Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ain't no Bike Mechanic

I ain't no bike mechanic but I need to become one pretty soon or else I am gonna regret it again like I did this weekend.

Yesterday as I prepped my Mountain Bike for today's off road duathlon I heard this terrible noise coming from the crank/front part and I had no idea what it was. Last time I used my mountain bike was on the 20th of June during the last off road duathlon.

After the race I parked the bike, as I do all my training on my TT bike, and pulled it up again for today's race. As I probably know by now I should have checked the bike earlier. Checking your bike on a Saturday afternoon when all the shops are closed is not a good idea. My way of fixing a bike problem is some lubricant(Q20) and some grease but this time it didn't work.

Don't know if you've ever seen people standing next to the road looking under their cars bonnet but have no idea what to do, well that was me. After fiddling around and drowning the front chain ring/BB in lubricant it was quieter but when I took it for a test drive I couldn't get it onto the small chain ring.

I phoned my Bike shop owner/ mechanic and he explained which screw to turn which way to adjust the derailleur but the more I adjusted it the more I screwed it up.

Eventually I was fed up, full of grease and very irritated and still with a bike with a noisy front part that can't go into the small chain ring. I decided to cancel the duathlon as I didn't want to drive 2 hours to do a race and need to do the bike part in the bike chain, especially going up a mountain or have a DNF due to the bike.

Lesson learned this weekend: I am gonna buy a book to learn more about bike parts or attend a bike mechanic course.

I am not bad at mechanical stuff and as soon as I apply my mind to something I can master it. I did manage to learn most of the skills about the building industry and build our house by myself without any contractors help.

It is just that I have never had to do bike fixing before. With my TT bike, I take it to the bike shop, they service it and I bike. Never had any bike issues with it, but Mountain biking is a little bit different it seems.

Well at least I am done with racing for a while and my next race will only be October and then it is back to long distance road racing again.


  1. That sounds frustrating!

    I live 80 minutes away from a bike shop, so I finally went and bought the book "Bicycle Repair for Dummies" as I am a complete dummy when it comes to fixing bikes. That book really helped me fix a lot of stuff myself. ALSO do a web search on bike derailer adjustment - there are some great videos out there that helped me get through till I could make it to the shop.

  2. CC
    Thanmks, will have a look at getting the book to help me

  3. I think I need that book or at least find a basic bike maintenance course in my area. Sorry you missed the race.