I was just getting my bike ready for the Ranchstyle event and I started to wonder how many of my blog readers wrench on their own bikes. Personally, I’m a fully trained bike mechanic and know how to do pretty much everything from building wheels to overhauling forks. I worked for several years as a part and full time bike mechanic and still really enjoy wrenching on my own bike.

These days I’m a bit busier than I was back then and so I’m glad I’ve found a good mechanic to help me out with the bigger jobs. However, I still keep my own bikes up and running, giving them tune ups and changing out parts. Tuning a derailer and keeping your wheels true are some basic skills that help keep your bike running well and help avoid breakdowns on the trail.

Personally, I like to know how to work on my own bike for 2 reasons:

#1 – I hate to wait to get stuff done. I’m pretty impatient when it comes to my bike. I’m probably planning on riding tomorrow and if I need something basic done I don’t want to have to take my bike to the shop, drop it off and wait for it to get done.

#2 – I don’t trust many people to make sure my bike works right. I ride hard and if my bike failed on me for some reason it could spell disaster. I want to know that my bolts are tight, the spokes are tensioned and the bike is set up right, not take somebody’s word for it. I guess I have trust issues…

So, how about you? Do you know how to work on your bike? If so, do you know the basics or do you also know some more advanced mechanic skills? Why do you like to work on your bike? Or, if you don’t know how to do anything, what are your thoughts?

-James Wilson-

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