Can you fix your bike?

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21/07/2012 at 09:54

I  love my road bike! 

I'd like to go on it more, do more distance... But I can't fix it if it breaks. 
I always have a puncture kit on me but I don't think I'd be able to sort it out quickly and efficiently if I get a puncture. My OH has usually taken care of stuff like that for me.

Maybe worth carrying a spare inner tube on me?

I know evans cycles run these "fix it" courses, but I'm not sure how much worth the money they are...

 The bottom line is, I'm sick of being pathetic and I'd like to know how to fix gears, brakes and change a tyre.


Can you fix yours? 

21/07/2012 at 10:01

when i had one    not really

21/07/2012 at 10:18

The basics of bike maintenance are really easy - so I'm sure a basic course would teach you all you need to know - after that it's about doing it a couple of times and you'll be fine.   

There are some good guides on doing stuff on the internet too - the Park Tool website has some great guides for maintenance.   When I got into cycling about 10 years ago I bought a frame and all the bits and learnt by building a bike up just looking on the internet how to do it and asking questions on forums if I got stuck.   You might not want to build a whole bike but you could set yourself a task a bit at a time - maybe change the tyres next time they need it, fit a new chain, new brake blocks etc

Trogs    pirate
21/07/2012 at 10:37

I nearly always carry a spare tube with me; much easier than fixing a puncture roadside.  Usually have a puncture kit with me too though just in case.

As for the rest, could probably manage to fit new brake blocks but that's about it.

21/07/2012 at 10:37
I use the park tool you tube guides when I'm not sure
21/07/2012 at 10:57

If those Evans courses only cost £15 and cover punctures, brakes and gear adjustments then I'd say it was worth it for you. These are not things you need to do on every ride so surely £15 for the peace of mind knowing that if you had a puncture you kn0w what to do.  I dont road bike, only MTB, but I've never repaired a puncture trailside, pop a new tube in and away, then do the repair at home.

21/07/2012 at 11:25

Nope. I barely know one end of a spanner from my metatarsal. Had a flat recently and took it to the LBS. A tenner was well worth paying to avoid hours of fighting and swearing while trying to fix it.

I cheerfully confess to be useless at all forms of DIY and a big fan of the galmi principle (galmi = get a little man in).

PSC    pirate
21/07/2012 at 11:54

The Haynes Bike Maint book is pretty good...

21/07/2012 at 14:26

I think as a bare minimum you ought to be able to do carry out emergency procedures that you'd encounter on a ride, the most obvious being changing an innertube if you puncture, and having the right tools to adjust brakes/gears.  Also things like how to clean and lube your chain properly; it's not easy to completely mess these sort of things up so you may as well learn how to keep your bike in reasonable working order.  Pretty much all these things you can look up on youtube, so you can see exactly how it's supposed to be done.

I'm generally pretty competent on bicycle maintenance but there are more involved things that I'd get the local bike shop to do if I had major problems, e.g. anything to do with bottom brackets, headsets, hub bearings, etc., generally things requiring tools I don't have.


21/07/2012 at 16:36

Hmmm.... Maybe I'll do the evans fix it course then and check the rest on youtube. Just had my bike serviced this morning though so think I might be OK for a while... And got myself a spare inner tube to carry around with. I hope I won't have to change it out on the roads for the first time.


I'm thinking about getting MTB as well, even more reason to learn a bit of maintenance.

21/07/2012 at 18:47

This is my bike

The only thing I havent done is change the gear cables, the internal gear hub, or brake levers.

I would like to learn how to true wheels and build them and tackle the head set but thats pretty solid at the moment and doesnt need any adjustment

Bikes are, unless they have electronic gears, or hydrolic suspension within most peoples abilities to maintain at home. You dont even need a bike stand as its amazing what you can do with two chairs and/or a washing line

I went on a day course to learn how to fix basic stuff and that gave me the confidence to tack other bits, also I sought out a bike shop that had an open workshop policy and all the tools and a mechanic that didnt mind giving a bit of knowledge.Find a LBS that isnt a big chain so you can talk to the mechanics.

I would suggest to women maybe think like a guy, when it comes to things mechanical. Lots of blokes are able to do mechanical stuff not because they have some inate ability but because being socialized to think they should they, they do. They give it a try mess it up, sit back, think, try again, learn a little more, and eventually find low and behold they can do it.

Also a little trick

Take photos of what your bike looks like before you start fiddling than you have a reference to fall back on.

Happy fiddling Elli





21/07/2012 at 22:46

Buy some Gatorskin tyres. Much less likely to puncture.

22/07/2012 at 12:37

You could always practise by removing your current inner tube and then putting the same one back in

Edited: 22/07/2012 at 12:38
23/07/2012 at 12:05

+1 for the Gatorskin. First time out the bike I got through our cycle to work scheme and I'd done about 3 miles on the way to work, couple of hundred yards to go and I got a puncture

Swapped the tyres for Gatorskin and not had a problem since.

23/07/2012 at 12:39

it's always worth knowing the basics of bike maintenance - which for most is how to change a flat tube - for when you are stuck miles from nowhere and it's pissing down and you find the mobile is dead....

Gatorskins are good but they aren't bombproof especially when they get old and more worn


23/07/2012 at 13:13

I've got Marathon Plus tyres on my bike, they claim you can run over drawing pins with them.

23/07/2012 at 13:25

Those be the tyres I have on my bike. I got a flat a week after the LBS fitted them. But I'm treating that as the exception that proves the rule.

23/07/2012 at 13:30

I've heard good things about Maxxis Re-fuse w.r.t. puncture resistance.  Not that I'm using them on my bike, at the moment I'm going with Michelin Pro 3 Race in ivory (white wall), cos they look cool!    (Not many miles in them as yet so not much to go on so far.  May swap for something more hardcore for the winter.)

23/07/2012 at 14:55

I was taught by my dad and was fixing my own punctures at age 7. 

23/07/2012 at 15:02
Elli of the North wrote (see)

I know evans cycles run these "fix it" courses, but I'm not sure how much worth the money they are...


I've changed an innertube - in my kitchen, with a youtube video for assistance.  It's not that hard, just a but awkward.  So far I've been OK on the road.

I booked an Evans fixit session, drove 15 miles to the shop, only to be told that it was cancelled as the bloke who was due to deliver it was off sick.

I looked at the four Evans staff standing around in the shop and asked if no-one else could step in, only to be told that they weren't trained. 

I asked for my money back - which took about another twenty minutes to deal with.

Every time I encounter Evans staff, I come away less impressed.

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