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-   -   The basic stuff (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1205760)

Colorado Kid 06-25-20 01:57 PM

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?

caloso 06-25-20 02:01 PM

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.

Gresp15C 06-25-20 08:36 PM

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.

Darth Lefty 06-26-20 01:35 PM

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.

wolfchild 06-26-20 03:44 PM

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 06-26-20 03:53 PM


Originally Posted by Darth Lefty (Post 21554945)

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.

Gresp15C 06-26-20 04:40 PM

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.

BobbyG 06-27-20 06:16 PM

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.

FiftySix 06-28-20 02:49 PM

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. :)

Darth Lefty 06-28-20 03:34 PM


Originally Posted by FiftySix (Post 21558283)
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

GeneO 06-28-20 06:45 PM

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.

Papa Tom 06-28-20 07:45 PM

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.

downtube42 06-28-20 08:12 PM

Tools and skills to fix the basic stuff. For the rest, walking shoes, rain shell, and a wool sweater.

FiftySix 06-29-20 06:25 AM


Originally Posted by Darth Lefty (Post 21558356)
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. :o

Bikewolf 06-29-20 11:26 AM

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).

RoadKill 06-29-20 12:19 PM

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.

Archwhorides 07-02-20 07:00 PM

I enjoy tooling around on bikes, even if it occasionally goes very wrong, like my first attempt at rebuilding a wheel

Senson 07-04-20 11:30 AM

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 :(.

FiftySix 07-05-20 09:32 AM


Originally Posted by Senson (Post 21568872)
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.

Gresp15C 07-05-20 10:25 PM

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.

RubeRad 07-08-20 06:27 PM

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...

noisebeam 07-08-20 07:48 PM

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.

RubeRad 07-08-20 08:18 PM

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.

Colorado Kid 07-09-20 02:41 PM

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!

GeneO 07-09-20 04:04 PM


Originally Posted by Colorado Kid (Post 21578497)
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)..


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