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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What a time to be a noob bike mechanic thanx to the internet / youtube you can find a video of someone doing just about any project on a bike to get the idea how to perform the task..

When I was younger and rode I wasn't online you (90s mid-early 2000's) towards the late 90s I could find some stuff I guess.. but at that time I knew many other guys that could work on bikes and in general I gave them beers to work on my bike for me...

now I still know a fair number of bike mechanics.. and I will still ask for help sometimes.. but I also now feel like I can't stand it when I can't do something myself.. So yesterday did lower leg service on my Fox Float 29er, inspected / greased headset / cleaned drive train / disassembled and serviced pedals ... umm index rear derailleur which had gotten out of adjustment somehow or other.



all in all I'm pretty pleased with my efforts ... honestly probably took WAAAY longer than it should have / hopefully than it will next time..

what about all y'all you like working on your bike or would you rather take it to the shop?
 

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Always do my own, starting in 1970. I had to use a teletype terminal and punch tape to access the internet, which was really really really slow. (kidding. I used a teletype and punch tape but there was no internet). I do send shocks, forks, droppers in for warranty work, or usually for full overhaul/tuning.

There are many good reasons to be able to do your own work.
 

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I can do just about anything my bike needs, but I don't always. sometimes, I take a bike to a shop simply because I don't want to mess with whatever work it needs. when I was a new rider, though, my ability to deal with things was pretty basic. mostly due to a lack of tools and lack of work space.

back then, the internet wasn't all that useful for looking up service jobs, so I had an actual book. I think it was Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance. It was a much earlier edition that barely touched on things like disc brakes (cable actuated only, I think) and suspension (coil & oil mostly, IIRC) so I got rid of it years ago.

https://www.amazon.com/Zinn-Art-Mountain-Bike-Maintenance/dp/1937715477
 

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I got a repair book for mountain bikes but haven't used it much. I've done a few basic simple repairs but still not that confident in my own work. Kinda funny because I used to work on my old bikes growing up as a kid. Even spent a summer in Montana putting together a Frankenstein bike from parts laying around. That was a good bike, it was a shame I couldn't have brought it back to Texas.

I don't have an issue going to my LBS to be honest. I like them a lot and feel more confident in their skills than mine right now.
 

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I can honestly say I've never had a shop do anything on my bikes, and actually have not even bought a bike from a shop since 2001. When I was a kid in the 70's my dad taught me how to maintain my 'sting ray'. Every bike after that I did all mntc and upgrades myself. Pretty much the same with my cars, motorcycles, etc.

I've got tons of tools and it's kind of like therapy for me. I'm always tinkering and fixing something.

You are right about youtube...you can find 'how to' video's on everything (not just bikes)!
 

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Another rider that started in the '70's here... been wrenching my bikes since the start. Just always used my Dad's one lesson crash course on mechanics. "It goes on the same way it came off".

I've always thought that working on my bikes is as much a part of the hobby as it riding them. And in some ways, I feel I ride I ride specific bikes better because I understand the inner workings of its parts from working on them. Like, how to use a particular suspension/shock/fork, etc., to an advantage. Probably just psychological...
 

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I do as much as I can. Some things I don't have the proper tools for, like rebuilding shocks or facing bottom brackets. So I have a couple shops here in town whose work I trust and I have them do it for me. I have built a couple wheels but I'm not 100% confident in that area yet so I haven't ridden them.
 

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I'm riding the first wheels that I built. Haha! I did take a class from a master mechanic, though, so I'm pretty confident in the process. I just take a really damn long time to do it.
Yeah. There is a guy at the local shop that is one of the best around with building wheels. He has offered to look these over and also show me a thing or two. I just haven't been able to make the time to take him up on the offer. I really want to. I thoroughly enjoyed building them. Just not enough hours in the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Side note: frame too small?
ah... good eye .. this bike was given to me by my friend, it is a size Large and it probably should be size XL for my height (6'3") .. hence the somewhat long stem and the riser bars are because my back can't handle flatter bars .. Riding the Anthem it feels good, the set up may look a bit wonky but it pedals good.

Last few months I have had this on a loan.. been riding this one more lately (XL) 2018 Trance Advance 2.. Not sure what is going on with this, so far nobody is in a rush to get it back.. I'm actually waiting on some Deity Highside 50mm riser bars for this one right now ordered a few days ago.

 

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I think anyone can learn how to work on their own bike. Most people just don't have the patience/ time or refuse to buy the right tools and seek instructions. I worked in bike shops for six years and saw countless "how hard can it be?" scenarios where people make expensive mistakes like crushing/ cracking parts because they were too cheap to buy a torque wrench or ruining suspension by dowsing their wipers in WD-40.

If you're going to work on your bike:
1. Look it up.
2. Use the right tools.
3. No shortcuts, do it right.
 

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What a time to be a noob bike mechanic thanx to the internet / youtube you can find a video of someone doing just about any project on a bike
Pfft, bikes schmikes! I learned to replace a gas tank and power steering rack (and loads of other projects) on my VW van thanks to the internet. Yeah, it's a pretty cool time to be a DIYer.
 

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Sometimes we have to make do with what we have. I'd keep riding the Trance Advanced as long as possible, too. Did a demo on one last year and they're amazing. Nice job on fixing up the Anthem. It's still a great bike when you have to give back the wonderbike. :)
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I think anyone can learn how to work on their own bike. Most people just don't have the patience/ time or refuse to buy the right tools and seek instructions. I worked in bike shops for six years and saw countless "how hard can it be?" scenarios where people make expensive mistakes like crushing/ cracking parts because they were too cheap to buy a torque wrench or ruining suspension by dowsing their wipers in WD-40.

If you're going to work on your bike:
1. Look it up.
2. Use the right tools.
3. No shortcuts, do it right.
Not sure about your "I think anyone can learn how to work on their own bike" statement.

I think the foundation for respectable DIY work needs to be laid early in one's life. The humility to say "I don't know" and to look it up or ask someone else being one. But also the curiosity to wonder how something works, and retain what you learn/figure out. Also the patience to take your time. And also a drive to do good work, and even a sense of perfectionism.

I've met a lot of people who don't work on their own bikes over the years working in shops. Most of those haven't had the time in their busy lives for it, the space in their busy minds for it, or both. Some haven't had sufficient work space and/or tool storage space. College students in dorms. Folks living in apartments. That sort of thing.

So far it's been rare, but I've met people who I doubt are capable of learning to work on a bicycle. My former brother-in-law is one of them. It's less of a physical capability thing and more of a mindset. Learning anything mechanical isn't going to happen for people like this until they adjust their minds to the process of learning, figuring out, cause-and-effect, patience, and curiosity.

There are certain things and certain times where I really would rather just pay someone else to do it and I generally won't fault or shame people who would rather pay a shop to work on their bikes.
 
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