As you may recall M and I are taking a bicycle maintenance class through UNM’s continuing education program. See the original post here. We have made it through the first two classes and one more to go.
We received a lot of information in each of those four hours classes, and some time to practice what we we’re learning.
The class is small, I think there are 12 of us, but even with this low number it can make it difficult to get a little assistance from the instructor at times when my bike does things I don’t understand.The instructor, Paul Walton, is a longtime bike enthusiast and has worked at bike shops in Arizona and Albuquerque for twenty years. He has quite the bike knowledgeable and willing to share what he knows. He has a lot of tips of how to maintain your bike without spending unnecessary cash. One example is using rubbing alcohol to clean your chain and gears instead of fancy cleaners that weaken the parts you are cleaning. FYI… do not use Simple Green on your bike. It breaks down metal. It is something I have never use on my bikes, but now I will most definitely make sure to never use it.
The first week we went over the basics: cleaning the bike, how to change a tire, finding and eliminating squeaks, and greasing the headset. This week we covered breaks and the drive drain. So we learned how to adjust our breaks and the derailleurs, how to change a chain and the rear cassette. Next week we are going over the derailleurs again, and how to true the tires. Then we get to work on whatever we want to repair on our bikes. I think everyone will be replacing their brake and gear cables. This is something you are supposed to do every year or two. I have had my bike 12 years and not had them replaced once. All the times I have taken them into the shop and no one has mentioned that I should change them.
I think I may have had my rear shift cable changed a year and a half ago when someone decided they need my rear tire more than I did. They were awful thieves, almost destroyed the derailleur while they were at it, take pride in your work people.
For the last class I am going to try to change the cables and the brake pads.