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How much DIY work do you do on your bike?

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How much DIY work do you do on your bike?

Old 01-29-14, 09:10 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post


What's wrong with this?
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Old 01-29-14, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
What's wrong with this?
Nothing. That's why I posted it. It's what it is supposed to look like.
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Old 01-29-14, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
Nothing. That's why I posted it. It's what it is supposed to look like.
"I have to complain and badger them to do a full facing instead of just a half-ass job of it." ???
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Old 01-29-14, 09:37 PM
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DO you even read?

Go back and do it again.
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Old 01-29-14, 09:45 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
DO you even read?

Go back and do it again.
Are you talking about the explanation after what I quoted which wasn't any more clear regarding what you were trying to illustrate?

I'd rather rebuild any motorcyle fork than a Fox bicycle fork...
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Old 01-30-14, 07:50 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
DO you even read?

Go back and do it again.
Hey, y'know what? I was having a real bad night last night and took this way too far. I apologize.

Keep in mind that most do not have your mechanical ability, aptitude, resources for specialty tools, or drive to work on their own bikes. To that end, thank goodness there are the occasional local bike mechanics who do a great job and care about their work.
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Old 01-30-14, 09:31 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
Pretty much yes to all of that stuff. And I've got the tools to bleed just about every type of hydraulic brake, bicycle, automotive, and motorcycle. I can even service & rebuild real shocks and suspension forks -not just the spindly toys they are still putting on bicycles these days.
You've said this before about bicycle suspension and I question if you know anything about the subject. Your bicycle list would seem to say otherwise. Some bicycle suspension systems are spindly toys. Many are not. A high quality bicycle suspension system is as much of a marvel of engineering as the suspension system you'll find on high end motorsport vehicles. They are far more sophisticated than you find on the average family sedan. They aren't just a bunch of springs. They have the added constraint of having to be light enough for to handle the job at hand and not have an adverse effect on the low power motor of the bicycle.


Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
I could never afford the 80% pay cut.
I couldn't afford a much higher cut in pay but that doesn't mean that I look down my nose at people who do the job. In fact, I took the knowledge I gained as a home mechanic and I donate it back to the community where I teach people to work on their bikes and have a lot of respect for the paid mechanics in the co-op that I volunteer at. I even taught one of the paid mechanics...an ex-con...how to be a mechanic. He's even taught me a thing or two since he sees stuff on a daily basis that I rarely see.

The mechanics at my co-op are trained professionals and worthy of respect.
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Old 01-30-14, 12:46 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
I get pretty sick of having to run out in a panic to buy a tool for every job. Tools can be EXPENSIVE and when you buy them from the local hardware store or LBS they cost twice or more what they cost if you do some research and shop around -especially online. Also, the tools that are stocked in a typical hardware store or LBS are sometimes the "home" type of tool and not the pro versions. To get the better shop tool sometimes you need to really know that there is a difference and where to find the better tools. A lot of LBS mechanics aren't going to let you in on the "secrets" and much of the time they hardly know themselves. .
Rants are what these forums do best, so you're ok. Most people who have the ability to work on a bike and own the average of 1 or 2 bikes don't need pro quality tools, most bikes will go the entire year without ever laying a tool on it, then you might need a screwdriver or a spoke wrench to make a minor adjustment and then another year goes by. For the average rider pro tools are just not needed, the home standard will last more than life of the bike and probably rider. Sure buying online is cheaper but if buying online means you have to get a tool kit and 1/3rd to 1/2 of the tools never get used than it cost you more then going to an LBS. Panic? Really? Panic sets in when you need to repair something and don't have the tool? I'm not going to even go there! In reality you'll find you need a particular tool, in that same reality you'll find that tool to be a commonly used tool, followed by another which will be the second most commonly used tool, etc etc, so usually after about the 5th or 7th tool you have most of the tools you'll use most of the time. Heck I have a Park MTB3 mini tool that is so complete I find myself using it more than my regular tools because it's in the seat bag and I don't have to go to my tool box to get what I need, a person could reasonably start with a decent mini tool and be fine for quite awhile. Now I've done it, I mentioned something too simple to be possibly effective. My rant is done for now.
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Old 02-21-14, 09:26 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by dkyser View Post
I by no means want to take away from my bike shop, but living in rural Pa its about a 30 minute drive to a decent shop.

For the average mechanically inclined man, can he do a fair amount of the maintenance required with a little research?
I do everything myself. My local bike store service was complete crap, so I started watching YouTube videos, bought all needed tools and I'm all set. Never been happier before than with the current service ;-) If you are a smart buyer, tools are not that expensive. Its also not a rocket science...most of the stuff is easy to do/fix. I love to promote and give business to local businesses, but if they don't care much, and their prices are from the moon - my wallet refuse to open and my card is buying everything online.
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Old 02-22-14, 08:37 AM
  #85  
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I grew up on a farm, and therefore was introduced to tools and mechanics at an early age. I was packing wheel bearing etc by the time I was 12.

No matter what some would have you believe bikes are a very simple machine. It is worth while to learn to do most of your maintenance. Hint---------dont believe those that would have you believe that when you take your bike to the bike shop, they take your bike behind doors and curtains, and present it to the *******omnipotent***** all knowing sage that he and only he can service bikes.
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Old 02-22-14, 08:55 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
Wrenching on bikes is simple compared to most other types of work out there. It is easy to learn and most tasks, even at a bike shop, can be done by low-dollar help with very little training the bulk of the tasks required of a bikeshop mechanic is really no more than for your average fast-food worker...for the most part many of the "difficult" tasks are knowing how to use the more expensive tools without damaging the tools themselves...It's a lower-skilled job than a barber or even a dog hair-cutter. It's a lower-skilled job than any of the auto and industrial machinery mechanics. It's a lower-skilled job than most any other "mechanical" jobs where one has to work with their hands in a professional/technical setting.
Spoken as someone who has never worked in a shop and certainly not been responsible for supervising or training bike mechanics. I don't suppose you see the illogic of putting down how little knowledge it takes to work on bikes with not trusting that so-easy work to someone else.

There are in fact many things that can be done wrong even on supposedly routine work and new equipment, let alone something that is covered with grime, bent, worn and not original equipment. It took me 60 hours of hands-on training to produce fairly competent mechanics, and even those I trained for a contract with Sears needed more than "turn this, tighten that."

I'm sorry that you managed to find so many low-level wrenches, but bike workers in general do not deserve such disdain. You are simply incorrect that the difficult tasks are using expensive tools - the greatest difficulty is figuring out why something is not working the way it should. One does not need any knowledge at all of physics or math or the interaction of the human body with a mechanical system to cut hair, etc. - not so with bike repair.

As for yours and other posters' contention that a bike is a simple machine that anyone can work on, there are many posts on this and other forums that belie that belief. Many supposedly intelligent people, including those with mechanical experience, have posted questions that show a relatively large absence of thought and logic, at least as it applies to the bike as a mechanical system:

"I tightened up the screws on my rear shifter but now it won't move"
"I fiddled a bunch with the limit screws but still can't get the bike to shift right to the middle sprocket up front."
"I don't understand the High and Low screws so I messed around with them and I cant tell if they make a difference or not."

Some people have the type of mind that lends itself to such work, some don't. To a great degree one can teach a proper approach - if the learner is willing and not bull-headed. But it's not a mindless, follow the instructions task to work on a bike.

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Old 02-22-14, 08:58 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
No matter what some would have you believe bikes are a very simple machine. It is worth while to learn to do most of your maintenance.
I agree but bicycles are deceptively simple and that's where the owner who doesn't do his (or her) homework gets into trouble. Your really operative comment is; "It is worth while to learn to do most of your maintenance". It's not that difficult but it's not all obvious either.
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Old 02-22-14, 10:22 AM
  #88  
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Basic and simple maintenance on a stock/production bike "might" be on the easier end of the spectrum, but having the imagination and skill and experience to go off script to solve a problem that begs for a "new" solution, --or to create a better experience for a rider looking for something he can't quite define, ...is not simplistic at all. I've greatly enjoyed creating new builds and experimenting with ideas and solving new puzzles in the bicycle mechanics world. And I'm still learning from all of these folks.

If you view it as monkey work, then we are certainly not talking about the same things. How bored you must be with it all. Why even read these forums?

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Old 02-22-14, 10:49 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Spoken as someone who has never worked in a shop and certainly not been responsible for supervising or training bike mechanics. I don't suppose you see the illogic of putting down how little knowledge it takes to work on bikes with not trusting that so-easy work to someone else.
I've managed multi-million dollar electrical jobs while supervising 25+ skilled electricians for years at a time.

Running a bike shop is peanuts. It's like McDonalds for the most part. I'm sure there are some really high-end bike shops out there with loads of skilled employees, just like there are some high-end restaurants with highly-trained chefs turning out delectable cuisine.

But for the most part, your average LBS is a McDonalds -and with about the same level of skill required by most of the employees.

Food is a LOT more complicated than bikes. It runs the whole gamut. But that doesn't mean that any old person off the street can't learn to operate a fry machine or a bottom bracket facer in a couple of shifts.

Watch one, do one, teach one...

Bikes are simple machines. It's not like a small mistake by an under-trained wrench is going cause an explosion and/or fire that burns the building down around the occupants.
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Old 02-22-14, 11:01 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
Bikes are simple machines. It's not like a small mistake by an under-trained wrench is going cause an explosion and/or fire that burns the building down around the occupants.
Yes they are simple machines but a mechanical mistake can kill the rider just a dead as a complex one.
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Old 02-22-14, 11:04 AM
  #91  
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Hmm. I always figured if I get dementia in my advanced years I could always fall back into a career as an electrical contractor.

(Sorry, couldn't resist. I am kidding, of course)

[Edit: How hard can it be to run extension cords around a building? (still kidding)]

Last edited by dbg; 02-22-14 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 02-22-14, 11:27 AM
  #92  
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Please show me the statistics on all theses single-vehicle catastrophic equipment-failure bike deaths.

Oh, the humanity!

A person could trip on their shoelaces walking down the stairs. Don't tie your own shoes!!!!! It's dangerous! You could DIE!!! OMGBBQ!!!!!!@@1!
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Old 02-22-14, 11:37 AM
  #93  
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I have to say it again...You have a strange way of thinking and complicating things bud. Keep it simple....
Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
Please show me the statistics on all theses single-vehicle catastrophic equipment-failure bike deaths.

Oh, the humanity!

A person could trip on their shoelaces walking down the stairs. Don't tie your own shoes!!!!! It's dangerous! You could DIE!!! OMGBBQ!!!!!!@@1!
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Old 02-22-14, 11:51 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
Please show me the statistics on all theses single-vehicle catastrophic equipment-failure bike deaths.

Oh, the humanity!

A person could trip on their shoelaces walking down the stairs. Don't tie your own shoes!!!!! It's dangerous! You could DIE!!! OMGBBQ!!!!!!@@1!
Do you have statistics on deaths in your industry from electrical contractor errors? Is your argument that more deaths in your industry proves your work is more difficult? ...Or does

[deleted rest. this is getting silly. somebody delete this post]

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Old 02-22-14, 12:05 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I grew up on a farm, and therefore was introduced to tools and mechanics at an early age. I was packing wheel bearing etc by the time I was 12.

No matter what some would have you believe bikes are a very simple machine. It is worth while to learn to do most of your maintenance. Hint---------dont believe those that would have you believe that when you take your bike to the bike shop, they take your bike behind doors and curtains, and present it to the *******omnipotent***** all knowing sage that he and only he can service bikes.
This is absolutely correct...however, in todays world more and more people are growing up far away from working on anything mechanical due to the all the electronics and far fewer yet grow up on a farm. Back when I was a kid I had lots of friends who grew up on farms and you're right they could fix anything, I had old school cars that had no electronics except the radio! So we learn to work on those cars ourselves, today with the electronics involved, and the fact you have to remove half of the front end of a lot cars just to get to a simple part most modern people are intimidated by it all, including myself to some degree! It use to be easy to change a heater core for example, took about 15 minutes, now you have to remove the entire dash which can take hours to do; or a water pump use to take about maybe an hour now is an all day job (times listed are for someone who doesn't do it on a daily basis thus it takes longer). I don't usually have all day to spend doing something like that so I say screw it and take it to the mechanic. And the point is most people won't even bother either, even with something simple like changing the plugs (some plugs can't be changed without removing the fuel injection rail on some cars!) So if a person is not tackling any form of car repair it's highly doubtful they'll tackle a bike repair. I've seen over the years of just riding my bike from the mid 70's where no one ever had a problem fixing a flat tire to slowly over the years until now I run into people all the time that can't fix a flat! It's just the unfortunate circumstances of the times. Does that mean they can't learn to fix their own bikes? no, but intimation will keep most people from trying.
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Old 02-22-14, 12:14 PM
  #96  
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Everything.

But then again, I was a German car mechanic for 20 years. Bicycles aren't quite as difficult (well, maybe the French ones).

I'm also of the mindset that it's a better value to buy the tool, than to pay someone because they have one.

I'm also maintaining a bicycle collection and inventory, not just fixing one bike.

However, I pay someone to chainge the oil on our Toyota Yaris.

Go figure.
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Old 02-22-14, 12:16 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
1. It's like McDonalds for the most part. But for the most part, your average LBS is a McDonalds -and with about the same level of skill required by most of the employees.

2. Food is a LOT more complicated than bikes....learn to operate a fry machine or a bottom bracket facer in a couple of shifts.

3. Bikes are simple machines. It's not like a small mistake by an under-trained wrench is going cause an explosion and/or fire that burns the building down around the occupants.
1. McDonald's restaurants are told what to stock, how to prepare it, what to charge, how many to employ, etc. etc. Bike shops have to make their own decisions about every one of those things. Whether a counter employee or wrench, one needs to be able to be aware of different (and ever-changing "standards" and compatibilities and of the interaction and dependencies between not only parts of the bike but bike and rider.

2. To say that a person who is capable of working at McDonalds, where one needs as little as an index finger to point at the correct number/picture on the register, is just as capable of working at a bike shop is preposterous. Again, your BB facing example is irrelevent, as that's a fraction of a percent of bike shop work. Adjusting a front derailleur involves correct angle, height, lubrication, cable/housing length and routing, correct cable attachment point, limit and cable adjustment (did I mention the need to make sure that issues with the chainwheels, BB or chain sometimes need to be considered as well?). Hardly equivalent to pressing a button and waiting for a buzzer on a fry machine.

3. Exactly - bike are machines, and machines that interact directly with and depend upon the human body, in various outdoor environments, road and grade conditions, variables that are not present at McDonalds, a computer shop or even most electrical contracting. The fact that you supposedly are competent at working on bikes does not mean you are in a position to judge the difficulty of doing so. I not only trained mechanics but also helped hundreds of public repair clinic consumers, and not everyone "gets it" equally well.

Finally, if bike work is so simple how is it that this sub-forum has far more participation than any of the others on the site? Wouldn't your position argue that the forum is hardly necessary? Further, how does it happen that some of the problems posted go for some time before the correct solution is provided, and that even those who fancy themselves mechanics pose solutions that are either irrelevent or illogical?

Granted, there are plenty of unskilled mechanics, but that is a different argument than saying that therefore the work is not demanding.

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Old 02-22-14, 12:28 PM
  #98  
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There is a lot more to wrenching on a bike or automobile than just the mechanics of the job.

It's the knowledge of your craft and the depth of that knowledge.

I doubt anyone would consider Sheldon Brown as just a bike mechanic.
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Old 02-22-14, 01:02 PM
  #99  
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Thinking is hard!

Let's go shopping Barbie.
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Old 02-22-14, 04:12 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
I've managed multi-million dollar electrical jobs while supervising 25+ skilled electricians for years at a time.

Running a bike shop is peanuts. It's like McDonalds for the most part. I'm sure there are some really high-end bike shops out there with loads of skilled employees, just like there are some high-end restaurants with highly-trained chefs turning out delectable cuisine.

But for the most part, your average LBS is a McDonalds -and with about the same level of skill required by most of the employees.

Food is a LOT more complicated than bikes. It runs the whole gamut. But that doesn't mean that any old person off the street can't learn to operate a fry machine or a bottom bracket facer in a couple of shifts.

Watch one, do one, teach one...

Bikes are simple machines. It's not like a small mistake by an under-trained wrench is going cause an explosion and/or fire that burns the building down around the occupants.
Have you ever ran a bike shop or a McDonald's ?
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