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I worked in a bike shop for 6 years and it's a great advantage to know how to work on/build your own bike and know how to fix it out on a ride. I have ridden with guys who don't even look at the bike and are riding with crazy loose spokes, cranks about to fall off, etc. and I never understood that. Who works on their own bikes (self taught or work in a shop)?
 

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Self-taught, with the help of books and the intraweb.

Everything but wheel building.

The only downside is, all your friends tend to be lazy to learn and just ask you to do fixes for them. I have friends who don't even know how to clean/lube their drivetrain and adjust their suspension.
 

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Learning as I go. So far haven't needed to take it into the shop and hopefully won't for a while. Sometimes working on the bike can get frustrating (especially while learning), but it's nice to know your own bike instead of relying on someone else to fix/tune it for you.

I definitely have a buddy though who hardly ever pays any attention to his bikes. He barely even touches his suspension out of the box. I keep trying to convince him that it needs to be adjusted for his weight and riding style, but he says he's just happy to be on a bike. I guess if he's happy it's all good.
 

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watsgowinon said:
Self-taught, with the help of books and the intraweb.

Everything but wheel building.

The only downside is, all your friends tend to be lazy to learn and just ask you to do fixes for them. I have friends who don't even know how to clean/lube their drivetrain and adjust their suspension.
Are you at least getting an unlimited supply of beer for this? Otherwise maybe it's time to teach them how to fish.
 

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I do all of my building and maintenance. Only thing I haven't messed with yet is building wheels (just haven't had an opportunity yet I guess). Mostly self taught, but also worked in a sports shop that did bikes for a bit.
 

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moaaar shimz
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I do absolutely everything except wheel building as I don't have the need to. This includes shock and fork rebuilds.
 

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I worked in a shop. On trips I wind up working on everyone else's bikes otherwise it takes forever to get on the trail. Nothing is worse then watching someone who has no clue what they're doing trying to adjust their derailleurs...although watching people struggling with changing their DH tires comes close.
 

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jcook1989 said:
Do everything but build/true wheels. Don't have the cash for a stand.
A quick way to do that is tie a ziptie to your seatstay, cut it down to run close with your rim and use that as a guide.

I've worked in a couple different shops since 2002 and now oversee 8 shops in different CO resort towns. Having discounts in the industry is a huge perk. I'd recommend the mechanics book that Park Tools puts out for any home mechanic. It's got alot of good stuff in it, including that little ziptie deal.
 

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I started with the simple things as a young teenager, like changing a tire. Over the years, I kept going down to the local bike shop and asked so many questions that by high school I was offered a job. I worked there for a couple years and that's where I acquired most of my wrenching skills. Since then, I built six bikes from the frame up, and I love it. I love riding something that I built and maintain. If you haven't tried a build from scratch, you should. But I still keep a good relationship with my local shop, and I really encourage everyone to as well. Just the other day I went down and had the mechanic do an experiment on a hub axle for me, and he didn't even hesitate, plus I was only charged $10. That's service.
 

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I do all my own work. I also make a great deal of the pieces that wear out or were not made properly in the first place. I don't want this to sound totally pompous but I have yet to find a bike mechanic that has the attention to detail that myself and riding co-workers have as machinists.
 

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myarmisonfire said:
I do all my own work. I also make a great deal of the pieces that wear out or were not made properly in the first place. I don't want this to sound totally pompous but I have yet to find a bike mechanic that has the attention to detail that myself and riding co-workers have as machinists.
You never know what you're going to get when you drop your bike off at any shop. I bought my 05' Enduro from a shop in the Denver area that was rated by a few magazines as one of the best in the country. I also bought some Easton Flatboys for them to put on at the time of purchase. The tech hands me the bike "alright there you go". I say "where's the other pedal?" He only put on one pedal..... After that he hands it to me and I took it for a quick parking lot ride. I asked if he could angle down the levers because they were sitting pretty high. He takes the bike and says to his co-worker as he walks back to the shop "wow, this guy is picky." This is the type of service I got buying a $3500 bike from what's supposed to be one of the best shops out there.
 

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Living the High Life
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Everything myself. My current bikes have never seen a shop:thumbsup:

And I do build my own wheels.
 

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Living the High Life
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ajdemo76 said:
I asked if he could angle down the levers because they were sitting pretty high.
You had them re-angle your levers?
 

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brake later, pedal sooner
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i do everything myself.. i used to wrench on my track bike (yamaha/honda/suzuki's etc) so the bicycle was super easy, just had to get some different tools :)

built both my bikes from the frame up.. even learned how to master derailleur tuning/fixing wheels properly/rebuiding forks/shocks.
 
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