Jun 20 2008

Maintaining, Modifying, Outfitting, Storing & Riding Your Bike

Time for new brakes

A bike is no different than a car — both require regular maintenance. But unlike the car, a lot of the routine maintenance and mechanical tasks to keep your bike in top shape are within the grasp or anyone who has modest dexterity and tinkering skills. Every cyclist should know how to lube the drive train, change a punctured tube and inflate tires roadside, adjust brakes, check headset security, and a host of other things that keep us safe and our bikes happy. As I work on mechanical projects, I’ll add more tips from my own experience, so check back for more in the coming months.

There’s more. Few cyclists are satisfied with their bikes right off the showroom floor or out of the box. We like to make adjustments, add stuff, remove bits, and generally customize and personalize our steeds. That makes practical sense if you intend to use your bike for commuting, shopping, or touring. And there’s technique to consider. How do you use bar-end shifters? How do you handle riding on dirt roads? Or climb hills? The articles below should help answer some common questions and concerns.

Come back often for new additions to our archive. And if there’s something you’d like to see addressed, just send an email.

Choosing a Bike and Making it Yours

In Your Shop: Stands, Tips, and Storage Ideas

Bike Tools for the Shop and for the Road

From Chuck Davis’ Workshop: A Pro’s Hints and Tips

Cleaning Your Bike

Get a Grip on the Cockpit: Handlebars and Stems

Shifty Business: Mostly Bar-End Shifters

Rolling Along: Wheels, Tires, Tubes, and Fenders

Cranking On: Your Bike’s Drive Train

By the Seat of Your Pants: Saddles and Seatposts

Just for Kicks: One- and Two-Legged Kickstands

Lighting the Way and Being Seen

All About Bottles and Cages

Bells and Whistles for Safer Cycling

Dealing With Dogs

Cyclometers, GPS Receivers, and Other Electronics

On the Rack: Hardware for Hauling Stuff

It’s in the Bag: Packs, Panniers, and Pouches for Hauling Stuff

The internet can be a good source for help when the time comes to tackle a job. Here are a few sites that are worth adding to your bookmarks or favorites:

The Bike Tutor: Bike repair video tutorials.

Park Tool Repair Help: Park Tool is a manufacturer of some of the best bicycling tools, and their repair help pages are clear and concise.

Performance Bike How-To Guides: Performance Bike, a major national retailer and mail-order outfit, offers help for beginning and experienced cyclists, alike. Check out their “Help Center.”

JensonUSA Tech Library: Guides you toward learning more about bike components, and helps determine how to choose replacement parts.

Bike Nashbar Cycling Tech Help: Sizing questions (clothes, bikes, and components) answered, links to manufacturers’ sites, instruction manuals, and more.

Questions? Comments? Just click here!