Learning Bike Repair 101

The other day when I did the excellent Bike The Blvd, I met a new friend who had a problem with his back wheel getting stuck over and over again.

I stopped a few times to help him fix it. It was obviously a bad skewer which wouldn’t ever seat properly again. I told him to gear way down before he peddling and to avoid using too much pressure. I also offered for him to come over to my house to borrow a skewer or bicycle.

He marveled at my bike fixing skills. The funny thing is that I consider myself terrible at it.

For one thing, unlike many people I know, I hate fixing things. I don’t see the fascination; I just want stuff to be fixed. I work way better with things you can’t see or touch like words or computer code. 🙂

Thus, I was happy to hear that somebody thought I was good at bike repair. I have been working on them for over a dozen years.

Each time I work on a bicycle, I get a little better.

The best lesson, however, I have learned was in watching not what people do when they fix a bicycle, but _how_ they approach it.

The best repair people actually enjoy the job. Thus, I try to enjoy myself, also. Second, they are extremely patient which is probably related to #1. If they enjoy themselves, it’s easier to stick with it rather than trying to rush through it. Third, they tend to really pay attention to the situation rather than rushing in and trying things. Fourth, they make small changes and see how that impacts the system.

I’d like to add something that I do which is to read up on the subject before I try _anything_. This is tough, but it’s well worth it. If you know _why_ you are doing things rather than just what to do, you can fix things much easier.

Over the years, I have grown a little more confident in fixing my bicycle, although I still appreciate it when my princess works on it. It’s funny, to me, how many dudes are floored that she fixes my bicycle as if having female anatomy made this impossible or something.

However, as a few of my earliest bicycle repair mentors were women. They were the first people to explain the thought behind the repairs to me, also many of them exhibited the type of patience necessary to become really good mechanics.

The point is that anyone can learn to repair their bicycle if they care to do so.


One Response to “Learning Bike Repair 101”

  1. On bike repair by WTFs | Grease Rag Ride & Wrench Says:

    […] about bike repair. He doesn’t consider himself to be a great bike mechanic, but recently had a positive experience where he was able to help someone else. Over the years, I have grown a little more confident in […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: