Learnings From Fixing My Bike

By Eoin on 22 October 2016.

Views of bike commute

View from the bike commute. Along the River Shannon.

Commuting to work by bike is something I’ve done since 2009, making it a seven-year habit at this point.

A bike needs a bit of care, just like a car. Thankfully it’s way simpler than car maintenance.

It’s also less risky than car maintenance. If you get something wrong with your car brakes, as they say, you’re in for trouble.

I had a bike crank with its pedal fall off my bike after I didn’t assemble it back properly. The crank is the metal arm that the pedal is attached to. I was pulling my sons with the bike trailer at the time. As soon as it fell off, a driver drove their car straight over the thing. It survived, and back it went on the bike. A local man passing with his dogs noted that it was a Monday morning, and it must have been that I was doing some weekend work on the bike, which he got absolutely right!

After seven years, the bike was in need of some love. It was more maintenance than just replacing the brake parts. Some metal parts were worn and needed replacing.

It came to a decision of “leave it at the bike shop overnight” or “spend hours learning over weeks of how to fix this thing”. Of course, I went with the second, harder, option 😃

Things I learned from taking on this several-months maintenance project:

I shouldn’t describe this as a job-done either 😉 It’s an on-going project. The next step is to replace the cassette, which is the part with spikey wheels on the back wheel of a bike where the chain runs along. A couple of months ago, it’s something I would have leaned to giving to a shop to do. But at least now I have the mental tools to replace it myself, even though I don’t know right now how to do it.

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