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Do you guys work on your own bikes or take them to a shop?

bruceleebrucelee Posts: 19
edited January 2014 in Road beginners
I want to make a case for working on your own bike.

It could keep it from looking like this:
old-rusty-bike-big-900x597.jpg

I jotted down some other reasons in a recent blog article, you can find it here: http://bit.ly/LqQTWo if you feel like an informational laugh.

Keep the rubber side down! Cheers!
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Posts

  • topdudetopdude Posts: 1,557
    Funny how you can buy clothes and guitars that have an "aged" look but it doesn't seem to work for bikes :wink:
    DIY bike fettling for me any day, saves money and satisfying :D
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
  • CygnusCygnus Posts: 1,879
    I always work on by own bike, it saves me money and I have the advantage of doing it in my own time.
  • nochekmatenochekmate Posts: 3,460
    DIY for me and when things get tough, my pal in the LBS will sort things out on the spot for very little money - best of both worlds :wink:
  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,150
    I do the same as I've done with my cars and motorcycles for years: if I think I can do it myself I give it a go, more often than not I censored it up then have to give it to someone else!
    I've just overhauled front and back brakes, replaced chain, re-indexed gears and tuned front derailleur. Seems to all work, fingers crossed for tomorrow's ride.
  • Work on my own bike.

    I have spoken to blokes out that don't even touch the barrel adjusters for tuning gears !
    Now that's just wrong.
  • iand-83iand-83 Posts: 132
    Bikes are fairly simple and straight forwards to work on as long as you use common sense. I am always willing to have a go myself before paying out to my lbs.
  • dilatorydilatory Posts: 565
    Outside of perhaps building a wheel there's little excuse for not knowing how to do most things. If you're a complete beginner and need a fix in a pinch, maybe then try your LBS, otherwise roll up your sleeves and give it a bash. Really, you can't do much damage.
  • clean it, fettle it and identify when something 'big' wrong and then LBS. Best of both - I know what's wrong just insufficient time to fix
    Felt z95 - loving my first road bike
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Once in a while, strip your bike down to its individual components, clean every bit then put it all back together. You'll soon learn how easy bikes are to work on, you'll notice what needs replacing, and you'll understand it completely. End result is a clean as-new bike that you don't have to pay someone £20 an hour or whatever it is now to look after it. Like land-83 says, they're pretty simple bits of kit.
  • CiB wrote:
    Once in a while, strip your bike down to its individual components, clean every bit then put it all back together. You'll soon learn how easy bikes are to work on, you'll notice what needs replacing, and you'll understand it completely. End result is a clean as-new bike that you don't have to pay someone £20 an hour or whatever it is now to look after it. Like land-83 says, they're pretty simple bits of kit.


    which does beg the question why stuff is so expensive.
    I can see why some people think all this carbon, ultra refined gear is a bit of a conn. Looking at what's involved a groupset is pretty easy to make compared to say a mobile phone.

    Cycle world is a money spinner thats for sure.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Looking at what's involved a groupset is pretty easy to make compared to say a mobile phone.

    Of all the products in the world, you pick on the one that probably least reflects manufacturing costs in its retail price! :wink:

    And in any case, I'm surprised that you'd think that a mobile phone would be harder to make than a groupset. There's very little to a mobile phone.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Schoie81Schoie81 Posts: 749
    Rolf F wrote:
    Looking at what's involved a groupset is pretty easy to make compared to say a mobile phone.

    Of all the products in the world, you pick on the one that probably least reflects manufacturing costs in its retail price! :wink:

    And in any case, I'm surprised that you'd think that a mobile phone would be harder to make than a groupset. There's very little to a mobile phone.

    Indeed! I clean and maintain my bike myself, and I also strip down and repair mobile phones/tablets etc... just in the middle of an iPod touch screen and bezel replacement!!
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I'm a lifelong tamperer. I try to fix just about everything I can. Both bikes have been stripped to bare frames and back, and I've replaced most parts of the boys' MTB's. I also maintain two cars; basic servicing, brake pads, discs etc, but have a trustworthy garage for those things that are beyond me. Also turn my hand to plumbing, washing machine maintenance, pc repairs, and just replaced a laptop screen for the first time.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    I do both.

    I like working on my bikes, but frequently I don't have the time, tools (bottom brackets and headsets) or it's too cold in the garage so sometimes they get taken to the shop. The biggest issue with taking bikes to the shop is that they rarely take workshop bookings on a Saturday and you need to drop off and pick up the same day.

    I'm luck in that I can work from home semi-regularly, and even when I don't there are two mobile bike mechanics in my area who will come and work on my bikes at my house of pick them up and drop them off.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • Always do my own tinkering, bikes are reasonably easy to work on as others have said.just take a careful note how it all comes apart and do it the opposite way to put it back together again.

    The money used to pay the LBS for servicing is far better spent on accessories for me rather than giving to someone for work I could do, although the bike shop usually gets the money for the accessories anyway but I still have something to show for it.
    Lapierre Aircode 300
    Merida
  • iand-83iand-83 Posts: 132
    This thread got me talking to a few of the guys who i work with today (we all work in a garage, unfortunately it's Audi, doesn't reflect on our bikes, no one rides an Orange!) and out of all of us only one guy won't work on his own bike the most he will do is fix a puncture/fit a new tube, he won't even attempt to fiddle with his gears if there shifting poorly or anything gets his lbs to do it all, saying that even though he fixes cars all day he still won't attempt to fix his own too worried he will break something!
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    iand-83 wrote:
    This thread got me talking to a few of the guys who i work with today (we all work in a garage, unfortunately it's Audi, doesn't reflect on our bikes, no one rides an Orange!) and out of all of us only one guy won't work on his own bike the most he will do is fix a puncture/fit a new tube, he won't even attempt to fiddle with his gears if there shifting poorly or anything gets his lbs to do it all, saying that even though he fixes cars all day he still won't attempt to fix his own too worried he will break something!

    I'll be thinking about him next time my car is collected by the Audi technician and taken away for it's service. If he can't index a derailleur without breaking it, what chance with the bewildering rat's nest of pipes and wiring that fills the engine compartment of a modern car?? :shock:
  • I'll tear apart and rebuild my bike but I am terrified by most labor intensive jobs on my car...

    I wonder if there are car mechanics who won't work on their own bikes. haha
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,104
    I am an ex-car mechanic and garage owner. I had taught myself to do anything and everything to a bike before I left school and you could not look U tube then. I do every DIY job I need. Whenever I have had someone in to do things they don't do them as good as I could have. I am not happy that the law stops me fixing my own gas boiler and doing electrics in my kitchen.
    I think you have an aptitude for practical things or you don't. If the Times needed a new arts critic or my local council needed a social worker most of the UK population would me more suited than me. It each to his own.

    If a car mechanic admitted to me at a job interview that he didn't fix his own bike there is no way I would give him a job. He has to be a rubbish mechanic.
  • iand-83iand-83 Posts: 132
    edited January 2014
    keef66 wrote:
    iand-83 wrote:
    This thread got me talking to a few of the guys who i work with today (we all work in a garage, unfortunately it's Audi, doesn't reflect on our bikes, no one rides an Orange!) and out of all of us only one guy won't work on his own bike the most he will do is fix a puncture/fit a new tube, he won't even attempt to fiddle with his gears if there shifting poorly or anything gets his lbs to do it all, saying that even though he fixes cars all day he still won't attempt to fix his own too worried he will break something!

    I'll be thinking about him next time my car is collected by the Audi technician and taken away for it's service. If he can't index a derailleur without breaking it, what chance with the bewildering rat's nest of pipes and wiring that fills the engine compartment of a modern car?? :shock:

    He hates anything electrical, we really can't work out why he won't touch his own bike besides he might break something though bikes are fairly robust and he has probably broken more on his bikes by falling off than he would getting the tools out and having a fettle himself.
  • iand-83iand-83 Posts: 132
    lesfirth wrote:
    I am an ex-car mechanic and garage owner. I had taught myself to do anything and everything to a bike before I left school and you could not look U tube then. I do every DIY job I need. Whenever I have had someone in to do things they don't do them as good as I could have. I am not happy that the law stops me fixing my own gas boiler and doing electrics in my kitchen.
    I think you have an aptitude for practical things or you don't. If the Times needed a new arts critic or my local council needed a social worker most of the UK population would me more suited than me. It each to his own.

    If a car mechanic admitted to me at a job interview that he didn't fix his own bike there is no way I would give him a job. He has to be a rubbish mechanic.

    He is just scared he will break something and it will cost him to fix it, so instead he is happy to pay an lbs and let them do it all and he just get on and ride his bike, I think fettling a bike and setting it up yourself makes every ride a bit more satisfactory.
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    iand-83 wrote:
    lesfirth wrote:
    I am an ex-car mechanic and garage owner. I had taught myself to do anything and everything to a bike before I left school and you could not look U tube then. I do every DIY job I need. Whenever I have had someone in to do things they don't do them as good as I could have. I am not happy that the law stops me fixing my own gas boiler and doing electrics in my kitchen.
    I think you have an aptitude for practical things or you don't. If the Times needed a new arts critic or my local council needed a social worker most of the UK population would me more suited than me. It each to his own.

    If a car mechanic admitted to me at a job interview that he didn't fix his own bike there is no way I would give him a job. He has to be a rubbish mechanic.

    He is just scared he will break something and it will cost him to fix it, so instead he is happy to pay an lbs and let them do it all and he just get on and ride his bike, I think fettling a bike and setting it up yourself makes every ride a bit more satisfactory.

    If he has basic reasoning abilities then he's not going to break anything. It's all bloody bowden cables and springs for god's sake - if you can't figure it out by looking at it then you've no business claiming any mechanical aptitude at all!
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    Rolf F wrote:
    Looking at what's involved a groupset is pretty easy to make compared to say a mobile phone.

    Of all the products in the world, you pick on the one that probably least reflects manufacturing costs in its retail price! :wink:

    And in any case, I'm surprised that you'd think that a mobile phone would be harder to make than a groupset. There's very little to a mobile phone.

    Let's see you knock up a microprocessor or an OLED display in your shed then sonny. Or even replace a surface mount chip on a cellphone PCB.

    These things are a miracle of manufacturing technology.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I build my own bikes - more often from custom-built frames, build the wheels, the lot. Of the 25+ bikes that I've owned, I've only ever bought 2 complete - both MTBs. Having worked as a mechanic for a while, there's a wide variety of capabilities in the trade, so worth seeking out recommendations. I service bikes for some friends - mainly women because they tend to patronised, ripped-off or ignored by some shops; plus whereas a shop will insist in replacing things like cables for every service, I'll only replace damaged or worn parts.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    lesfirth wrote:
    If a car mechanic admitted to me at a job interview that he didn't fix his own bike there is no way I would give him a job. He has to be a rubbish mechanic.
    He could be a "by the book" mechanic - ie, had all the training to do a certain job in a certain manner. But, don't expect him to diagnose or fix anything not covered "by the book".

    He's you're ideal candidate to do the boring repetitive jobs - eg brake pads & disks, oil, coolant or anything else mundane.

    Whereas guys like yourself should be great at diagnosing "there's a knocking sound" faults or similar that aren't covered by the book, but are you "by the book" enough to do everything else - including ensuring you've put everything back in the right order. ;)
  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    Trying to do my own stuff as LBS is a rip off.



    One downside or a fun bit is having to bodge/make the tools as I don't own all the expensive proper bike tools, you could spend a fortune just on getting nicely kitted out with quality bike tools.
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,104
    slowbike wrote:
    lesfirth wrote:
    If a car mechanic admitted to me at a job interview that he didn't fix his own bike there is no way I would give him a job. He has to be a rubbish mechanic.
    He could be a "by the book" mechanic - ie, had all the training to do a certain job in a certain manner. But, don't expect him to diagnose or fix anything not covered "by the book".

    He's you're ideal candidate to do the boring repetitive jobs - eg brake pads & disks, oil, coolant or anything else mundane.

    Whereas guys like yourself should be great at diagnosing "there's a knocking sound" faults or similar that aren't covered by the book, but are you "by the book" enough to do everything else - including ensuring you've put everything back in the right order. ;)

    I used the term "mechanic" because it was already being used in this post. The guy working at an Audi garage should be a" vehicle technician" who should be able to diagnose and fix anything wrong with an Audi. Fixing his bike should be a doddle. If all he can do is repetitive jobs he is no technician or mechanic. He should be working for Kwik -Fit.
    Its not a matter of training .It is something you are born with. I could be trained full time for the years and I would never be a good social worker.
  • I have a decent LBS in easy walking distance they are remarkably quick and cheap, so i tend to do the simpler stuff, but stuff that would require me to get extra tools etc, I leave for them.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    desweller wrote:
    Rolf F wrote:
    Looking at what's involved a groupset is pretty easy to make compared to say a mobile phone.

    Of all the products in the world, you pick on the one that probably least reflects manufacturing costs in its retail price! :wink:

    And in any case, I'm surprised that you'd think that a mobile phone would be harder to make than a groupset. There's very little to a mobile phone.

    Let's see you knock up a microprocessor or an OLED display in your shed then sonny. Or even replace a surface mount chip on a cellphone PCB.

    These things are a miracle of manufacturing technology.

    OK then Sonny - lets see you knock up a groupset in your shed.

    Mobile phones are churned out in fractions of a second in highly automated plants. What do you think the manufacturing time of a mobile phone (not cellphone please - we are British here) is? A damn site shorter than a groupset you can be sure.

    Besides, I suspect it probably is possible to make a mobile phone in your shed - assuming you are allowed to use existing chip components and the like. Maybe large and awkward but I suspect you could probably do it with only basic soldering skills (infact, Google tells me that you can buy kits to make your own mobile phone. I haven't found any equivalent 'make your own groupset' kits). To make a groupset from scratch would be a lot harder and require a lot of serious machining skill - even if you were allowed to use proprietary chainrings, jockey wheels etc.
    Moonbiker wrote:
    One downside or a fun bit is having to bodge/make the tools as I don't own all the expensive proper bike tools, you could spend a fortune just on getting nicely kitted out with quality bike tools.

    All you need is a £50 proprietary toolkit and various more specialist bits as the need comes along. Most of them cost a few quid. I can pretty much do everything on my bikes but certainly haven't spent a fortune on tools. The important thing is to buy what you need when you first need it. Each missed opportunity to use the right tool effectively decreases the value you get from the tool when you finally do buy it.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • buzzwoldbuzzwold Posts: 197
    Do my own. Just uograded all the components on my bike including swapping out the hubs from Shimano to Campy, rewiring and indexing. Anything I wasn't sure about, checked on youtube. Someone, somewhere has made a vid and put it on line. I suspect I get a practical side from my Mum's side of the family - she can build brick walls. You do need some aptitude but you also need belief and confidence.
    Someone's just passed me again
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