Monday, February 16, 2009


At some point in my time as a cyclist I realized that the only way that I was going to be able to afford to keep riding was to be able to keep the bike running myself. Paying other people to put parts on, keep parts adjusted, and repair broken frames (OK, I still can't do that myself, but I've never paid for it either) just gets way to expensive. The investment in good quality tools more than pays for itself in saved labor costs at the shop.
The only problem with doing your own maintenance is that now you are relying on your abilities every time you try to shift, turn, pedal, and (most frightenly of all) break. To be honest since I work at a bike shop there are lots of people out there who have pulled a break lever and been relying on my handiwork to stop then, but most of them will never be testing out my skills coming down a mountain at 45mph.... I do.
Along with testing your mechanical skills, your ability to get things done in a timely fashion is tested. It is this skill that I constantly fail at. As the weather warmed up and I decided that I wanted to get out my fleet and have some fun I discovered the following problems after a winter of neglect:
1. No front derailleur on the Enduro (it's on the Stumpy)
2. No chain or front derailleur on the HT
3. Missing almost every up-shift on the Tarmac
4. Single speed still has a cracked rear axle
5. Flat tire on the HT
6. 2" of mud covering every surface, including the ones that are supposed to be moving, on the Stumpy (this wasn't really a winter neglect problem as much as a pushing the limits of when winter is over)
After some time to get all of these problems fixed I have solved only one of them. I can now shift my Tarmac, but every other problem still sits mockingly in my garage every morning. It is limiting the amount of fun that I can have on two wheels by depriving me of several different riding styles as well. Tomorrow during winter forum I think I'm going to get that HT in riding condition and start working on some trials stuff in the back yard by evening time, at least I'll tell myself that now.


Roadie Steve said...

Yeah, I need to do some work too. Like washing off the Scalpel, putting the new lefty on, putting everything back on the F1... etc. It should be fun getting back into the toolbox.