Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

The basic stuff

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

The basic stuff

Old 06-25-20, 01:57 PM
  #1  
Colorado Kid
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 482
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 8 Posts
The basic stuff

How many on this list can do the basic stuff like lube a chain or change a flat? In talking with other commuters, few care anymore. AAA Plus will do some things like fix a flat but how many know how to do the basic stuff without running off to get help?
Colorado Kid is offline  
Old 06-25-20, 02:01 PM
  #2  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 39,037

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2247 Post(s)
Liked 950 Times in 495 Posts
That's amazing. I taught both my kids to fix a flat when they started riding their bikes to middle school. It's super basic.
caloso is online now  
Likes For caloso:
Old 06-25-20, 08:36 PM
  #3  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,083
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 788 Post(s)
Liked 210 Times in 154 Posts
Most riders learn, soon after getting into commuting. At my workplace, I keep a floor pump and some odds and ends in my office / lab area, and folks are welcome to come and pump up their tires, fix a flat (with or without help), or get general advice and criticism from the several cyclists who are usually around. A couple of them have showed up with flat tires or minor mechanicals and no idea what to do. After a bit of coaching and reassurance, they're usually eager to do it themselves next time.

Myself, I'm 100% self sufficient for all bike related work, but it's a hobby of mine. I do tell people that getting up to speed on basic maintenance will vastly improve the utility and enjoyment of cycling.
Gresp15C is offline  
Likes For Gresp15C:
Old 06-26-20, 01:35 PM
  #4  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 10,893

Bikes: Schwinn Paramount, Salsa Timberjack, Diamondback Expert TG, Burley Samba

Mentioned: 64 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1962 Post(s)
Liked 524 Times in 363 Posts
My Dad and grandad taught me, because they sure weren't going to do it for me!

BikeForums members tend to make things complicated. Can I use any old oil on my chain? No, you must use dry lube, or gooey lube, or three chains which you wax in rotation (don't tell your wife about the crock pot), or Ceramic Speed chains for $200. And WD-40 will destroy it utterly.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is online now  
Likes For Darth Lefty:
Old 06-26-20, 03:44 PM
  #5  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 6,214

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1824 Post(s)
Liked 474 Times in 258 Posts
Not knowing the basics and not being prepared is an embarrassment...Every cyclists should learn the basics and make sure that they are prepared when going out for a ride.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 06-26-20, 03:53 PM
  #6  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 6,214

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1824 Post(s)
Liked 474 Times in 258 Posts
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post

Can I use any old oil on my chain? .
I've used an old machine oil on my chain a couple of times in the past.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 06-26-20, 04:40 PM
  #7  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,083
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 788 Post(s)
Liked 210 Times in 154 Posts
I was fortunate to learn a lot of self reliance from my parents. They lived through tougher times than anything I've experienced. My dad taught me to repack the hubs on my bike, usually when the Bendix brake started making noise. He'd hold the ball cage in the palm of his hand, take some grease with his thumb, and press it into the middle. The old grease would squirt out as it was displaced by the new grease, then it went back into the hub.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 06-27-20, 06:16 PM
  #8  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 4,932

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1050 Post(s)
Liked 590 Times in 306 Posts
I can do the things that will get me to work or home...patch flats, true a wheel after a broken spoke, and fix a chain after a link brakes, plus adjust brakes mechanical rim and mech disc. I'm 58 and spent most of my life in a world without cell phones, so self reliance was a little more necessary.

Beyond that I can replace cables, except on my main commuter with brifters, but I'm sure I could do it after a couple of videos. I have an LBS by the office and they will do it very inexpensively.

I've cleaned and repacked bearings but no longer enjoy it.

Last fall I converted my MTB to drop bars myself and that was very satisfying. But the older I get, the less I want to wrench myself. Plus, I'm no genius at it.
BobbyG is offline  
Old 06-28-20, 02:49 PM
  #9  
FiftySix
I'm the anecdote.
 
FiftySix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: S.E. Texas
Posts: 1,606

Bikes: '13 Norco CityGlide 8IGH, '12 Schwinn "Speedster" Willy SS

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 922 Post(s)
Liked 825 Times in 596 Posts
Bicycles are easier to work on than motorcycles and cars, so yeah I do everything I can myself.

Gotta admit, I haven't built a bicycle wheel yet. Someday, someday.
FiftySix is offline  
Likes For FiftySix:
Old 06-28-20, 03:34 PM
  #10  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 10,893

Bikes: Schwinn Paramount, Salsa Timberjack, Diamondback Expert TG, Burley Samba

Mentioned: 64 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1962 Post(s)
Liked 524 Times in 363 Posts
Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Gotta admit, I haven't built a bicycle wheel yet. Someday, someday.
I didn't get the Zen rewards out of it that were promised, but it's a good skill to keep you out of the bike shop
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is online now  
Likes For Darth Lefty:
Old 06-28-20, 06:45 PM
  #11  
GeneO
Senior Member
 
GeneO's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: midwest
Posts: 2,443

Bikes: 2018 Roubaix Expert Di2, 2016 Diverge Expert X1

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 459 Post(s)
Liked 99 Times in 69 Posts
I do most all mechanics myself, including truing wheels, replacing bottom bracket bearings, cassettes, chains, disc rotors and pads, tires and tubes and cables, saddles, cranks, chain-rings, pedals, brifters, and derailleurs. Do all normal maintenance such as lubing, flat repair, bar tape replacement. Only things I don't do are wheel builds, wheel hub maintenance and freehub maintenance, though I will do the latter soon I think. I also haven't bled my hydraulic brakes yet, that is coming up soon.

Worst in committing is I had to repair a recurring flat in my office at work. It was a flap in the tire from a small puncture that would rub the tube and create a hole in it. Once I figured that out it was a matter of placing a patch on the inside of the tire.
GeneO is offline  
Old 06-28-20, 07:45 PM
  #12  
Papa Tom
Senior Member
 
Papa Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,094

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.

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 682 Post(s)
Liked 107 Times in 62 Posts
My enjoyment of riding is multiplied many times over by the fact that I have zero stress about being able to repair virtually any mechanical issue I might face on a commute or out for a leisure ride.
Papa Tom is offline  
Old 06-28-20, 08:12 PM
  #13  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,236

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, '74ish Windsor Carrera Sport, Priority Eight, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 208 Post(s)
Liked 301 Times in 161 Posts
Tools and skills to fix the basic stuff. For the rest, walking shoes, rain shell, and a wool sweater.
downtube42 is online now  
Old 06-29-20, 06:25 AM
  #14  
FiftySix
I'm the anecdote.
 
FiftySix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: S.E. Texas
Posts: 1,606

Bikes: '13 Norco CityGlide 8IGH, '12 Schwinn "Speedster" Willy SS

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 922 Post(s)
Liked 825 Times in 596 Posts
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I didn't get the Zen rewards out of it that were promised, but it's a good skill to keep you out of the bike shop
Lol. I never get the Zen rewards out of anything. I believe my personality is incompatible with Zen.
FiftySix is offline  
Old 06-29-20, 11:26 AM
  #15  
Bikewolf
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 410
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Your bike is counting on you and vice versa, so take care.

Prevention helps! But yeah, when you get a flat or chain breaks basic knowledge is a plus; especially when no immediate rescue is available (when you’re out there).
Bikewolf is offline  
Old 06-29-20, 12:19 PM
  #16  
RoadKill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 201

Bikes: Specialized AWOL, Specialized Roubaix, Niner Air9, Turner Sultan

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 14 Posts
In about 2 years time span around 1990ish when I was in Jr High, I broke my 10 speed MTB frame twice and had it replaced under warranty. The first time my dad helped with the frame swap but the second time I was on my own. Ever since then I've been able to handle just about any bicycle maintenance/repair/build item that's come up. I'm surprised at how often I see adults who can't repair a flat.
RoadKill is offline  
Old 07-02-20, 07:00 PM
  #17  
Archwhorides 
Senior Member
 
Archwhorides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Boston
Posts: 894

Bikes: Death machines all

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 287 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 45 Posts
I enjoy tooling around on bikes, even if it occasionally goes very wrong, like my first attempt at rebuilding a wheel

Last edited by Archwhorides; 07-02-20 at 07:04 PM.
Archwhorides is offline  
Old 07-04-20, 11:30 AM
  #18  
Senson
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: NYC
Posts: 14

Bikes: 18 Cervelo R3, 19 Surly Crosscheck

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 6 Posts
same here I've done all my bike work by myself except truing wheels only because limited space in my apt and my wife won't allow me to have truing stand .
Senson is offline  
Old 07-05-20, 09:32 AM
  #19  
FiftySix
I'm the anecdote.
 
FiftySix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: S.E. Texas
Posts: 1,606

Bikes: '13 Norco CityGlide 8IGH, '12 Schwinn "Speedster" Willy SS

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 922 Post(s)
Liked 825 Times in 596 Posts
Originally Posted by Senson View Post
same here I've done all my bike work by myself except truing wheels only because limited space in my apt and my wife won't allow me to have truing stand .
I true the wheels while they're mounted to my bike. Of course, I'm satisfied if I can get the wheels to 1mm in true. My tires are never as true as the wheels can be, so it would seem I'm really keeping wheels true for the rim brakes.
FiftySix is offline  
Old 07-05-20, 10:25 PM
  #20  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,083
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 788 Post(s)
Liked 210 Times in 154 Posts
My main reason for getting into wheel building was so I could experiment with weird combinations of hubs and rims, such as an ancient Sturmey-Archer or Bendix on a modern aluminum rim.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 07-08-20, 06:27 PM
  #21  
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 9,218

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 584 Times in 437 Posts
I've been changing my own flats since I was 12 and had a work bike for my paper route. (Although back then I didn't have a patch kit and pump to change on the road, I'd have to walk the rest of the route and fix it at home)

Ask me how I figured out, it's actually NOT ok to have a little bit of tube bulging out of a small hole on the side of your tire, and rubbing against the frame...
RubeRad is offline  
Likes For RubeRad:
Old 07-08-20, 07:48 PM
  #22  
noisebeam
Arizona Dessert
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Posts: 14,857

Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4228 Post(s)
Liked 843 Times in 472 Posts
I've never been stranded in over 100k miles of riding. However I do not like bike maintenance and will put off what I can until it needs to be done. Over the years I've replaced cranks, every element in a drive-train and shifters a few times. I've also called my wife to pick me up 2mi from home so as not to waste a cartridge while being miserable fixing a flat in 110F, but have repaired them in 115F as well as in heavy rain and cold.
noisebeam is online now  
Old 07-08-20, 08:18 PM
  #23  
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 9,218

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 584 Times in 437 Posts
I once called for a ride about 3mi from home because my front derailleur had fallen off and was dangling on the chain and I hadn't brought a multitool to deal with it.
RubeRad is offline  
Old 07-09-20, 02:41 PM
  #24  
Colorado Kid
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 482
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 8 Posts
While we're on this thread, how many on this list has called someone to pick them up due to the fact, the bike broke down? I've only down it it once or twice. Also too, it was over 95F to change a flat!
Colorado Kid is offline  
Old 07-09-20, 04:04 PM
  #25  
GeneO
Senior Member
 
GeneO's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: midwest
Posts: 2,443

Bikes: 2018 Roubaix Expert Di2, 2016 Diverge Expert X1

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 459 Post(s)
Liked 99 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
While we're on this thread, how many on this list has called someone to pick them up due to the fact, the bike broke down? I've only down it it once or twice. Also too, it was over 95F to change a flat!
Well three times that I can think of, getting picked up, but only one was breakdown related.

First I got a flat in mid 90F temps on a crushed limestone trail (man they reflect heat). I changed the tube then. a little further on, another flat. I couldn't take the heat to try and patch it so I walked the bike to the nearest road and got picked up. Guess I got some grit in when changing. Man that was miserable so I sympathize.

Second I just bonked and was getting near heat exhaustion in some 100F+ weather so I called ahead and got a lift.

Third was I got hit by a car in a crosswalk. My wife got the incident detection from my Garmin and called me before I was even off of the road. She picked me up and took me to the hospital. I had a minor cut that bled a lot, some bruises, and a badly sprained wrist for which i needed a brace. Bike frame was toast, though my auto insurance covered the full amount. Wasn't a bike breakdown though (if it were operational I wouldn't have been able to ride home)..
GeneO is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.