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Old 15.11.2018, 16:23
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Learning more about bike repair?

I commute around 5k on my bike annually and at "normal" Swiss prices repairs and service can add up. I can easily change a tire or swap out my chain, but when it comes to switching out cables, replacing cassettes and cranks, or truing a wheel, I'm pretty helpless. Veloplus has some courses, and the one I took helped but I'd like to learn how to service my bike, not some generic one with entirely different parts.

Are there any bike mechs on EF that would be willing to get paid to show me how to work on my own bike? Local bike shops are understandably hesitant about doing this.
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Old 15.11.2018, 16:47
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

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Are there any bike mechs on EF that would be willing to get paid to show me how to work on my own bike? Local bike shops are understandably hesitant about doing this.
If you fancy a weekend down in Valais in the spring I'd be happy to run such a thing. Too late for this year now, hours in a freezing garage not being to everyone's taste, and we won't have the B&B rooms ready for a while yet (although we hope to do weekly rentals of one 3-bed appt. through the ski season).

Meanwhile, I wholeheartedly recommend the late Sheldon Brown's website. It's the absolute definitive guide to nearly everything cycle-mechanic related. For example, here's a great starting point for home (and Street) repairs.
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Old 15.11.2018, 16:52
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

Bikes are bikes, with or without motors.

For non generic stuff, buy or download a shop manual or three.

Tom
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Old 15.11.2018, 17:04
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

+1 Sheldon Brown

Also there are tons of youtube videos covering everything you could need. the only things I don't do myself now are replacing spokes (I don't have the patience to true a wheel)

Also get some decent tools for the most common bits - hex/Allen and torx spanners, cutters/cable pulls, cassette tool, adjustable spanner - long handle and lube/grease
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Old 15.11.2018, 17:05
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

Yes there are numerous brands and diff parts.

In the end there are only a few different kind of mechanics/systems used by all of them, youtube videos will be of enough help and if you have a rare specific part download the manual of it. And don't pay money to people who state otherwise.
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Old 15.11.2018, 17:39
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

you can probably figure everything out just by looking at a bike since it is pretty simple.

but otherwise, you can just search on youtube on any aspect of bike repair/maintenance and there will be a video guide for it.
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Old 15.11.2018, 18:04
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

Thanks for the all the tips. I'm not particularly mechanically inclined and I've gotten myself in over my head a few times watching youtube videos thinking "hey that looks super easy" and three hours later I'm at the mechanic with a box of parts and a dumb(er) look on my face. Granted that was a vespa motor removal but still...
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Old 15.11.2018, 18:37
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

The level of technology and skill is not particularly high and there are almost unlimited tutorials and videos and such. HOWEVER, if you are coming without a lot of workshop or mechanical experience, there will be many important aspects to repairs that cannot be conveyed easily through a video or tech manual.

There is no substitute for experience. The fact that some here have offered to help you should not be overlooked. There are things you could learn in 20 minutes from another cyclist that you would still be uncertain about after 5 hours of youtube videos.

You will also likely need to buy or borrow a selection of specialized tools for bike work. Many may be specific to your particular bike or manufacturer. The cost of these tools along with a decent workstand is not going to be insignificant.

Absolutely, it is possible to learn everything about bike repair. In a practical sense, learning to do these repairs and service work on a bike that you depend on daily may not be so simple.
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Old 15.11.2018, 18:48
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

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Absolutely, it is possible to learn everything about bike repair. In a practical sense, learning to do these repairs and service work on a bike that you depend on daily may not be so simple.
Yes, that's a big reason why I avoid doing too much as well. I'm lucky enough that I don't NEED to take my bike but I hate not taking my bike to work so I'm always worried about putting it out of commission for too long. I also don't want to buy tools I don't need, and I don't have a torque wrench (I do have a steel frame bike though) so I'm hesitant about repairs requiring one of those as well. It would definitely behoove me to visit lovely Valais and Ace1 come spring.
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Old 15.11.2018, 19:14
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

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I don't have a torque wrench
I have five (1/4", 3/8", 1/2", an old 1/2", and a digital one).

Tom
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Old 16.11.2018, 01:33
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

I recommend Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance. Saved me many a pretty penny.
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Old 16.11.2018, 09:53
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

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Yes, that's a big reason why I avoid doing too much as well. I'm lucky enough that I don't NEED to take my bike but I hate not taking my bike to work so I'm always worried about putting it out of commission for too long. I also don't want to buy tools I don't need, and I don't have a torque wrench (I do have a steel frame bike though) so I'm hesitant about repairs requiring one of those as well. It would definitely behoove me to visit lovely Valais and Ace1 come spring.
You can get a cheapish set of bike specific tools (chain breakers, cassette tools etc) for not serious money, I think I paid around €40 for a set and they're done most things I need. Mind you I have another full tool set for all the other bits.

Torque wrenches are optional unless you're doing something which needs precision, and I don't think steel framed bikes count. You'll find most normal spanners are rated to 1FT, you probably only need about 1/2-3/4 FT for most bike applications.

FT= Tight.
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Old 16.11.2018, 10:15
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

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I also don't want to buy tools I don't need, and I don't have a torque wrench (I do have a steel frame bike though) so I'm hesitant about repairs requiring one of those as well.
I do have a torque wrench (or two) but it's never been anywhere near any of my bicycles. You absolutely do not need one.

The are a few specialist tools needed, but only for specialist jobs, notably for crank/arm and cassette/freewheel replacement, plus basics like spanners, allen keys, pliers, screwdrivers etc. Sizes and numbers of some of these will very much depend on the age and spec of your bike. The kits sometimes sold in Lidl and Aldi would include most of this, but for normal day to day maintenance they're more than you actually need.

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It would definitely behoove me to visit lovely Valais and Ace1 come spring.
Cool. I wonder if there's a market for this? Some work in the garage, plus a bit more out on the trail, perhaps? Would it be useful to see different types and are of bikes rather than just focus on the specifics of the bike you currently ride? Any thoughts welcome.

BTW I have steel, aluminium and carbon framed bikes, from 80s "racer" to millennial full suspension MTB, many of which have had some sort of conversion work, which is where your skills can really be put to the test.
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Old 16.11.2018, 10:53
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

I've always done everything myself, but haven't done it in a while---a few skills need fine tuning (derailleurs, brakes, truing).


I am slowing planning the upgrade to Di2 over winter I want to do it myself, but it looks very overwhelming! and not a lot of online resources.
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Old 16.11.2018, 11:26
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

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I am slowing planning the upgrade to Di2 over winter I want to do it myself, but it looks very overwhelming! and not a lot of online resources.
<Googles> Crikey! But why?

I mean, there's all sorts of overpriced and/or unnecessary it out there, I just wonder why this in particular? Changing gear is hardly difficult, is it?

Edit: sorry, didn't mean to sound disparaging, just genuinely curious. It doesn't look that difficult, would gladly lend a hand. I guess it would be a lot of campag-specific tools, mind, but I guess you already have that.

Last edited by Ace1; 16.11.2018 at 11:49. Reason: sounded harsh
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Old 16.11.2018, 12:23
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

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<Googles> Crikey! But why?

I mean, there's all sorts of overpriced and/or unnecessary it out there, I just wonder why this in particular? Changing gear is hardly difficult, is it?

Edit: sorry, didn't mean to sound disparaging, just genuinely curious. It doesn't look that difficult, would gladly lend a hand. I guess it would be a lot of campag-specific tools, mind, but I guess you already have that.
True, I'm still on the fence cost wise.
But honestly, I've gotten soo frustrated realigning derailleurs (and my frame build makes the front derailleur inaccessible without detaching the swing arm) I did go cheap on components to get the frame I wanted, and maybe due to wear/cable stretch shifting has always been shitty.


The Di2 self aligning, quick shifting, single shifter, automatic front derailleur sounds like a good solution.
Cable routing, digital set-up, compatibility, spacers, all that jazz does sound a bit too much---but a fun project if done correctly.
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Old 16.11.2018, 12:59
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

make your own:
https://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/...cle-derailleur
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Old 16.11.2018, 13:27
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

Depending on your bike, a torque wrench can be very important - I use it fairly regularly on my carbon TT bike for things like the seatpost clamp where the margin of error between having a slipping part and turning your bike into a very expensive paperweight is quite slim. For an aluminium or steel bike, you have a lot more leeway. They don't have to be particularly expensive - I got this one plus a 32-piece screwdriver bit set for an additional £10: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00J9B3C...767431_TE_dp_1

For YouTube, there are a few resources which are generally worth checking first: Park Tools have a lot of videos (and their tools are generally excellent) and Art's Cyclery also have a lot of well made and clear videos.

With regards Di2 - do it. The set-and-forget nature is fantastic. If you are worried about installation, consider SRAM etap instead, which is incredibly simple to install.
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Old 16.11.2018, 14:19
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Re: Learning more about bike repair?

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Depending on your bike, a torque wrench can be very important - I use it fairly regularly on my carbon TT bike for things like the seatpost clamp where the margin of error between having a slipping part and turning your bike into a very expensive paperweight is quite slim. For an aluminium or steel bike, you have a lot more leeway. They don't have to be particularly expensive - I got this one plus a 32-piece screwdriver bit set for an additional £10: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00J9B3C...767431_TE_dp_1
80+ quid for a torque wrench? I think you may have a nut loose.

Thing is, there are different needs for different usage models. If you've forked out several thousand notes for some exotic beastie weighing just a couple of kilos then I can see that you'll not blanch at that sort of price for a tool you could probably get (a basic but functional version of) for a tenner; on the other hand the OP just uses a bike to get around and isn't interested (I'm inferring) in spending money on fancy gadgetry, but just wants to keep their bike running well at the lowest possible cost.

There's room in the world for all sorts, but it's important to recognise that what's important for you may not be appropriate for everyone.
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Last edited by Ace1; 16.11.2018 at 16:14. Reason: typo
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