Bike maintenance learning

Kempstonian

Has the memory of a goldfish
Location
Bedford
btw I can also recommend getting an old bike and pulling it apart to see how things work (I get bikes from a local scrap merchant). Better that than playing around with the bike you need use regularly. Last week I picked up two cheepish MTBs (an Apollo FS26 and a Raleigh Manic) for a tenner the pair - and all they need is recabling, brake shoes and a good clean. You learn a lot from working on bikes where it doesn't matter if you get it wrong!
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
Last week I picked up two cheepish MTBs (an Apollo FS26 and a Raleigh Manic) for a tenner the pair - and all they need is recabling, brake shoes and a good clean. You learn a lot from working on bikes where it doesn't matter if you get it wrong!
Agree that tinkering is the best way of learning about bikes - it's what we all did when we were kids. In fact I find it really weird when adults who ride bikes don't know anything about maintaining them. It makes me wonder who fixed their bikes when they were youngsters!
However, I would only regard either of the two bikes mentioned above as parts donors best used to harvest things like wheels and chainsets from, to keep other 26" MTB's running on the cheap. Low-end suspension MTB's will never feature in my fleet and I would not wish an FS26 or anything similar, on my worst enemy.
Cheap secondhand stuff is an ideal way to enjoy your cycling for peanuts, but I strongly advise anyone doing this to stick to fully rigid frames for riding bikes and only use the boingy bouncers for harvesting parts from.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
No kid I grew up with would dream of taking their bike to a shop for repair, even if they had the money. Which mostly they didn't. We'd go in there for things like replacement brake blocks, spokes and axles then fit them ourselves at home. I reckon the bike shop did more trade in parts over the counter for DIY fitment than it did in selling bikes or servicing them.
 

Smudge

Über Member
Location
Somerset
Same here, myself and all my mates had to repair/maintain our bikes ourselves. If we didn't, they would've just stayed in the shed broken and unuseable. I never even got a brand new bike until i was around 12 or 13. This was certainly the norm for a lot of kids in the 60's & 70's.
I'm sure there were better off parents that would pay a lbs to do this work, or possible just replace their kids bikes regularly. But that certainly wasn't my world, or any of my mates i hung around with.
 
My dad used to do all the mechanical stuff here, but an incident where I ended up with an absence of brakes at a rather inopportune moment, encouraged me that it was probably much safer to do basic maintenance myself...

I use my old Emmelle Leopard 10 MTB to teach myself how to do the stuff I've not tackled before.
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
I learnt as a kid with my parents showing me initially what to do. Seemed to spend many a time removing and refitting cranks with new cotter pins. Can't think why as the mileage back then wouldn't have worn them out.
 

8mph

Über Member
Location
Devon
As others have said, you can pick up bikes from the tip and tinker around. Just be aware that unseizing rusted parts can take a toll on your tools. (unless your using lump hammers and scaffold poles ^_^)
 

vickster

Legendary Member
My dad used to do all the mechanical stuff here, but an incident where I ended up with an absence of brakes at a rather inopportune moment, encouraged me that it was probably much safer to do basic maintenance myself...

I use my old Emmelle Leopard 10 MTB to teach myself how to do the stuff I've not tackled before.
My whole family are as mechanically disinterested as me. Time to do other stuff is more precious than the cost of paying others
 

Skanker

Well-Known Member
Location
On my yacht
I learnt cycle and motorcycle maintenance in Wandsworth Prison, anyone accepted as long as you are male, 3 meals a day for free, bed, tv, some company so you don’t get bored in the evening and they even give you £11 a week for turning up to class! Bargain!
 
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