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Bike Maintenence

Table of Contents

I need to go on a course don’t I?

There is really nothing complicated, and I think the only thing that that a good teacher could give you is the confidence to have a go.  Some bike shops do do courses, so if you would prefer to be shown, then look in cyclingplus or talk to your local bike shop / cycling club.

So if I don’t go to school, then where do I learn?

There’s help on the Gear Section of TriTalk, and with the two main cycle maintenence websites ([ Sheldon Brown’s] and [ Parktools]) then you have walkthroughs for all the work.

Is that all I need?  What about tools?

The key is having the right tools, and a bit of patience.  It’s really not worth trying to do a job without the right tool if it’s a specialist one.  If you can invest in a decent set of tools (buy separately, I don’t think any of the ‘kits’ are really worth it as they bundle in rarely used tools.  Shop in car parts stores for most of the general tools, bike shops (and indeed the specialist bike ranges) are overrpiced for exactly the same thing.  As well as the stuff you carry with you which should be viewed as emergency kit, then you should look to have some ‘workshop tools’ - bigger, heavier, less clever.  Using a multitool is a pain for anything other than quick adjustments, a full allen key is easier and quicker.


Set of Allen keys (0.5mm steps from 1.0mm to 12mm) (about £2 from a market stall 8 years ago, none have snapped yet)
Cassette lockring tool (£5)
Chain splitter
Monkey wrench
Wire Cutters (not the slightly less blunt bit of pliers!)
Stanley knife
Old pan to pour degreasser in to soak chains
Loads of rags
Chain whip (or car oil filter remover)
Adjustable spanner
Track pump with pressure guage

Nice to have

Cone spanners (if your wheels have cones)
Torque Wrenches (Bizarre, but Argos do a great one for £10 and a socket set to fit for the same)
Bike stand
Wheel truing jig (easier to get rid of little wobbles, and even building from scratch isn’t really that hard)
4th hand (to pull cable through and hold it whilst you tighten the bolts
Crank puller (unless you have self extracting cranks / the newer bolt on shimano designs)
Chain wear measurer
3 old dead bikes to steal bolts off after the one you should use has escaped under the fridge freezer / down the drain.

The Ten O’Clock Rule

Don’t start a bike maintenance job after ten in the evening.  Jobs started late always run on later, nerves get frazzled, and the job gets bodged.  Leave yourself plenty of time and take it at a relaxed pace.



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