Break It, Fix It, Ride It™ is a Windows® and Macintosh® compatible CD-ROM that features step-by-step instruction on repairing, maintaining and upgrading today's mountain bikes. Break It, Fix It, Ride It™, v.1.1 allows users to review mechanical procedures of interest and then print out the same procedures to take out to the garage. Both generic and component specific instructions are included in the instruction set.
Strengths: Tons of pictures, assumes you don't know much about bikes (which is the best way to do it) covers just about eveything on mountain bikes. Relatvely straightforward.
Weaknesses: Gets a little silly with the beginner. Tells you just aout everytime you turn a screw that "Right is tight" or some such thing. My 9 year old niece knows this. Sometimes I wish it had video to go through the motions, but that would be another project all together. Sometimes hard to navigate. Have to put the CD in the drive to get it to work. Why can't I just download it to the hardrive? Then I won't have to worry about losing/scratching/dog eating it.
For someone like myself, who is (compared to the general public) pretty mechanically inclined- but who doesn't have a base of knowledge of bikes, theis is just about perfect. It starts from the early steps and goes through just about everything. Of course it uses pretty much the most common of whatever it's going through. I.e. it uses Avid mechanical brakes when talking about mechanical disc brakes and not Tektro or Shimano mech discs. I don't think that not going through EVERY manufactuer of EVRY part is a valid weakness. This gives good advice and techniques to the people who know how to work on stuff but not how to adjust your derailers etc. High quality production and pictures too.
I like it four post burrito flamin' turds for overall, and seeing as how this replaces about 5 books, 5 for value.
a Weekend Warrior
from Rochester, NY
Date Reviewed: December 15, 2004
Strengths: It contains the basics for the most common repairs. It ran on my OS X Mac. Ran in Win XP just fine, even on a slower P3. The directions are very clear and not overwhelming. Great pictures to illustrate the process.
Weaknesses: The CD is not OS X native, so it runs in Classis and smokes your CPU while doing it. Because it is in emulation it is a bit choppy even on a fast G4. The display is set to what looks like 800x600 with a border around the rest of it if your resolution is set higher. CRT users can just adjust down, but LCDs get fuzzy outside of their native resolution, so that is a problem.
The instructions are geared toward one type of brand or type of component, and gloss over or exclude others. Forget about coverage on older components such as threaded headsets and cantis. The CD is totally focused on mountain bikes, so it will be much less useful to roadies.
I bought it for next to nothing, so it was worth it for me, but I would never pay over $5 for this product. It is lacking in it's depth, and there will be no updates. Go to BFR-IT.com and see for yourself. Nice Idea though! If you want a good manual look at the Zen series.
My rating is based on the $30 price tag I have see it w/ everywhere else.
Purchased At: Gallyans in Carmel IN, going out of biz
Similar Products Used: Zen manuals, websites.
Bike Setup: 2001 Sirrus, 2003 Sequoia, 2005 T800.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 10, 2004
Strengths: CD format
Weaknesses: Very superficial coverage, instructions were so vague it was almost silly
I bought version 1.1 dated 2001. Perhaps a newer version (if there is one) would be better. The website given on the disc is not active, so the getting updates (as promised on the package) is not possible. IMHO- a complete waste of $$$$.
Bike Setup: Haro V3, Rock Shox seatpost, Mythos XC slicks
a Cross Country Rider
from Hemmingway Country - Idaho!
Date Reviewed: March 5, 2004
Strengths: Comprehensive. Easy and intuitive to use. Great illustrations and photos.
Weaknesses: Oriented to mountain bikes rather than ALL bikes - but that's a minor issue, usually. Latest version seems to be 1.1 of 2001 - but it's not especially dated yet. Publisher seems to have stopped distributing this educational CD - will there ever be another edition?
If you have any interest in maintaining or modifying a bike - and not just a mountain bike - get a copy while you can! I've just bought my second copy to "archive" - in case something happens to my original.
Favorite Trail: Every track I've never ridden before!
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Similar Products Used: Various books, none even closely comparable.
Bike Setup: Hardtails, exclusively! CrMO frames preferred! But not a complete Neanderthal... I also like Egg Beaters and high-tech seat posts.
a Weekend Warrior
from Seattle, WA, USA
Date Reviewed: May 29, 2003
Strengths: Good visuals, shows exactly what, where, and how to install, fix, and setup your scoot. Great if you perfer to learn visually.
Weaknesses: You need to be near the computer if you want to reference a project. Also, you don't get the visuals when you print out sections
If you work best with a "show me", and not a tell me, this is the product for you. Ever get setup instructions with page after page, after page of words, but you are like "HUH...? OK, but what part is that..?" This is it. Only thing I would like to see, a mpeg, or video on how to setup suspension.
Similar Products Used: parktoolsusa website has a free online matience manual
Bike Setup: rm7 , slider , hayes. etc..
a Cross Country Rider
from portland me
Date Reviewed: November 12, 2002
Strengths: Love the interface and the abundance of quality and detailed of pics throughout, plus the instant glossary eases the learning process. tools lists per instrucion is nice.
Weaknesses: Bad news; I just bought $300 worth of tools.
after spending years having my bike sit at a shop awaiting repairs, i have finally found a solution.
Unlike any intruction I have ever seen, this Cd allowed be to easily learn how to work on my bike. In just under three weeks of purchasing the cd, I have been able to strip my bike down and rebuild it, with no major whoes. Nice to see someone thinking outside the box.
Strengths: Awesome product. Easy to follow/learn format. Great visuals. Very informative. Must get if you want to learn how to service your bike by yourself...it's also a good buy just as reference for the experienced mechanic.
Bottom line is... It's probably one of the best $30.00 I have spent on any bike product, aside from the actual bike. I guess I class myself as a "intermediate" mechanic. I can do just about everything with the exception of building a decent wheel and putting in a headset (no headset press). I bought this CD as a impulse buy while at Cambria and have not been disappointed. It's a awesome reference device. If you are just starting out in the bike-wrenching world...it's a must buy. It's easier to use then a book and more interactive. Instead of wasting your money on a video of guys jumping off of 50 foot cliffs...and put it towards something more constructive like this CD.
P.S. Hopefully they will come out with a "How to build a decent wheel" version!
a Weekend Warrior
from Webster, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2002
Strengths: Photos, user interface, language
Weaknesses: Hmmm. Makes me realize how many cool tools I don't have but should, if that is a weakness.
You simply can't beat this for the price ($30!). There are many well-shot and clear pics, the interface is cool AND practical, and the instructions are clearly written and broken down logically. I've heard people say it doesn't include this or that, but this is a 1.0 release, people! I think it covers a lot, and I'm sure more content and manufacturer-specific content is in the works for future versions. I plan to use this extensively to build my new Bullit from the ground up.
Similar Products Used: Paper manuals, but those aren't similar and are usually poorly-written, and parktools.com (pretty lame)
Bike Setup: K2 3000 with just about everything upgraded except the frameset
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2001
Strengths: killer photography. Very easy to follow instruction with tons of supper detail pics. I never thought disc brakes were so simple to understand. It gives a step by step instruction on how to organize a bleed kit. Every step has detailed built in glossary for every word with pics. someone spent a lot of time designing this piece. I spent the weekend taking my judys apart and cleaning them. The program has prints out all the instructions, i just threw them away after.
Weaknesses: The program doesn't cover road bikes at all. I have to have the disc loaded to run the program, but they said it was because of the 5,000 pics in the program, i don't begin to understand software. oh and it doesn't cover my Cane Creek wheels. But i emailed them and was told early next spring i can down load it from their site,
This is a must have for anyone with a computer mountain bike and a few hours to kill. beets surfing the web and $30. I just bought 3 CD's for my buds Xmas gig.