One aspect of cycling that many of us cyclists don’t deal with is bike maintenance.
I’m not referring to the ordinary cleaning, lubing, break pad changing. I’m referring to the real nitty gritty of bike maintenance such as cassette/chain changing, crank changing, deraileur adjustments, cable adjustments/changing, etc.
I’ve always been impressed when I heard of someone building up a bike themselves. Not taking it to a shop, but actually putting in the labor themselves to create their very own bike.
So I had an opportunity to dabble in this today. The class was called Introduction to Brakes and Gear Adjustments. The instructor, Erik, preferred the students to come with a project to work on with your own bike. Well, I definitely had a good project: I wanted to bring in both my bikes, take the 12/25 cassette off the Scott and put it on the Aegis with a new chain and then put a new 12/27 cassette on the Scott.
I arrived to find that there were two of us in class. I did expect to be more and I hope there are more that take Erik’s class in the future, because it is well worth every penny!
The class started with an explanation of components and how they work. Then it was on to the hands on projects. I managed to complete my project in the time that was alotted for the class. Now I’ll have to go out and test the bikes to see if I like how they turned out. I might have to actually take out another link in the new chain on the Aegis. We erred on the side of leaving it a tad longer and it will require some testing of the bike to make sure it’s okay as is. But I know that’s easy enough to do on my own.
I had asked about instruction on wheel truing, another important aspect of bike maintenance. Erik informed me that others had asked about that type of class as well and he thought he might put together a separate class for that. He was happy to show me how to do it, as opposed to actually doing it. But I chose to tell him I’d be interested in taking the truing class – a detailed and hands on instruction was better than if he had just explained it in the short amount of time we had.
I hope you are able to find such a class like this in your area. If you are in the Greater Portland or Mid Coast areas of Maine, I highly recommend taking Erik’s classes. They are very informative and I guarantee you will get a lot of knowledge from them.
There is still so much more to learn about maintaining my bikes but at least I received a decent start today. I know that when my spare set of wheels come in, I’ll be able to put on a cassette and have them ready to use. Pretty cool!
If you are inclined to attempt some bike maintenance on your own, Erik recommends this book for your repairs:
It’s the Park Tool’s Big Blue Book of Repair. This book seemed to have a lot of good information with some great pictures to help guide you through your repairs.