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is anyone else a mechanical klutz?(17 posts)

is anyone else a mechanical klutz?ET
Jul 16, 2002 7:28 AM
Loads here post about building up a frame, cutting their own forks, swapping their cogs depending on the day's ride. Well, I can change a flat, lube my chain, turn the limit screws (never works). Oh yes, one more thing, I can overtighten and strip my seat bolt. That's about it.

Love to train and ride hard, but the maintenance stuff just doesn't click. Took a free course once at LBS; whenever he removed anything, there were so many parts that dropped out and which had to be inserted back in just so and pointed the right way (how much is n! x 2 ^n again? :-)), with grease or lube added or not added or whatever.

Anyone else ride seriously but is mechanically inept? C'mon, admit it.
no, it's just youDougSloan
Jul 16, 2002 7:46 AM
None of us would do something really stupid like cut an $800 carbon fork steerer too short.

Live and (hopefully) learn.

what did you do with itishmael
Jul 16, 2002 8:05 AM
If it was of no use I dont know if I'd want to see it ever again. But then I'm sure its hard to part with an 800 dollar piece of equipment even if it makes you feel like an ass everytime you see it. Was it so short that no one could use it?
still got itDougSloan
Jul 16, 2002 8:18 AM

I thought...biknben
Jul 16, 2002 8:21 AM
I thought you were gonna have your credit card co. reimburse you?
never didDougSloan
Jul 16, 2002 8:52 AM
Too much trouble.
Total hack here.Alex-in-Evanston
Jul 16, 2002 7:55 AM
I try to fix everyting myself, it just never works.

Nah, just you, although for some reason thescottfree
Jul 16, 2002 7:57 AM
head wrench at my LBS has two labor rates for me: $20/hr if I just bring it in, $50/hr if I've tried to fix it myself before bringing it in.
Learn as you go...biknben
Jul 16, 2002 8:05 AM
I remember topics about who made the most costly mechanical error while working on their bike.

Doug's got me beat, but I once tried to overhaul a suspension fork a week before a Moab trip. I completely F'ed it up and couldn't get replacement parts before the trip. I ended up buying a new fork. That one cost about $500.

There are two things I don't do now. Wheel truing and maintainance of an older Dura Ace BB. The BB is one of the non-cartridge types that is real finicky for me. All my other BBs are cartridge so there's no problem with them.
i leave the big stuff to the LBSColnagoFE
Jul 16, 2002 8:29 AM
what is your time worth? do you enjoy working on your bike enough to spend your time on it? i do most of my own minor repairs, but personally i'd rather spend my time riding than wrenching. my free time is too valuable to spend in the garage with the bike/car or whatever.
I seem to only learn by fing things up.Len J
Jul 16, 2002 8:48 AM
I've stripped a star nut using a (Broken) torque wrench, among other things.

I like to do the maintenance stuff. I just try to learn one thing at a time. Next thing will be overhauling hubs. I'm sure I'll overtighten or something.

out of the closetzooog
Jul 16, 2002 8:50 AM
Yes, I admit I am a hack. Can fix a car but a bike... forget it. Thank God this young guy just bought out a LBS. He is cool and can wield a mean wrench. Other old fart was an ass...did crap work and had an attitude. Yes, I too admit I am a hack.
Partial excuseMe Dot Org
Jul 16, 2002 9:12 AM
I live in a studio apartment with no garage. Ever try to work on a bike on hardwood floors? I have a mat to catch oil spills, and I do clean my chain, but it's a royal pain in the butt to get everything set up without knocking something over.
I can handle 90% of the workRay Sachs
Jul 16, 2002 9:35 AM
Started riding a lot about 6 years ago and started doing some of my own wrenching about 4 years ago. As someone else said, I learned one thing at a time (as I needed to) and bought the tools as each task came up. At this point, I do pretty much everything myself other than build wheels and install headsets. I sometimes take hubs in for service, not because I can't service them, but it can be a real PITA.

The first time I ever got a frame/fork/headset in the mail one day, built it up that night, and rode 50+ miles on it the next day was an incredibly satisfying buzz.

I still screw up occasionally, but I haven't made any really horrible mistakes. With seven bikes, taking everything to the LBS would get really expensive. Tinkering with bikes has become sort of a fun hobby in its own right. I'd rather be riding, but working on the bikes is another neat way to spend some time.

same here ...tarwheel
Jul 16, 2002 10:40 AM
My experience has been that it usually costs me more in the long run to try to fix something myself. However, in addition to the stuff you mentioned, I recently taught myself how to replace a chain and cassette. I was surprised at how easy that was to do, and the tool costs were minimal. I also became quite adept at stripping seat post binder bolts until someone here (Nessism) pointed out that the bolt might be too long, causing the bolts to break from overtightening. I followed his advice, added some washers, and have had no more problems with seat post bolts. I am ashamed to admit, however, that I still haven't figured out how to adjust derailleurs -- I've read the books, turned all sorts of screws, and never can seem to make much of a difference.
re: is anyone else a mechanical klutz?No_sprint
Jul 16, 2002 11:29 AM
Last time I flushed my radiator I overtightened the drain plug and broke it. Wife was drivin' the car and didn't know what was goin' on and just thought, hmmm, it just isn't workin' anymore. Anyway, in the end, I blew the motor.

That answer your question?

I don't mess with headsets, hubs, bottom brackets, etc. I do all the minor stuff. I am still unable to satisfactorily adjust that dang rear der....
A good reason to do your own maintenanceStraightblock
Jul 16, 2002 3:26 PM
During a routine clean & lube this weekend I discovered the front derailler braze-on on my 2-year-old bike was broken halfway through.

Had I depended on someone else to do my maintenance, it might have gone unnoticed and eventually come off, potentially sending the derailler on a catastrophic trip through places it was never meant to go, leaving me stranded (or worse).

The good news is that the LBS says it's definitely a warranty matter.