Wear & Tear

I bike pretty much everyday. And biking is great. Until it’s not. Then I have to come to terms with reality.

Wear & Tear

Yes, I biked so much I basically wore out my bike.

While I’m flattered to be stronger than metal (apparently,) repairs are always easy to put off. Biking is free, right? Nope. Because if it’s free, you’re doing it wrong.

Wear & Tear

And risking your safety! So plan to put some money into your bike if you rely on it. For under $100 you could get the basics covered: lube, chain,wheels, lights, brakes. Still cheaper than a car or subway.

But if that’s too much cash you could always fix things this way:

Wear & Tear

No, seriously, go to your local bike shop and get things squared away! It’s worth it.

 

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27 Comments on "Wear & Tear"


September 14, 2012

I recently was part of a charity ride and was talking a friend who was there representing his bike shop to offer repairs and maintenance to the riders. He said you would never believe the number of serious riders who don’t know the most basic things about their bikes including how much air to put in their tires. Sad when so many bike shops offer free clinics on caring for you bike and basic maintenance. But then again, car owners are much the same way.

Moopheus
September 14, 2012

It’s funny you say that, but I do all the basic maintenance of my bike–I have a stand and a tool box, and generally only go to the shop for repairs I don’t have the tools/skillz for. But with my car, it doesn’t matter–anything more complicated than putting air in the tires, I go to the mechanic.

And for those times I need a hand, my usual go-to shop is the below-mentioned Hub.

Ethan Fleming
September 14, 2012

I consider myself a serious rider who is not the smartest in bike repair and maintenance. I would love to attend these free shops but I have schedual difficulties. Trust when you commute to and from work 18 miles everyday it is tough to do anything in the evening since all your body wants to do is pass out. If there is one on the weekend, I am there.
When I very rarely use the car however I am a complete idiot, but a confessed idiot. My mechanic has told stories about my stupidity in taking care of my car and gotten lots of laughs from his friends.

September 14, 2012

On that note, If you’re female and bike in the Boston area, please join the Women Who Bike Brunch group at Hub Bikes next Saturday (9/22/12) for a preventative maintenance class! Check out http://bikinginheels-cycler.blogspot.com/ for more info.

scott
September 14, 2012

long, long ago i worked in a bike shop and there were a few, let’s say, ‘characters’ in town who didn’t own cars and pedaled year round on the most interesting array of old, odd, bikes. everything that could be attached to them was and periodically they’d bring them in for needed repair. bearings, completely gone, missing spokes, chainrings worn to the nub, tires to the thread….bless their hearts, these folks loved their bikes and needed them. in those days everything was repairable and reasonably cheap, plus these were amongst the nicest, most humble, of people and we gladly got them going again. as far as i know, they’re still pedaling around that town and i wouldn’t be surprised if they were on the same bikes! bikes last a long time.

Quincyclist
September 14, 2012

Be good to your bike and it will be good to you! A little oil, top up tires weekly, check for loose fittings, monitor brake pad wear – that’s about it. You don’t have to be a gearhead to do most maintenance. I have been repeatedly amazed when, at a bike shop, I see someone come in to have a flat fixed. I have to bite my tongue and not tell the fellow customer that it’s ridiculously easy and he should do it himself; it is not my place to interfere with the proprietor’s trade.

There’s a tendency to think all things will be reliable forever and when they fail, it’s prohibitively expensive to fix them. True for many new (electronic) technologies; not so for many old (mechanical) ones.

Françoise
September 14, 2012

I am one of those people. And I am smart and capable and nice. But I decided a long time ago to let myself off the hook w/r/t bike maintenance. Another bike blogger said something to the effect of ‘my emergency kit is a bus pass.’ That’s the way I roll.

September 15, 2012

It’s amazing, all right, but you see the same thing at music stores–people coming in to have the strings on their guitar replaced or even (in one case) to have their instrument tuned!

IOW, bike shops have to put up with a lot, so don’t forget to appreciate yours if it’s good, or to find a good one if it isn’t. And if you have a tricky job or a significant amount of work done? Don’t forget to tip your repairpern.

September 19, 2012

For something that people always say is ridiculously easy, I find flat fixing very challenging. I don’t know if it’s just my hands aren’t very strong, or what, but I have snapped a ridiculous number of tire irons, and it’s always a total PITA.
Even though I CAN fix most things on my own (I’ve built up my own bike from parts), if I don’t have time to mess around, it’s often much better to just take it somewhere to get it fixed.

Ed
June 10, 2015

Its probably that your wheels are a little big. Some are made differently and are an absolute pain to fit tires to. If you get a set that are an annoyance send them to the local bike shop.

Ivan
April 1, 2013

I know how to fix flats, but I don’t want to have to carry the tools and do it on the street. I have the tools both at the office and at home, so I fix it in either of those places when I get there with a flat tire. But if I get the flat in-between or at an odd place, I’d rather go to the nearest bike shop and have them fix. They do it faster than I could and the price seems reasonable to me. If there are no open bike shops nearby, I walk the bike or take transit.

(Note that I use my bike almost exclusively for commuting to the office. If I go on a long field trip, then I _do_ take the tools with me.)

September 14, 2012

I’m a bike mechanic at the local community bike shops. Whenever someone comes in with a bike that’s been ridden into the ground it’s often difficult to not show my frustration and pass it on to the rider (because fixing bikes should be fun!) – hours and hours of repairs that wouldn’t have to happen with a little preventative maintenance. I just try to remind myself that no matter the condition, a good bike is a ridden bike.

 
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