I must have jinxed myself by saying that the weather was improving now with Spring – it has rained almost every day since my last post. But, that is not an excuse for how long it has taken me to update the week’s learning adventure.
I was never able to pick up my friend’s bike to work on (the weather was so bad that I didn’t want to risk transporting it on a scooter in the rain), but I was able to give my bike a thorough tune-up. The tune-up included truing the wheels, putting air in the tires, cleaning and oiling the chain, greasing the seat-post, and checking the gears and brakes. My avid cyclist friend came over and walked me through the steps for each. I will not bother typing them out at this point, because I am so far behind this week, but I will post the link to three of the sources he recommends for bike repair and maintenance information (he gave me a much longer list, but I narrowed it down to the sites that were the most straightforward and easy to navigate):
Park Tool Co. has a diagram of the bike that allows one to click on the area of the bike one needs to repair. Then the site provides a list of possible problems, and useful information for that part of the bike. Simple, user-friendly interface, and straight-forward directions with pictures; that’s enough for me to bookmark this site for future reference.
And for those who prefer video tutorials, there are two YouTube Channels that I would recommend: The first is the Expert Village YouTube Channel, this is generally a good channel to have saved. It has tutorials and lessons on just about everything, and provides an extensive list of bicycle repair and maintenance related videos. The other channel that I like is the Intown Bicycles YouTube Channel. It has fewer videos, but the videos are consistent and all done by people at the same shop, whereas the Expert Village videos are done by all different experts in the field of cycling, so there is less consistency.
The hardest thing for me was truing the wheels, it took a while to get a feel for it, and to have an eye for watching the rim. I do not have a truing stand, I turned my bicycle upside down and used the brake pads as a reference point. Below is the video tutorial for ‘Hot To True A Bicycle Wheel’ from the Expert Village YouTube channel. It provides a nice explanation for what to do, but based on my experience, if it’s your first time truing a tire, I would recommend either going in to a local bike shop to have someone give you a hands-on lesson, or call up a friend who has experience with bicycle maintenance to give you feedback as you practice.