braking surfaces
filled tires
swapped saddle
added rack
swapped pedals
added front, rear & wheel reflectors
added 2nd bottle cage

wifey's old bike '70s era shogun women's road bike
removed rack
tightened saddle
cut off old u-lock
removed old u-lock bracket
filled tires
added rear reflector

son's old bike 17" Trek Multitrack
removed rack
removed bottle cage
swapped saddle
filled tires
added rear reflector
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 001 Sumer Fleet 2013a.jpg (102.0 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 002 Dads 90s LeTour.jpg (104.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 003 Moms 7_3 FX.jpg (103.3 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 004 Sons 7_1 FX.jpg (104.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 005 Daughters 7_1 FX.jpg (104.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 006 Rack 1a.jpg (106.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 007 Rack 1b.jpg (87.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 008 Rack 2a.jpg (101.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 009 Rack 2b.jpg (91.0 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 010 Rack 3a.jpg (97.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 011 Rack 3b.jpg (93.5 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by rumrunn6; 07-04-13 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 07-22-13, 01:59 PM   #21
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update ... our annual camping trip turned out to be the hottest week of the year, temps in the 90s for 6 days straight. we didn't ride nearly as much as we had in the past. hardly at all in fact. I'm just shaking my head at all the time, effort and money spent on the bikes & racks etc. I probably could have done nothing at all and we might have been just fine. Why do I feel so compelled to have everything so perfect all the time?
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Old 07-30-13, 02:59 AM   #22
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Classic. I am reading this after spending the evening on the family bikes. It is compulsion, but there is a deep satisfaction in it. Current projects:

1. Bought a 2006 Marin Bayview Trail for my daughter. Stripped and powder coated, replace fork and brakes, rebuild. She and I are doing custom decals
2. Replace brake and shift wires and housings on my wife's Bianchi Milano. We LOVE that bike. Also replacing headset screws with Ti. Not for weight, but to stave off corrosion!
3. Rebuild brakes on my son's bike

Frankly, I could have bought a used bike for my daughter and sent the Milano for a tuneup. But I love maintaining the bikes!
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Old 08-07-13, 09:20 AM   #23
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Yes - I maintain the bikes. And the skis. And the cars. And the house. And the pool.
Not for lack of interest or understanding by anyone in the family but becasue that's the role I choose.
In exchange i get to buy things - mainly tools and other gear - and get to spend time doing things with my family. Great tradeoff.
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Old 08-07-13, 11:35 AM   #24
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Raising 5 boys, with 3 still at home with a non-biking wife. I have gladly taken on the role of family bike mechanic, because I like to work on bikes. I have trained the older boys on basic maintenance tasks. 2 bikes have been handed down at least 3 times, with a few others handed down once or twice.
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Old 09-15-13, 01:31 PM   #25
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Long Island, New York
Bikes: The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996, although I modify it throughout the year for commuting, touring, and recreational riding.
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Geez, I maintain the whole neighborhood's bikes! Plus, I keep a small fleet of extras at my house for people to borrow. Be careful what you wish for!
Papa Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
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