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Things are dawning on me like... how do I take care of my bike? What kind of skills do I need to have to make sure that it is working properly... stuff like that.... any tips? I don't even know how to change a tire! Do I need any special tools? HELP!

Mallory
 

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Try getting a good MTB matenence book. I have Mountain Bike Maintenence by Guy andrews and its pretty helpfull. If you get a different one, make sure that it is up to date and has instructions for the latest bicycle componenets. If you're lucky, a local book store might carry one.
Why yes you do need special tools. Your local bike shop would have all the tools you need. If you plan to do all of the mantenence on your bike, you might want to invest in one of the complete tool kits from Park tool. It would have all the tools you would possibly need, but they are not cheap and you may never use all the tools.
Basic matenence requires these tools:
Tire Irons+patch kit
hex wrench multitool or set
cone wrenchs

Or you could take it to your bike shop every once in a while for a tune-up, but its kinda nice to be able to keep your bike running by yourself.

You'll get it.
 

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Dr. Bike
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I would say some basic skills you need to learn is how to change a tire and lube the chain. Carrying a spare tube and tire levers when you ride is highly recommended. You could check out Park Tools website, they have a very good how-to section.
 

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Mine are "AllenKeys" & "Tire Repair Kit"

Hi there... You can start by reading thsi book... It has all sorts of help and skill that you may learn of. It should all include the basic tools and other riding skills. :) Including repairing your tire, fixing cranks, brakes, etc...

I should recommend it, it's a great book!!! :thumbsup:

http://dev1.boomersdomain.com/cgi-bin/store_pedalinghistory_2/00079.html

Check it out from your local library. There should be one, if not, get any books which talks about "Mountain Biking". :)

In addition, the tools I have so far are the "allen keys" and a "tyre repair kit". The other ones are not too important if you go urban riding. If there is any major problems, I can always go to my cycling shop. :D It's just 5 m across the road.

Hope this helped you...
 

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hardcore on the bunnyhill
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Check out this great site...

http://www.parktool.com/repair/

it has great articles about how to repair and maintanance everything from simple stuff like changing tires, to really advanced stuff like facing bottom brackets. Buy a good multi-tool from park tools, topeak, crank bros, etc. and that will provide you with most of the things you will need for basic repairs and maintanance.
 

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You can do what I did... take a bicycle maintenance class at REI. I took the comprehensive maintenance class which was well worth the $60. You spend four+ hours with a master technician and three other students learning just about everything there is to know about taking apart and cleaining your bike. The books are good but I learn better by actually watching and then doing.
 

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local trails rider
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emvath said:
http://www.parktool.com/repair/

Buy a good multi-tool from park tools, topeak, crank bros, etc. and that will provide you with most of the things you will need for basic repairs and maintanance.
Yes. At home separate hex keys and screw drivers, maybe a chain tool, might make things easier but the multi tools will get most easy things done.

Also, learn to clean the bike without pushing water into the bearings, clean and lubricate the chain. Get pump, spare tube, patch kit, tyre levers.

THE maintenance book:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193138259X/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_k2a_1_txt/102-1711640-4160916?ie=UTF8
 

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msb83 said:
Things are dawning on me like... how do I take care of my bike? What kind of skills do I need to have to make sure that it is working properly... stuff like that.... any tips? I don't even know how to change a tire! Do I need any special tools? HELP!

Mallory
Aloha Mallory,

Welcome to the wonderful hobby/sport of mountain biking. One thing you might try is to try visiting one of the local shops and inquiring about local rides. See if there is room for beginners. When you're out riding, you can ask questions about maintenance and such. Maybe after some of the rides some of these people can show you how to do some basic things in exchange for mexican lunch or something. Great way to get to know some of the other local rides and find people to ride with as well.

Good luck!!!

aloha,
g
 

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pronounced may-duh
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I would not go out and buy a bunch of tools you won't know how to use. You need to know a few basics like how to clean your bike, lube the chain, fix a flat tire and adjust your tire pressure and shocks.

If anything breaks or stops working go to the shop or find out how to fix it yourself. Fix things as they come up. Buy only the tools that you know how to use and need to fix what's broken. If you encounter a problem and want help from the forum ask a very specific question. Like "how do I replace the brake pads on my avid juicy sevens?
 

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local trails rider
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I do not think anybody has, so far, suggested any "advanced" tools.

I just had the cranks and BB lubed and tightened and freehub replaced at a shop. I do not have the tools yet and it is not the best time, for me, to start practicing.

Hex keys and screwdrivers can be useful for non-biking jobs too... ever had to assemble anything you bought?
 
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