After a lot of expressions of interest from customers, we’re going to start running bike maintenance courses on Saturday afternoons. It’s really valuable to have a decent grasp of how your bike works, what can go wrong with it, and how to fix it. For one thing, the adage that a stitch in time saves nine is very true of bicycles, and learning your way around the mechanical side of a bike can help you to identify and fix little issues that could otherwise have flow-on effects. There’s also a certain satisfaction to be had from maintaining and fixing your own things. Finally, mechanical issues can have a habit of arising at inconvenient times, when you can’t easily make it to bike shop, and with a basic grounding in bike maintenance you will be able to overcome small issues on your own. Our series of basic courses aims to give you a solid starting point for this. We will also run a smaller more advanced course focused on wheel building.
Read on for info about both.
The basic course will be run by Val nagle. It is a four part series with a small group of up to four people. It will be hands-on, and the idea is that you bring your own bike and work on it, so that the information you take away is more squarely relevant to your bike, and so that you can leave with a bike that’s working better than the one you came in with. Having other people present with different bikes also means you’ll be exposed to some variation and get a sense of some of the different sorts of parts and set-ups there are out there. The series of courses is designed to be completed in order, but it would be fine to skip one, or to just pick one out that is relevant to an issue you’re already interested in.
The series of courses will run as follows:
The first session will be an introduction with basic principles, a rough guide to how a bike works, appropriate position on a bike, and then some time repairing punctures. This is the day-to-day maintenance stuff that you’ll find yourself doing fairly regularly and should make you a bit more independent. The key aim here is for you to feel confident about repairing your own punctures.
The second session will be focused on brakes. We’ll show you how to replace brake pads and brake cables and how to tune brakes as well as talk about brakign technique. Because we’ll be showing you on your bikes you’ll get directly applicable knowledge and because there will be other people with different set-ups you’ll also get a bit of an overview of the other sorts of brakes people use.
The third session will be focused on gears. Again we’ll show you how to clean and lube your chain, how to replace your gear cables and how to tune your gears.
The final session will be focused on wheels. We’ll teach you to replace the bearings in your hubs, to adjust the bearings, and to do basic wheel truing.
All of the sessions will go for 2 hours and will include plenty of time for questions and discussions on the topic of the day. They will run every second week from 2:00 until 4:00 on Saturday afternoons. The first series starts on 21/4/12 and runs until 26/5/12. Each session will cost $60 and the whole series will cost $200. Bookings will be essential because of the small class sizes, and we will require payment in advance.
The more advanced course will be a 3-part series on wheel building. The first session will be all theory and give you an overview of the issues involved in specing a custom wheel. It will help you to choose the parts you’ll use to build your wheel as well as help you to decide how to build the wheel. We’ll also help you to calculate the length of the spokes you’ll need. The second session will be all about lacing, and we’ll teach you some techniques and principles then get you to lace the wheels we helped you to spec in the first session. In the last session we will teach you about spoke tension and wheel truing then show you some techniques and get you to finish building your wheels. You should finish the course witha good grasp of the theory behind wheel building as well as the necessary experience to build another wheel set later, should you choose to do so, and of course a new set of wheels custom built to suit your riding.
The advanced course will have fewer participants, and really only makes sense as a series. It will also cost $200 and again bookings will be essential.