Can you fix your bike?

I  love my road bike! 

I'd like to go on it more, do more distance... But I can't fix it if it breaks. 
I always have a puncture kit on me but I don't think I'd be able to sort it out quickly and efficiently if I get a puncture. My OH has usually taken care of stuff like that for me.

Maybe worth carrying a spare inner tube on me?

I know evans cycles run these "fix it" courses, but I'm not sure how much worth the money they are...

 The bottom line is, I'm sick of being pathetic and I'd like to know how to fix gears, brakes and change a tyre.


Can you fix yours? 



  • compo 1compo 1 ✭✭✭

    when i had one    not reallyimage

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    The basics of bike maintenance are really easy - so I'm sure a basic course would teach you all you need to know - after that it's about doing it a couple of times and you'll be fine.   

    There are some good guides on doing stuff on the internet too - the Park Tool website has some great guides for maintenance.   When I got into cycling about 10 years ago I bought a frame and all the bits and learnt by building a bike up just looking on the internet how to do it and asking questions on forums if I got stuck.   You might not want to build a whole bike but you could set yourself a task a bit at a time - maybe change the tyres next time they need it, fit a new chain, new brake blocks etc

  • I nearly always carry a spare tube with me; much easier than fixing a puncture roadside.  Usually have a puncture kit with me too though just in case.

    As for the rest, could probably manage to fit new brake blocks but that's about it.

  • I use the park tool you tube guides when I'm not sure
  • If those Evans courses only cost £15 and cover punctures, brakes and gear adjustments then I'd say it was worth it for you. These are not things you need to do on every ride so surely £15 for the peace of mind knowing that if you had a puncture you kn0w what to do.  I dont road bike, only MTB, but I've never repaired a puncture trailside, pop a new tube in and away, then do the repair at home.

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    Nope. I barely know one end of a spanner from my metatarsal. Had a flat recently and took it to the LBS. A tenner was well worth paying to avoid hours of fighting and swearing while trying to fix it.

    I cheerfully confess to be useless at all forms of DIY and a big fan of the galmi principle (galmi = get a little man in).

  • The Haynes Bike Maint book is pretty good...

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I think as a bare minimum you ought to be able to do carry out emergency procedures that you'd encounter on a ride, the most obvious being changing an innertube if you puncture, and having the right tools to adjust brakes/gears.  Also things like how to clean and lube your chain properly; it's not easy to completely mess these sort of things up so you may as well learn how to keep your bike in reasonable working order.  Pretty much all these things you can look up on youtube, so you can see exactly how it's supposed to be done.

    I'm generally pretty competent on bicycle maintenance but there are more involved things that I'd get the local bike shop to do if I had major problems, e.g. anything to do with bottom brackets, headsets, hub bearings, etc., generally things requiring tools I don't have.


  • Hmmm.... Maybe I'll do the evans fix it course then and check the rest on youtube. Just had my bike serviced this morning though so think I might be OK for a while... And got myself a spare inner tube to carry around with. I hope I won't have to change it out on the roads for the first time.


    I'm thinking about getting MTB as well, even more reason to learn a bit of maintenance.

  • This is my bike

    The only thing I havent done is change the gear cables, the internal gear hub, or brake levers.

    I would like to learn how to true wheels and build them and tackle the head set but thats pretty solid at the moment and doesnt need any adjustment

    Bikes are, unless they have electronic gears, or hydrolic suspension within most peoples abilities to maintain at home. You dont even need a bike stand as its amazing what you can do with two chairs and/or a washing lineimage

    I went on a day course to learn how to fix basic stuff and that gave me the confidence to tack other bits, also I sought out a bike shop that had an open workshop policy and all the tools and a mechanic that didnt mind giving a bit of knowledge.Find a LBS that isnt a big chain so you can talk to the mechanics.

    I would suggest to women maybe think like a guy, when it comes to things mechanical. Lots of blokes are able to do mechanical stuff not because they have some inate ability but because being socialized to think they should they, they do. They give it a try mess it up, sit back, think, try again, learn a little more, and eventually find low and behold they can do it.

    Also a little trick

    Take photos of what your bike looks like before you start fiddling than you have a reference to fall back on.

    Happy fiddling Elliimage





  • Buy some Gatorskin tyres. Much less likely to puncture.

  • You could always practise by removing your current inner tube and then putting the same one back in

  • +1 for the Gatorskin. First time out the bike I got through our cycle to work scheme and I'd done about 3 miles on the way to work, couple of hundred yards to go and I got a puncture image

    Swapped the tyres for Gatorskin and not had a problem since.

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    it's always worth knowing the basics of bike maintenance - which for most is how to change a flat tube - for when you are stuck miles from nowhere and it's pissing down and you find the mobile is dead....image

    Gatorskins are good but they aren't bombproof especially when they get old and more worn


  • I've got Marathon Plus tyres on my bike, they claim you can run over drawing pins with them.

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    Those be the tyres I have on my bike. I got a flat a week after the LBS fitted them. But I'm treating that as the exception that proves the rule.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I've heard good things about Maxxis Re-fuse w.r.t. puncture resistance.  Not that I'm using them on my bike, at the moment I'm going with Michelin Pro 3 Race in ivory (white wall), cos they look cool!  image  (Not many miles in them as yet so not much to go on so far.  May swap for something more hardcore for the winter.)

  • Yes!
    I was taught by my dad and was fixing my own punctures at age 7. 

  • Elli of the North wrote (see)

    I know evans cycles run these "fix it" courses, but I'm not sure how much worth the money they are...


    I've changed an innertube - in my kitchen, with a youtube video for assistance.  It's not that hard, just a but awkward.  So far I've been OK on the road.

    I booked an Evans fixit session, drove 15 miles to the shop, only to be told that it was cancelled as the bloke who was due to deliver it was off sick.

    I looked at the four Evans staff standing around in the shop and asked if no-one else could step in, only to be told that they weren't trained. 

    I asked for my money back - which took about another twenty minutes to deal with.

    Every time I encounter Evans staff, I come away less impressed.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Wilkie wrote (see)

    Every time I encounter Evans staff, I come away less impressed.

    That doesn't surprise me.  I've had a handful of fairly neutral experiences in there, but the one time I dared to ask for an innertube with a valve size that they didn't actually stock, the guy looked at me as if I was from another planet.  A planet full of people who are quite happy to be patronised by the sales person who obviously knows more about innertube valve sizes than you.  Except he doesn't.

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    you're always best ime to use a local LBS rather than any big chain as you're likley to get a more personal service from someone with way more experience than the spotty yoofs in Evans or Halfrauds and who will cherish your business.  use them regulalry and you're likely to get discount as well for loyalty.

    I think I've been into an Evans twice and walked out in disgust on both occasions as the person who came to deal with me was fecking useless.   


  • I've just found a shop which is both more local, and hopefully more competently staffed.

    I shall not have to darken Evans's door again, with a bit of luck image

    Well, I might carry on buying clothes from their website when they are in the sale image

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    fb - I thought I was on safe ground, popping in on the way home from work for a simple innertube, but no - they managed to piss me off!  image

    The last time I used my LBS was when they did a complete bike build for me.  It was a while-u-wait service on the bar tape so I had a nice cuppa and 3, possibly 4, chocolate digestive biscuits whilst ogling shiny things.  Proper service!

  • The opening hours of this potential LBS are less than great - not open on Sundays - but I'm going to give them a try.


  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    buy saying all that about using your LBS, just make sure they are helpful.  where I used to live the owner of the LBS was a right miserable git who made you feel very unwelcome by just looking at you when you walked in.  his son was OK when he was there at weekends but that wasn't always the case as he was in the fire service.


  • I wouldnt right off Evans completly as it does depend on where you are. Some areas have lots of cyclists so the staff have to be on the ball. There is a great shop near Holborn station where the staff are good in no small part due to the fact that from 8am to 8pm they have what looks like the entire cycling population of North and East London go past their shop.

    Chain stores for specialist stuff on the whole, LBS for generic bits and bobs, a washer here a nut there.


  • Evans sold and did a bike fit on an expensive piece of kit and when I took the wheels off to stick it in the car I found a crack in the carbon seat post. They blamed me for bashing it sticking it in the car. I nearly bashed the spotty oik behind he counter !

    Just think I migh have been riding a Felt for the past couple of years
  • wilkie.a lot of LBS close on a sunday as the staff are all cycling or racing image


    i can change an innertube now but it does take me about 20 mins of tears whilst doing it.......can't do anything else

  • Tom77 wrote (see)

    I've got Marathon Plus tyres on my bike, they claim you can run over drawing pins with them.

    Not much of a claim, is it? You can do that with any tyre.

  • image HAHA image


    The guy in my LBS who serviced my bike is an ex-evans mechanic and he said if he were me, wouldnt step a foot in the store as most of them are just kids that know one or two things but usually screw up the rest. He said he would have helped me to learn maintenance etc if he wasnt sp busy all the time, but to check back later. I might do another course I've seen in an independent bike shop a bit further from me, but with better reputation.

    Checked few youtube videos, got some tools and I'll try to take out my inner tube and put it back in.... Probably on a day when I'm not supposed use it for going to work the next day...

    Took it for a spin today after work just to see how it feels after new gear cables fit in etc and it's great!!  I am in love with my bike!! I think I'll be sticking more to cycling next year and do shorter distance in running. No marathons for me next year. Just anything from 5K to half marathons. And lots and lots of cycling.

    I just need a mountain bike now too. Want to get off road and something to use in the winter for commuting. I've seen one but it costs more than I've budgeted for! Checking ebay for used ones... Can't decide!


Sign In or Register to comment.