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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. So I bought a used Santa Cruz Superlight last year. Really like the bike overall. But, I'm thinking that it needs a good tune up. I've cleaned all the drive train as much as I can. But I was thinking that doing a brake bleed, changing out the pads, maybe changing the cassette and the fork needs some attention. Anyway, looking at a bleed kit to do this myself and other items....looks like I can get all I need for less than $150.

This would give me a chance to really learn my bike so that in the future (when I buy a better bike) I'll have some experience to draw on. You know, lean on something that is not expensive. Also, there is not a local shop that I trust. I would need to take a 4 hour round trip to the closest bike shop that would be reputable.

BUT, I don't want to throw away money if this job really is over my head. (Looking at videos on YouTube, seems like it is pretty straight forward, but you know the pros make it look easy). It might be nice to have it done right so I know what the standard is, and maybe start building a relationship with a bike shop for when the new bike day comes.


So, how much would the service be on a bike tune up be or is what I'm taking about way more than a "tune up"? Which is the better option? Thanks.
 

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Are you pretty comfortable doing mechanical repairs in general (auto, etc)?
If so, definitely learn to do it yourself, specially with the shop so far away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd say I'm pretty comfortable in general, especially if I have a good idea about what is showed to be done. But I stay away from "real" auto repairs, just too complicated nowadays.
 
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There are youtube videos for almost everything bike related. Except for the fork I do all my own repairs. I would probably do the fork myself if I could get the seals out without damaging them or the fork tubes. Learning everything yourself is super useful for a number of reasons: 1. you know it was done right. 2. might help you affect a trail repair. 3. gives you better situational awareness regarding your components condition.
 

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Yeah, I'd give it a go. It's usually actually more of a PIA to make sure you get compatible parts than to do the physical work.
 

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Resident Gear Head
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100% do it yourself. It's great to know how your parts actually work. The only way to learn is to get your hands dirty. There are so many youtube videos and write ups on mtb sites you should have a guide for just about everything.
 

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Rogue Exterminator
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If you can do it yourself, do it yourself.

If not, have a shop do it.
 

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is there a local mtb club or IMBA chapter that has a message board? offer free beer to a local who knows his/her way around a bike to come over and show you how to do all those basic maintenance items. if you have a bicycle co-op nearby, spend some time there learning and using their tools.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Do it yourself. You need to know this stuff anyway if things go sideways during a ride.

I like parktool.com better than youtube. I have about zero patience for Internet videos.

I get tune-ups from shops on occasion myself. I don't have a lot of time on my hands anymore and I figure I've worked on my bikes, and continue to work on my bikes, enough. But I think it saves me time to take care of the minor ongoing stuff myself - keeping my chain clean(ish) and lubed, swapping chains, replacing brake pads, adjusting my drivetrain, etc. etc. So the shop visits are more of a major tune kind of deal, lately including a suspension rebuild and new cables and housings.

You'll figure out your own compromise. But learn as much of it as you can.
 

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WOW , a bleed kit for my brakes was only 11 bucks off Ebay..

The best experiance in any sport is to learn all aspects..encluding the work side of it....gotta get dirty if you wanna play hard!!
Ride
 

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When it comes to doing it yourself, it's not just a matter of getting it done cheaper and getting it done right. Very rarely has a bike shop told me that they could do anything on the same day. Usually work takes 1-2 days and I have been cited 1 week to get some things done. That just doesn't fly when the weather is good and I want to ride. Do your own work -- ride more.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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If you're inclined to do it, the sooner you learn, the better it will be for you and the more return you will receive on your investment into the tools needed. If you get in a jam, and the you tube and park tool videos can't save you, come back here and ask for help.

I would hold off on the brake bleed unless you know they need to be bled. If you go for it, then follow the directions explicitly. Make sure not to get fluid on the pads and hopefully the rotors. The rotors can be cleaned. Contaminated pads would be difficult to save at best.

There is very little voodoo to getting derailleurs to function correctly.

My vote: G.F.I.
 

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Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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DIY for sure. I take my bike to the shop where I bought it for basic tunes because they're included free for the life of the bike and it gives me a chance to eye some gear.
 

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Another vote for DIY. Its always a good to learn how to tune or fix a bike. You never know what could happen on the trail and knowing basic repairs can get you through a ride if needed on a day your bike breaks down.

Brake bleeds are fairly simple if you have the kit. May get a little messy the first couple of times, but nothing a towel can't fix.

A good place to pick up brake goods is Specializing in Bicycle Brakes and Suspension Supplies. I pick up all my stuff there. They work great and the prices are really good as well.

And another + on youtube. I've learned a lot on there from bleeding brakes to servicing my fork.
 

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Of the Nameless Rabble
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Still another vote for DIY. The Park Tool repair site has excellent service instructions for a variety of procedures. Just know that you may need to invest in some tools to do some maintenance procedures properly. Investment is the right term. Your tools will pay for themselves if you do even a couple of tune ups or service procedures on your own. Buy a good-quality torque wrench; your life will be better and your love life will improve! I know some will vigorously disagree, but I would avoid eBay for anything. Have fun!
 

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If you can change the oil and the belts on your car, then working on a bike should be a good experience. It's fairly easy, but some specialty things should be know, but easy to learn. You'll need some specialized tools as well. I agree with AndrwSwitch, Parktool has a nifty "how to" section. Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog

I myself am learning the fine points of bike repair and now doing some of the more intense repairs like bottom bracket removal and repair, plus properly getting the shifting indexed and making sure the wheels are trued. I have a lot of fun doing it and it is almost as fun as riding.

The pleasure of doing repairs yourself and having it work it a good feeling. After a job well done, stop and admire your work and have a beer.

Go for it, any help you need is a google away or ask your bike shop.
 

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I know some will vigorously disagree, but I would avoid eBay for anything.
Why?

I've used ebay since 2003 with no problems at all. Just got my parktools(in original packages) Could they be fakes? If so then the fakers used copy wrote packaging, because it looks very authentic.
 

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You have 2 reasons why you should do it yourself...

You don't have a local shop you can trust, and for the $150 (tune-up) you can get all the tolls you need.

A four hour drive to a reputable shop means you need to drive there twice if they can't turn it around in a day.

No brainer to me.

John
 

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Of the Nameless Rabble
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Why?

I've used ebay since 2003 with no problems at all. Just got my parktools(in original packages) Could they be fakes? If so then the fakers used copy wrote packaging, because it looks very authentic.
Like I said, there will be those who vigorously disagree...

I have had exactly the opposite experience. I find eBay to be a bleak repository of knock-offs and grey market items. Nearly every reputable bike-related company will not honor warranties for "merchandise" procured from eBay, and usually for good reason.

But if it works for you, go for it!
 

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Like I said, there will be those who vigorously disagree...
Of course there will be

I have had exactly the opposite experience. I find eBay to be a bleak repository of knock-offs and grey market items. Nearly every reputable bike-related company will not honor warranties for "merchandise" procured from eBay, and usually for good reason.

But if it works for you, go for it!
Well with respect to the parktool packaging my tools came in, looks pretty genuine to me. Hard to believe the seller would go through the trouble of making replica packaging then throwing some knock off tools in it. And if it is stolen merchandise I could care less, because I bought it legally through ebay. Pretty sure these tools I received escaped the grey market and are intended for my region, because they are an USA ebay seller and they have an actual bike store in Henderson Nevada. They simply extended their sales onto ebay. Pretty sure they are an intended distributor for ParkTools. Even have a 30 day return/exchange limited to broken or defective tools. Probably to keep people from using the tool, cleaning it up and returning it.
 
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