Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

cycling for years w/o knowing a thing

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

cycling for years w/o knowing a thing

Old 05-05-21, 08:22 PM
  #1  
indiecollin
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
cycling for years w/o knowing a thing

Hello All,

I'm new to this forum and I was hoping I could learn a thing or 2 about being a better cyclist. Some background on me, I started riding roadbikes when I was 23 and have been doing so for the past 5 years. I've probably rode over 10k miles and I've spent thousands of dollars on cycling. I really love riding as a hobby though I haven't been doing it much over the pandemic. Despite all I've said, I hardly know anything about these beautiful machines and I decided that today I would try and change that.

I ride a 2013 cervelo R3 with a hodgepodge of different components. Whenever something goes wrong with my bike I just find myself throwing money at the problem instead of getting a better understanding of what caused the problem so I can be a more informed consumer. I also feel like I have a really good bike with features I don't completely understand (like my electric derailleur that sometimes seems to have a mind of its own). I feel like I tried to get a bunch of "pro" stuff while still being fairly amateur. Where should I begin in better understanding my bike, cycling in general, and how to properly maintain/repair my bikes?
indiecollin is offline  
Old 05-05-21, 09:18 PM
  #2  
Wildwood
Veteran, Pacifist
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 10,922

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Mentioned: 247 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2754 Post(s)
Liked 1,617 Times in 942 Posts
Welcome to BF.

Youtube is your friend. Usually.

Our own BF Mechanics Forum.


Buy good tools.
Park Tools has instructional videos that might be useful in maintaining your bike.

Last edited by Wildwood; 05-05-21 at 09:29 PM.
Wildwood is offline  
Likes For Wildwood:
Old 05-05-21, 09:28 PM
  #3  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21,836
Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14250 Post(s)
Liked 5,292 Times in 3,010 Posts
Originally Posted by indiecollin View Post
Hello All,

I'm new to this forum and I was hoping I could learn a thing or 2 about being a better cyclist. Some background on me, I started riding roadbikes when I was 23 and have been doing so for the past 5 years. I've probably rode over 10k miles and I've spent thousands of dollars on cycling. I really love riding as a hobby though I haven't been doing it much over the pandemic. Despite all I've said, I hardly know anything about these beautiful machines and I decided that today I would try and change that.

I ride a 2013 cervelo R3 with a hodgepodge of different components. Whenever something goes wrong with my bike I just find myself throwing money at the problem instead of getting a better understanding of what caused the problem so I can be a more informed consumer. I also feel like I have a really good bike with features I don't completely understand (like my electric derailleur that sometimes seems to have a mind of its own). I feel like I tried to get a bunch of "pro" stuff while still being fairly amateur. Where should I begin in better understanding my bike, cycling in general, and how to properly maintain/repair my bikes?
First, I had that exact same bike and loved it. I never would have parted with it if I'd had a choice. I replaced it with another Cervelo that's also wonderful, but I still miss the R3 and I'm sightly jealous. 🙂

Welcome. To your last question, there are great resources all over the net. If you have any specifics questions people in here love talking about bikes.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 05-05-21, 11:59 PM
  #4  
UCantTouchThis
Senior Member
 
UCantTouchThis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 1,377
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 527 Post(s)
Liked 1,114 Times in 533 Posts
If you have any kind of mechanical ability or logic, watch some youtube videos and bicycle mechanic sites. You will save hundreds, thousands of dollars on bike stuff. Including gas heading to the shop for simple adjustments. I learned to build my own bikes and wheels so over the last 15 years, I have spent about $20 on a bike shop "repair". That was because I did not have a special tool that did not make sense to own. But that is having 7 fully functional bicycles, $20!

DIY is your best friend!
UCantTouchThis is offline  
Old 05-06-21, 12:40 AM
  #5  
indiecollin
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
If you have any kind of mechanical ability or logic, watch some youtube videos and bicycle mechanic sites. You will save hundreds, thousands of dollars on bike stuff. Including gas heading to the shop for simple adjustments. I learned to build my own bikes and wheels so over the last 15 years, I have spent about $20 on a bike shop "repair". That was because I did not have a special tool that did not make sense to own. But that is having 7 fully functional bicycles, $20!

DIY is your best friend!
How do you even get into building your own bikes and wheels?!? That's definitely something I'd like to try.
indiecollin is offline  
Old 05-06-21, 01:16 AM
  #6  
flangehead
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 519

Bikes: 2017 Co-op ADV 1.1; ~1991 Novara Arriba; 1990 Fuji Palisade; mid-90's Moots Tandem

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 224 Post(s)
Liked 307 Times in 181 Posts
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/

is a good resource.
flangehead is offline  
Likes For flangehead:
Old 05-06-21, 07:00 AM
  #7  
Greatestalltime
Senior Member
 
Greatestalltime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 239

Bikes: Tcr advanced sl & Protos

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked 38 Times in 23 Posts
Bikes really are simple machines and there’s so much help instruction on the internet there’s very little need if any to go to a shop.


Im fairly handy at best. My wife would say I’m exaggerating.
Greatestalltime is offline  
Old 05-06-21, 07:27 AM
  #8  
DaveSSS 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 6,382

Bikes: TWO Cinelli superstar disc with SRAM Force AXS

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 651 Post(s)
Liked 299 Times in 239 Posts
Building a bike isn't very difficult. These days, there are many factory built wheels with excellent quality. I assemble my bikes from the frame up, but don't bother building wheels. Campy/Fulcrum usually has what I need.
DaveSSS is offline  
Old 05-06-21, 08:42 AM
  #9  
terrymorse 
climber has-been
 
terrymorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 3,926

Bikes: Scott Addict R1

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 634 Post(s)
Liked 451 Times in 273 Posts
If you've been riding solo only for 5 years, you probably could benefit from doing some group rides. You'll learn some valuable skills in a good group.

Check if there are any group rides in your area.
__________________
Ride, Rest, Repeat
terrymorse is offline  
Likes For terrymorse:
Old 05-06-21, 09:15 AM
  #10  
MinnMan
Senior Member
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 3,805

Bikes: 2020 Salsa Warbird GRX 600, 2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX disc 9.0 Di2, 2020 Catrike Eola, 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011, Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2822 Post(s)
Liked 1,699 Times in 1,027 Posts
MinnMan is offline  
Likes For MinnMan:
Old 05-06-21, 11:18 AM
  #11  
UCantTouchThis
Senior Member
 
UCantTouchThis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 1,377
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 527 Post(s)
Liked 1,114 Times in 533 Posts
Originally Posted by indiecollin View Post
How do you even get into building your own bikes and wheels?!? That's definitely something I'd like to try.

I started with small stuff, changing cables, chains. Then bar tape, shifters, handlebars. Then later realized, it is all small stuff to build the bike, just a little more small stuff than before. Like they say, it is not rocket science. Figure it's remove a seat post, brake calipers, and the derailleurs are not much more other than you need to adjust cable tension and limit screws. All pretty basic stuff really. Watch youtube videos and as mentioned, with a little mechanical ability, all small potatoes.

The wheels I did after having several failed wheels by local professionals at high end shops. I had one guy build a wheel for me that lasted so I followed his example and even asked him for tips. Then read up on spoke patterns and tips on Sheldon Brown mechanic website. Made sense so I gave it a try. Common sense, a little mechanical ability, and lots of patience. First wheel lasted 20,000+ with one tiny true at 14,000 miles. Only reason I retired the wheel was the brake surface wore out, still straight as an arrow. I lace up the wheel, start to tension it, leave it over night and little things and tricks pop into your head. Then go back the next day and finish it. I have tried different things, linseed oil, spoke prep, loctite, and even nothing to secure the spokes in place after reading an article about how spokes nowadays are so precision made that one really doesn't need any kind of product.. I built some as experiments and all have done well. I think the secret is to put a little TLC into them.

Best thing I ever did. Built up about 15 of my own wheels for my own personal use on my bikes, including tandem wheels and not one bit of a problem.

You will save a ton of money as well. I have had friends give me a wheel/s because some spokes broke and they didn't want to take it to the shop to be repaired. So I end up with slightly used Ultegra hubs at times, explain it to them but they don't care, rather buy a new wheel. So I can spend $80-$100 for a new rim and spokes then build up a sweet wheel for myself. To have it done at a shop, buy parts and about $100 labor. Component swap on a bike frame, $220. I can do it myself in and hour and a half taking my time.

Really, diy is the way to go. Videos, mechanic sites, all pretty simple. Looks overwhelming at first but think about it, just a few little things to assemble. DIY, SAVE MONEY, BETTER QUALITY, WIN WIN SITUATION!
UCantTouchThis is offline  
Old 05-08-21, 04:20 PM
  #12  
indiecollin
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Awesome thanks for all the advice everyone! I have a Trek that's laying around that needs a lot of work so I think I might just start with seeing if I can get that running. As far as joining a cycling group I will try that too once I get my Cervelo rolling again.
indiecollin is offline  
Old 05-09-21, 10:23 AM
  #13  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 7,105

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2771 Post(s)
Liked 1,394 Times in 1,018 Posts
While old bikes can be a sweet and memorable ride, don't forget to try the new bikes. Sometimes the cost of upgrading a bike, even with you doing all the work, will have your bike with lesser tier components on it than if you'd bought a new bike with your dream groupset on it.

My 1991 Paramount rides extremely nice and the 105 5800 I put on it shifted better than anything else I've had.... even my Ultegra Di2 on my new bike. But the new bike is so much more fun to ride.
Iride01 is online now  
Old 05-09-21, 12:20 PM
  #14  
xroadcharlie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Windsor Ontario, Canada
Posts: 369

Bikes: 2018 Giant Sedona

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 56 Posts
Originally Posted by Greatestalltime View Post
Bikes really are simple machines and there’s so much help instruction on the internet there’s very little need if any to go to a shop.


Im fairly handy at best. My wife would say I’m exaggerating.
This is true for many bikes. But as they get more sophisticated. Like hydraulic brakes and electric derailleurs it takes more skill. I been riding a bike for 50+ years and the only time its been in the shop is when I bent the frame and forks when I was hit by a parked car at night. This is one reason I try to KISS. Clincher tires on 26" rims, Rim brakes, a mechanical single chainring transmission, and no suspension.

That said, A little research can go a long way toward keeping a more elaborate bike in top shape and limit trips to the bike shop and replacing parts.
xroadcharlie is offline  
Likes For xroadcharlie:
Old 05-09-21, 05:25 PM
  #15  
Greatestalltime
Senior Member
 
Greatestalltime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 239

Bikes: Tcr advanced sl & Protos

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked 38 Times in 23 Posts
Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
This is true for many bikes. But as they get more sophisticated. Like hydraulic brakes and electric derailleurs it takes more skill. I been riding a bike for 50+ years and the only time its been in the shop is when I bent the frame and forks when I was hit by a parked car at night. This is one reason I try to KISS. Clincher tires on 26" rims, Rim brakes, a mechanical single chainring transmission, and no suspension.

That said, A little research can go a long way toward keeping a more elaborate bike in top shape and limit trips to the bike shop and replacing parts.
Parked cars are aggressive!!
Greatestalltime is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.