Bicycle Repair Information

Bicycle Repair Information
You've sent your bike to the shop for years for repairs. Now it's time to build your maintenance know-how and start doing your own repair work. Remember that your safety depends on your bike being free of mechanical errors, so ride on the side of caution as you start out and always have a trained mechanic check your work. Through classes and practice you will gain the information you need to do your own bike repairs.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bicycle maintenance book
  • Registration for bike maintenance class
  • Repair stand
  • Tools of choice
Step 1
Learn the basics. Build a foundation of bicycle repair knowledge by becoming proficient in day-to-day maintenance. Before ripping apart your suspension system, make sure you know how to fix a flat, clean and lube a chain, keep the right air pressure in your tires and properly clean your frame. You may be able to learn these skills from a book, a friend or an online tutorial.
Step 2
Take a hands-on class to learn intermediate skills. At the intermediate level, you should learn how to adjust brakes, replace brake pads, adjust derailleurs, replace cables, tighten a headset and true wheels. At this point, you will have the bike repair information you need to perform most routine maintenance. You'll be able to do your own basic tune-up and will have enough skill to troubleshoot issues as they arise on your bike. Because these skills require more mechanical knowledge, it's a good idea to find a hands-on class where you'll be able to practice the techniques yourself. It's also a good idea to purchase a maintenance book at this point so you'll have a reference to return to after the class.
Step 3
Join a community repair co-op to practice your skills and learn new ones. Many metropolitan areas have community repair shops that are open to the public as a place to work on bikes and learn new skills. This is a great place to keep practicing what you already know and learn something new. Stands and tools are available to use either free of charge or for a nominal donation.
Step 4
Invest in your own tools. Once you're hooked on repairing bikes, it's time to invest in your own tools. If you save this step until you have experience behind you, you'll know exactly what you need and what tools you like. On top of your tool kit, pick out a repair stand. Repair stands come in different designs, qualities and prices, so spend the time to find the stand to meet your needs.
Step 5
Take an advanced workshop to expand your knowledge. Now may be the time to rip apart your suspension system, but save the headache of learning by yourself and invest in an advanced workshop. You'll be able to dive into more complex issues, have time to practice and spend a few days with other people who love bikes.

Article Written By Kathrine Cole

Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.

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