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733 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my first year back on a mountain bike, after a 12 year break

Apart from finding local trails and fabulous scenery I would have never seen, I've learnt loads about bikes too.

Some jobs I've taken on for the first time.

Replacing the chain (I never checked the chain on my old bike!)
Replacing an external bottom bracket
Fitted a new freehub
Bleeding hydraulic brakes
Replacing wheel bearings

Working on the bike has taught me how the various parts work, and saved me a fair bit of money as well.

I did have to invest in some proper specific tools, but it was money well spent.

· Registered
1,821 Posts
Right there with yeah on that one. My list is a bit different and more like 15 years ago. I still have the Park Tools I had back then, stand included(SO glad I hung onto that)!
I do need some new tools for the new Tech to match the upgrades to yer bike..time to time...AWESOME bike!! Built Not Bought!
I get way more out of this sport by working on my own rig than paying someone too, WAY more!
I think I should pull my BBracket's been 13mos and aprox 500mil..prolly should clean & lube..Ha..still tight & smooth..

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36 Posts
I absolutely agree!

For me it was almost 20 years out of the saddle apart from occasional bike rides on a borrowed bike. While it didn't scare me, I rarely did anything but cleaning and adjusting brakes & gears back in the day, I had a friend whose younger brother LOVED to tinker with bikes, so I let him do everything else.

Then last year I was chatting with a new colleague, and suddenly heard myself say I always had a dream of building my own bike from bare frame. An hour later I had found a secondhand Cannondale Trail SL4 2010 XL frame at a really decent price. Best of all, it was only a frame with headset and nothing else.

I spent the next few months buying and mounting all the needed parts. What a great experience! I don't know about the buying of tools, it is a relatively expensive experience, but tinkering is just as much fun as riding for me :) It is more expensive to build your own, but I now have exactly the parts I want and the entertainment on the way was well worth the extra price.

Once the parts pile started growing next to the naked frame, I admit I was slightly intimidated. But taking my time, reading the instructions that came with the parts, and reading a lot here on MTBR (Thanks guys!! I didn't have to ask more than once, everything else was already answered with the search function. All those who have contributed help here for years have my gratitude!), and everything went just fine.

I encourage others to do more themselves, if they have the inclination. You don't need a lot of technical knowledge to get started, but mechanical common sense is probably a requirement especially for some procedures.
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