Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fixing Bikes

I started taking a bike class at the U of O.  I've often wanted to know more about how my bikes worked and what all the parts are and how to fix them a little bit so if things went bad 30 miles into a century, I could whip out my multitool and Mcguyver myself a good enough fix to get me through the day.  

So far I have learned that bikes are extremely dirty, and that whenever I get the workbench and a vise and a truing stand for my garage, I'd better have one of those containers of Orange-Off degreaser handy.  

Last week, I cleaned out the bearings on my wheel and learned how to remove my cassette.  I say things like "cassette" now instead of referring to "the rear gears on the back of my bike".  

See how much cooler I am already?  

This week, we learned one of those things I've always wanted to know.  Brakes. 

My hybrid brakes are just about bald, and I had a hunch it might not be too hard to replace them.  So we learned how to do brakes.  

Granted, I was working on cantilever brakes on a shop bike, because my roadie was at the Trek doctor getting its derailleur looked at.  But now, I know how to do two types of brakes, and replace cables. 

One girl has this beautiful Specialized Allez, and it was the demo bike.  When the instructor clipped her cable to show us how to run brake cables, I thought she was going to faint.  I don't blame her.  A little warning, sir!  All was well in the end.  

So I'm going in for "study hall" on Friday with my roadie and my hybrid, and I will replace my brakes and tune my rear derailleur with its new hanger.  It'll be so much fun.  I might even start playing around with truing my wheels... 


jimyjames said...

very impressive, B. you said "cassette" i thought "no, no - they're cd's now" haha . and my Dad used to fix bikes. Don't think they were like what we have today, but I'd guess the basic workings are the same. Brake jobs and derailers are you'll make alot of new friends once they find you've attained these skills! Good writing as always, my friend.

Reverend Ref + said...

Nothing about bikes . . . but thanks for the hospitality yesterday. It was great not to have to make the drive twice.