So, you’re starting out cycling, or maybe you’ve been at it forever, one of the constants across all the facets of the bike riding chain, is the lust for shiny, new bikes. Getting a new bike is great, the smell of the new tyres the southern fried crispiness of new shifters and derailleurs as you climax on your favourite strava segment and the knowledge that your brakes will hold you in their arms when the ride is over and you need to get off is an almost euphoric combination.
But for all the bikeual gratification you can get from something shiny and new, if you want to fall in love, you need to create something of your own. From the moment you find that perfect frame, to the moment you put that final end cap on a cable and roll your frankenbike out the door, you’re sure to have a big adventure, not without its bumps in the road mind! Luckily, we’re here to help you along the way, here’s a few vital tips:
1. Make sure you have the right tools.
Picture the scene, you’ve got your bits, you’ve got your coffee made (or tea, but coffee’s better for bike purposes of all kinds) and you realise you’ve forgotten about the 15mm pedal spanner. Nightmare.
It really pays to make sure you’ve got the tools you need for the job. A good multi-tool with allen keys and screwdrivers, some spanners, 7mm-15mm do most things and some good snips for cutting wires are a good place to start.
Unfortunately for the amateur mechanic the number of specialist tools for bike mechanics quite heavily outweighs those that are found in the standard household tool box, so if there’s something you don’t have keep an eye out for any local maintenance classes or Fix Your Own Bike sessions that might be of use.
2. Take your time
Building your dream bike takes time. Whether it’s getting your wheels perfectly round and true, or just indexing your gears, patience is your best friend to get the best result.
That’s why if you’re setting out on a big job on your bike build, set aside twice the time you think you might need, as you may find you need it. Better yet, set aside three times the amount, and if you find yourself with spare you can kick back with your third cup of coffee (two drink minimum when it comes to bike repair) and watch the Vuelta highlights.
3. Know when to say when
If you’re stuck, ask. It can be frustrating when you find yourself hitting a road block when building up a bike, but for goodness sake, don’t go daft.
Going at something you’re unsure about can make a small problem a whole lot worse. So if you don’t have exactly the right tool, or the expertise, get yourself to your local bike shop, where the mechanics should be able to help you sort out even the most obscure issues. If you’re forthcoming with the biscuits they might even show you how.
If you’re embarking on your new build then CamGlen Bike Town has a number of services that can help you on your way:
Bike Town has a Cycle Jumble Sale this Saturday September 2 so get down to Thomson Court and see if we have that perfect rear mech or bull horn handlebar you’ve been dreaming of.
Bike Town also runs a weekly Fix Your Own Bike session at our Thomson Court facility. Our experienced mechanics are at your disposal, offering brains to pick, patter to keep you amused, and a range of specialist equipment to get your new build up and running. only a fiver an hour?! Bargain!