Bicycle mechanics - need a project bike to learn on

benws1 Posts: 415
edited July 2013 in Workshop
Hello all. I've been a cyclist on and off for years, but have hardly any bicycle mechanics knowledge. I've decided that this needs to change. :) I want to be able to do my own repairs and diagnose faults without utilising my local shop.

I've ordered a book (Zim's Art of Roadbike Mechanics), started looking at tools etc and have begun trawling through various websites (this is how I found this forum).

My next step is to get something to work on, as you can't get better experience than hands-on stuff. I've got a cheapish Raleigh hybrid and have started tinkering with that. However, I'm after something that is a more dedicated project. The hybrid is my main bike and I don't want to break it.

So, my question to the Bike Radar masses is where can I get a project bike from? I've looked at Ebay (which seems to have various items on), looked at new, cheaper equipment (which I don't want to break!) and scoured some other websites. I was thinking of buying just a frame and building it up, or is it a better idea to get something built already and just break it down?

Also, are there any better resources for learning things about bicycles too? Thanks all. :)


  • I'd just work on your current bike, there's not much 'damage' you can do, at the end of the day bikes are pretty simple mechanically. If you're still worried, you could probably find a cheap bike to work on at a car boot sale.
  • Clavdivs
    Clavdivs Posts: 11
    Yeah I wouldn't go ebay, you will have to pay too much since ebay is generally not going to be selling junk bikes and the idea is you want a bike that's not in good working condition, that's the best way to learn right? I see bikes at second-hand shops pretty often but they tend to be older. I even see them at the recycling center from time to time but those are in really rough shape. Who knows, that may be what you're looking for? :D
  • benws1
    benws1 Posts: 415
    Thanks for the responses. I'll have a look around for something cheap. If I can't find anything, I'll just work on my own bikes for now. :)
  • Yossie
    Yossie Posts: 2,600
    To tell the truth, working on bikes for anyone with half a brain is dead simple - so long as you take your time and don't go hamfisted then there is nothing really that you can jazz up.

    I'd buy a frame and start to build it up - you'll use your LBS for popping in the cranks and headset (as you most likely won't have the tools for this and there is no point really in buying them - for the amount of times you'll use them to the cost ratio its not worth it) then everything else bolts on with at the most two or three bolts.

    Follow a couple of Youtube vids for setting up brakes and mechs and le voila.