Bike mechanics 101

I commute on my bicycle, therefore I should know some basic bike maintenance, right?

Well …

I don’t know much in the way of bike maintenance. I have a couple of books on bike maintenance, but I’m afraid of screwing something up. I own this old Raleigh steel 10-speed and the chain drops to the lowest gear, no matter what. I pulled out a bike maintenance book, made adjustments to the derailleur, and the chain drops to the lowest gear. On that same bike I tried changing an inner tube and then when I filled it up with air, the tube popped. So let’s say I’m leery of performing bike maintenance myself.

This past week, my rear tire on my 16-year-old Trek 700 went flat. I ended up walking to a from work last Sunday. I put air in the tire on Monday and it held — for a while. Thursday, I walked to work, rode the bus home and back for supper and then caught a ride home with a colleague. Friday, we went to a bike shop and got tubes and tube repair kits. Saturday, I took my back wheel off the Trek and brought in the house to fix the tube.

To my amazement, not only did I get the wheel back on the bike, the patch held.

What I’d like to do is attend a basic bike maintenance class so I know what to do if the chain breaks or if a break pad needs replacing. If I can fix it myself, I can save a few bucks.
As for the Raleigh, it’s hanging from the garage rafters. I’d like to get it road-worth again and ride it. Not necessarily for my commuting to a from work, but as a bike to take on a longer ride.


About bluelawscribe

I am a runner who doesn't eat meat. We went from September 2012 to March 2015 without owning a car. I haven't purposely eaten meat since 1998 and haven't eaten any dairy since January 2012.
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