This is the last installment about the Bicycle Repair 101 class M and I enrolled in. I think the class was a great resource. I picked up a few cool tricks, we learned that working on M’s 30-year-old Schwinn is better left to the experts. We sold it to our neighbor (whose hobby is fixing old bikes) and bought her a new bike made for daily commuting and general city life riding. We both learned how important it is for a rider to feel comfortable with the bike he or she is riding.
M loves, and I mean loves her new bike. It is so whisper quite I can not even hear her riding behind me. On our first outing together I kept looking back to make sure she was still there.
Okay, back to the class. For the last class we learned about the hubs, wheels, derailleurs, and housing cable. We briefly covered this the class before, but we went over it again before we got to work on our bikes. I got to change my rear bike pads and filed down the front one a little. This cures squeaky breaks that still have plenty of pad still on them. The squeaking happens when the pads get hot. Considering all the hills M and I have on grocery trips, I am surprised our brakes don’t squeak more. I was able to get one brake cable switched out and started rear shift cable before I realized the ferrules they sold me at the shop were just for breaks and not derailleur housing.
Many of the shop in town use a 5mm brake cable and 5mm derailleur cable and therefore, just use the 5mm brake ferrules. Which, I learned from this class in not good because the derailleur cable can just bust through the wall of the ferrule if it is not the right one. Derailleur ferrules are double walled on the cap side were the cable come through and break ferrules are the same thickness through the entire piece. If you ask for 4mm derailleur housing instead of 5mm, then you should get the right ferrules since they only make shifting cable in the 4mm size. Lesson learned. This is something I would have know if I had not taken the class.
I have to say that the class is worth the time and money, because at a minimum, you will learn a few things that you can do yourself. The main thing I took from this class is to know your bike and know it well so that whoever works on your bike ( you, a knowledgeable friend, or someone at a shop) will do exactly what you want him or her to do because you will be able to communicate what you want and expect happen with your bike when you bring it in.