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How to learn bike maintenance ?

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How to learn bike maintenance ?

Old 03-20-19, 10:18 AM
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Rajflyboy
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How to learn bike maintenance ?

What resources do you use to help learn bike repair and maintenance? YouTube is good and Park Tool. What else is out there for someone like me who wants to be a better weekend warrior home mechanic?
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Old 03-20-19, 10:37 AM
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Sheldon Brown, Harris Cyclery or have four kids like me; I needed to learn in a hurry. Was before the days of utube, but most things are intuitive.
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Old 03-20-19, 11:01 AM
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What type of bike do you plan to work on; road, MTB, BMX, etc.? What quality; high line, big-box or in between? Recent or vintage? Suitable books and manuals are available for all of these but it helps to narrow down your expectations.
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Old 03-20-19, 11:02 AM
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Shimano and the other component companies have detailed installation and service manuals on their websites. https://si.shimano.com/
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Old 03-20-19, 11:06 AM
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Start as a curious child, and read bike maintenance/repair books in the library,

this worked for me in the 1950's...
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Old 03-20-19, 11:37 AM
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I think where your starting point is good. The internet in general and youtube specifically provide great resources. That being said, learning how to do something and doing it proficiently is not the same thing. Becoming a good mechanic takes a fair amount of practice. You can practice on your bike as needed but there are things that don't come up very often so you really don't know how to do them. Maybe you pick up a cheap used bike and practice on it. For example, maybe it needs lots of adjustments. Or maybe it needs new cables and housing. Maybe it needs a new chain or a new cassette. Or the wheels need to be trued. Whatever. Better that you practice on a bike that you don't care that much about and haven't spent much money on. And maybe you'll have a pretty decent bike when you're done. BTW, get a bike stand.
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Old 03-20-19, 11:59 AM
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There are modern bike maintenance books if you are considering a bike built to today's standards. There are also many excellent books written since the 1970s that give you the "tricks of the trade", things that bike shop guys knew that others did not. Eugene Sloan's book on maintenance and repair has been a classic for more than a generation, particularly if you're working on vintage bikes.

My habit has to been to browse used book stores, Goodwill, and flea markets for books on bicycles. You'd be amazed what you can find over the years.
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Old 03-20-19, 12:22 PM
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I know it is not an option for everyone, but having an older/cheaper/beater is a really good way to learn and practice bike mechanic skills. Also, quality appropriate tools is important. I am not a mechanically adept person. I started working on my bikes this winter, in particular, an older steel frame that I decided to rebuild. Deconstructing the bike totally to just the frame, then stripping the frame to bare metal has been a good learning experience. The frame is now in a shop to be powder coated. Rebuilding and adjusting everything is going to be another learning experience. Bike Forum members have been a huge help, as well as YouTube and Park tools. I also have a Shwinn SS DBX that I have done a lot of work on to make it my commuter/chores bike. Also, my LBS has been helpful. I have made numerous mistakes and know I will make more, but they are an important part of learning. Don't be afraid to ask a question. The dumbest question is the one that doesn'the get asked.
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Old 03-20-19, 01:56 PM
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Youtube is a great start. While there are websites that can help you with some things (like Sheldon Brown's site) I find nothing can replace a video so you can actually see what they are doing. I'd also recommend getting some junk bikes that don't work and fix them. For youtube I find "RJ The Bike Guy" a good start for mostly older bike stuff.
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Old 03-20-19, 05:29 PM
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If there's a co-op or other non-profit bike shop in your area, volunteer there. I know several co-ops, a major thrift store, and a civic organization that run pretty good volunteer shops.
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Old 03-20-19, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
What type of bike do you plan to work on; road, MTB, BMX, etc.? What quality; high line, big-box or in between? Recent or vintage? Suitable books and manuals are available for all of these but it helps to narrow down your expectations.
road and Mountain Bike
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Old 03-20-19, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
If there's a co-op or other non-profit bike shop in your area, volunteer there. I know several co-ops, a major thrift store, and a civic organization that run pretty good volunteer shops.

great idea
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Old 03-21-19, 06:12 AM
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I dislike YouTube as any kind of primary source. I recommend first referring to Parktool.com or Sheldonbrown.com written instructions with pictures, then go to Park Tool videos. Other videos are primarily helpful to see a procedure in action, rather than for accurate and complete info, though some produced by shops and more skilled home mechanics can be quite good. It's a good idea to check the comments for any glaring errors others have noticed.

There are other important component to learning to work on your bike. Rember to use observation and logic skills; don't just dive in to "fixing" what you think is wrong, or blindly follow instructions, Observe how things work and interact with each other. Think about the possible reasons for a problem, then eliminate them by isolating each possible cause. Always be willing to question your assumptions.
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Old 03-21-19, 07:05 AM
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Bicycle mechanics isn't "rocket surgery" or "brain science" (to suitably mix metaphors ) but it isn't trivial either. Serious mistakes can have serious consequences.

I agree that getting a cheap beater from a thrift store or finding one on line at Craigs List is a good place to start. As to manuals, used book stores and your library are not likely to have the latest ones but can be a valuable source of basic information.
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Old 03-21-19, 07:57 AM
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being cheap helped me. meaning I kept buying old bikes to keep at least one in great running condition. swapping all those parts was educational. but then I had a bunch of other bikes & frames to unload. took a while but I eventually cleared the basement. now all I have are good functioning bikes for everyone in the family. Wifey has two & I have four, but I'm willing to sell two
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Old 03-21-19, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post


road and Mountain Bike

Road
https://www.velopress.com/books/zinn...e-maintenance/
Mountain
https://www.velopress.com/books/zinn...e-maintenance/
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Old 03-21-19, 04:23 PM
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Some shops offer home-repair workshops. The advantage there is you learn first-hand actually doing it. The absolute best way to learn is by doing. Practice on an old beater bike if you need to.

I learned by reading a couple of books in the 1970's but had a hard time converting that to actual bike repair skills so I quit my job in the gas station and got a job in a bike shop when I was 16. I kept working in bike shops and construction all the way through high school and college. It's one of the best decisions I've made. The bike and construction skills I learned have lasted me a lifetime.


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Old 03-21-19, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
Some shops offer home-repair workshops. The advantage there is you learn first-hand actually doing it.
Most REI stores offer bike repair and maintenance classes and the cost is pretty reasonable. My local ones charge REI Members $40 per class. Search REI's web site for a shop in your area for available classes and dates.
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Old 03-21-19, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Most REI stores offer bike repair and maintenance classes and the cost is pretty reasonable. My local ones charge REI Members $40 per class. Search REI's web site for a shop in your area for available classes and dates.

Thanks for this advice. I did not know this
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Old 03-22-19, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
YouTube is good and Park Tool.
+1 to the Park Tool mechanic videos. They are the best things available on YouTube that aren't specific to a certain part/groupset, etc. Installed my first-ever drivetrain last summer using their videos, and the one showing how to index the rear derailleur was awesome.
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Old 03-22-19, 06:22 PM
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Rebuild one bike from the frame up, and you'll have most of it down.
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