Seeking DIY Overhaul Advice

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3 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I am considering overhauling my 10 year old bike and doing it myself. Any suggestions? Good books or videos? Is this better left to the pros?



Anonymous's picture
Robert Gray (not verified)
Work on your own bike?

An overhaul is messy and has some intricate points. If you are not used to working on bikes and do not have all the tools and equipment, I would not consider it. Bicycle Habitat on Lafayette comes to mind for a job like this; reasonable and reliable.

Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)
Online Help
Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
Go for it

"Give it a try. It's not rocket science, but it does help to have someone show you the ropes 1st time around. That's ideal, but not necessary. At least for me I really blow donkey chow intepreting spacial relations on paper...reading mechanical like instructions. Didn't stop me - just requires some extra patience, concentration and time.

Anyway, you'll get a great sence of satifaction DIY and become less and less dependent on a bike shop over time. Roadside mechanicals will become less daunting, too.

Book recommendations: Richards' - for nice color photos and covers pre-index shifting bikes as well. Couple this book with Lenord Zinn's 'more' unabridged road bike maintenace book. That's my personal recommendation.

Online sites: Sheldon Brown is a good start. Also, I particularly like Park Tool's website:

Park Tools are quite good, too. You shell out a bit of $ to overhaul your bike, but after 1x, 1.5x, 2xs the cost of tools are usually covered by that money spent by a bike mechanic.

Some tips...start out slow and have patience. Most especially, do one specific task at a time, e.g. replace cables one night, true wheels the next night. Practically implications are you will not have greasy parts spread out overnight (or days) consuming valuable apartment space. If you get stuck, take a break and try again later. Haste only leads to more frustration, scratched, stripped and broken parts, IMHO.

If you get really stuck then you can always take it to the shop for them to fix. Trust me, it's no biggie. No one at the shop will laugh at you. Request to sit in with the mechanic and you will come away with even greater ""oh, yeah"" confidence if you do.

With some experience under my belt, I still now do my bike overhaul spread out over many months. Additionally, I save alot of time, too, i.e. it takes me less time to replace a chain than to lug the bike to the shop for them to do it.

Good luck.



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