Pinkbike Poll - Do You Enjoy Working On Your Own Bike?

Nov 21, 2017 at 12:14
by Mike Levy  
For many of us, actually riding our bike is all that counts. Shiny new gear doesn't have you spending your hard earned money, and you're more interested in riding your bike than watching someone else ride theirs, World Cup pros and Rampage senders included. But what about when it comes time to perform some upkeep on your precious? Do you put your hands up when the job calls for you to do anything beyond a flat tire repair, or do you look forward to jumping inside of your expensive suspension fork, replacing pivot bearings, rebuilding brake calipers, or assembling a wheel?


Aaron Gwin s mechanic John Hall gives us the details on his custom toolbox setup.
Does this setup tickle your fancy? Or does your tool collection consist of a hammer and set of rusty hex keys that you store on your garage floor?


You might not be a regular Jobst Brandt, but 8,504 out of 17,049 people who replied to last week's poll said that they're either proficient in wheel building or have at least put a few together in their day, a number that's larger than I would have guessed. And if that many of you are happy to lace spokes and understand spoke tension, I'm guessing that many more enjoy a late night in the garage beavering away with hex keys and other tools. At the risk of sounding like a spaced-out tweaker, I know there are days I could ride that I don't simply because I feel like taking something apart just to put it back together again. Sometimes I don't even have spare bits left over, too!

So, where do you fall on the scale? Is it important to you to know how to fix anything that might arise, or are you more about the ride than actually working on your own ride?


Do you enjoy working on your bike?




241 Comments

  • + 316
 When I was a youth I used to laugh at the 30+ year olds taking their bikes to the shop for really basic work.
Now I'm 30+ and finally get it - it's called kids
  • + 50
 Man, were the fuck does time go eh.
  • + 331
 Do what my dad did. Take the kids with you in the garage and show them how to do it. Involve them in the process and make sure they are having fun doing it. Soon they will do it for you while you fix something around the house before going out for a ride with them.
  • + 24
 @lRaphl: absolute best answer man, big thumbs up from this dad!
  • + 61
 @lRaphl: I have been in the garage with my son today, he’s 3 but he “helps” me seat tires by pulling the trigger on the inflator, tunes up bikes by grabbing tools for me. Little tasks like that give him an understanding of how things work.

The best part is, bike fixing time is also Dad time so this makes for a productive day.
  • + 14
 yeah, kids and for some, no garage or shed to work on your stuff makes it 100 times worse. Occassionally I'll crack a brew and toil away in my kitchen, or maybe in the backyard when the weather is nice, but generally I'd rather just have my bike working better than worse and parting with a few bucks is worth it to have it done right. Bikes are also really annoying with all their little fiddley bits and multiple fittings etc. Things were easier in the 90s when you only had bolts and cables to mess with. There's also no way I'm opening a fork in a kitchen...
  • + 32
 @husstler: my daughter is 3 and not too long ago I was working on my brakes (giving them the works). She asked my about a billion questions. Well same two over and over, “what’s that, can we go to the park daddy?” I think I suffered something similar to combat stress. Next repair session I started at 5 am to avoid the shakes and so I could take her to the park after breakfast. Looking forward to teaching her when she’s ready or when I complete SEAL training.
  • + 9
 @lRaphl: well yeah, involving your kids with maintenance jobs is pretty obvious.... except when their ages are quoted in months, not years
  • + 1
 @JesseE: Build a shed! Wink
  • + 1
 @lRaphl: ha, mine are too young still
  • + 12
 My son and I "volunteered" at a bike shop (i.e. - built bikes for no pay) for about 6 months after work. Not only great bonding time, but we both learned some valuable wrenching skills. Wouldn't trade that time for the world.
  • + 16
 I have 2 kids, I just stay up crazy late and work out in my garage. I'll sleep when I'm dead
  • + 1
 I understand bikes for the most part, why is there so many specific tools, and what ever happened to quick release?
  • + 4
 I'm the same with some technology now. Despite being a programmer some things I just cannot be arsed with anymore. Let someone else handle it.
  • + 3
 I get no thrill out working on my bike anymore now that I’m old. I like working on my suspension but the rest of it I’ll have the shop do it. One bonus of being old is that I can afford it.
  • + 3
 @lRaphl: i am so thankful my father did this!
  • + 9
 Going out to the garage for a couple hours to work on truck or bike after the kids are asleep is called "daddy time".
  • + 1
 @lRaphl: You Rock! Can I upvote you to win the next raffle?
  • + 2
 @Thustlewhumber: you are a stud dad homie
  • + 6
 You must have a better lbs than me. Takes less time for me to learn the technique, get the tools and do it right than to schlep the bike to lbs, harass them a few times to get it done then fix their mistakes. That’s part of what I love about bikes - and scare me about the impending electronics.
  • + 15
 @JesseE:
Rebuilt all 4 forks in one afternoon. Kitchen is the perfect place. Clean, well lit and with handy bowls/plates to hold and wash stuff in.
Unfortunately she got home early that day and I get the garage now.
  • + 1
 @wmccormi: Unfortunately, this comment all too often right on.
  • + 5
 @lRaphl: Agreed...to a point. When they’re one or two years old, you’re concerned with fingers getting run through the gears or brake rotors. Plus, once you start a job, it’s not long until you have to leave it unfinished because one needs a diaper change and/or the other toddler wants to (fill in the blank) and is over it. I’m doing what I can with them when I can but it’s not as easy (yet) as your answer would suggest.
  • + 1
 Preach.
  • + 1
 @lRaphl:Love that posting! I try but my son is not showing a ton of interest in wrenching. He has however been coming out to trail crew so I’ll take that instead!
  • + 1
 @JesseE: the kitchen is the original workshop man !
  • + 2
 @Robbyc78: I can afford but most of the times I dont trust some shop's hands..
  • + 3
 @lRaphl: I always have my kid in my shop with me... He is 13 now and this spring he changed out his complete drivetrain, with me doing only loosening of things that were pretty tight.
He is like a sponge, loves to tinker like me... Makes me happy!!!
  • + 10
 Nah man, you just put that bike stand in the living room and show the kids how to do it. For some reason, Western males let their women relegate them to the garage while most of the house sits useless with silly flowers and pillows on top of everything. I moved my toolbox into the living room and called it decoration.
  • + 1
 And that is only AFTER you have fixed the kids and wifes bikes.
  • + 1
 No time to inflate my tires. I have kids.
  • + 1
 @wmccormi: the garage should have better lighting & work surfaces than the kitchen
  • + 1
 @lRaphl: absolutely. I had my 3.5yo and 1.5 you helping me change snow tires on my truck a few weekends ago. They even took turns pressing the trigger on the impact.
  • + 3
 @lRaphl: my dad didnt show me much beyond flat tires and little stuff. But i most just look at and started opening up and taking apart and putting it back together and learning now it works. Now my dad is asking me to fix his bikes and im only 13!
  • + 1
 @husstler: pretty much the best way to raise kids, my daughter is the same
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: if I start trying to fix my bike, my 2 year old daughter is straight there in the way
  • + 1
 Wanna grab a pint?
  • + 1
 @lRaphl: I knew it! My Dad has been using us as cheap workers - I've got some confronting to do Wink
  • + 3
 @Robbyc78: I'm old and can afford it, but I'm also anal and there are very few shop wrenches who will do the job as well as I will. I'm the customer most shops wouldn't want!
  • + 1
 @FLATLlNE: Shops don't even like me coming in to buy 1 spoke...
last time I did they said sure, $5 with the nipple... so I looked at him and said, well your nuts and I'm now going to go online and buy a box of 50..
  • + 2
 @Dethphist: EXACTLY. I have a TV and a fridge in my garage. Open a cold one or two, put on a stupid movie that you've seen a hundred times, and go to town. SUPER RELAXING. Plus, it's not cutting into my riding time b/c I don't ride late at nightSmile
  • + 1
 @lRaphl: X2, do that with my kids, gets them off the technology without complaints.
  • + 104
 Yup, I enjoy working on my bike and pride myself in knowing how .... BUT AS BIKE MECHANIC I DON'T HAVE TIME TO WORK ON MY OWN BIKE!!
  • + 33
 This should have been an option, or I don't work on it because I'm too busy fixing others and actually don't get to ride it so it doesn't need work lol
  • + 11
 My friends often make fun of me, because at work I fix bikes all day, then I go home to fix more bikes. I'm surprised that I never dream about fixing bikes.
  • + 2
 afrovk Dude I'm so with you... And as Scotj009 said it's mint all the time (but could be better) cause there s no time or energy to ride Frown
  • + 10
 I've worked as a bicycle mechanic on and off for 8 years and it has taken all the joy out of working on my own bike. Servicing suspension and fixing squishy Reverbs soon gets tedious and when I have time I'm riding my bike no matter what dire state it's in. Once every six months it gets the works, but I can't be bothered tinkering anymore.
  • + 6
 @Scotj009: bike mechs seem to ride the least. Can’t be a pimp and a prostitute too- White Stripes
  • + 2
 @Dally666: IK the other mechanic at the shop i work in built a top spec five at the end of may, hasn't actually ridden it yet lol
  • + 3
 @Scotj009: I'm a lifelong wrench and always find time to ride, almost every single day, I also really enjoy working on bikes but mine always get looked at last so they are pretty untidy.
  • + 2
 Yeah IK there are mechanics that ride a lot, I'm one of them Wink Although I work on my bike in lunch time and keep on top of things fairly regularly
  • + 2
 That is exactly why all my bikes are in bare minimum working order. #mechanicproblems
  • + 5
 How about "I love working on my bike but I love riding it more so it gets pared down a little more every year and now it's a rigid SS and I am a nerd." There is a reason only shop staff ever seem stoked on SS or rigid forks.
  • + 1
 @fullfacemike: wow - yes. I don't work at a bike shop but otherwise this exact scenario happened to me this year. got sick of working on the dropper, so off it went...got sick of working on the drivetrain so off it went...fork is gonna be next.
  • + 2
 Freakin same
  • + 3
 Yup. All the work on my personal bikes is done frantically on my lunch break, or in my kitchen at night. I did put a suspension fork back on my single speed, but it's a Z2 so I probably won't have to service it for another 10yrs!
  • + 1
 @fullfacemike: FK YES, I loved my bike mech job but, had to leave. After a day of bikes, endless kid questions an know it all dads. The last thing I wanted to do was go anywhere near my own bike.
  • + 1
 @yelliandscreamy: Do it. Never look back. Sure I can't hit the lifts at Whistler on it but I never did that when I had a trail bike either. It makes you faster, stronger, more skilled, and you can ride the bejesus out of it while you save up for whatever axle standard they invent next month.
  • + 2
 Totally! As a fellow wrench man I can relate to knowing how critical a noise or something is, and usually end up riding instead of working on the whip. Sorry bike, trail is calling..
  • + 1
 Feel you there - My bike is the last one I ever work on -
  • + 1
 @bartimusprime: It's like, it just hangs there on the wall in the corner, you look at it from time to time during the day at work, thinking how you could take your rear shock and linkage apart and thoroughly clean and relgrease the hell out of it. Sadly it slips away, day after day the same thoughts... Sad, even now I'm doing full rebuilds to clients bikes and mine is put way... but.. maybe there is winter and light in the end of the tunnel? Nope, that's not light , that's snow, skis, boards, wax...
  • + 2
 I simply stay after hours to work on my bike. It's pretty convenient actually. Just got done working on it this evening.
  • + 68
 Where is "No. I know how to do the repairs, and I do them when I need to, but I don't enjoy it."
  • + 3
 ^^
This X 1000.
  • + 14
 This. I enjoy that it saves me time and money compared to taking it to the shop, but ideally I'd never have to work on it at all.
  • + 1
 Thats me. I'm never going to pay a bike shop when it should be fairly easy. Enjoy it, sometimes, enjoy the satisfaction when its done and I've not broken anything. Definitely DON'T enjoy changing bearings
  • + 3
 Yep, I'm with you. I enjoy the challenge of fixing something that I've never fixed before but to be honest after fixing my own bikes my whole life, it's more of a chore now.
  • + 25
 The real answer is that I don't like to work on my bike but I do it whenever it needs to. I also make sure to know how to do everything since the shops around here can't do a simple task right (like cleaning/lubing a chain) and they charge big money for it.
  • + 4
 Same opinion here.
  • + 5
 Same. I work on it out of necessity. And if I mess it up, well, the shop probably would have too.
  • + 4
 @skelldify: same here, I really don't enjoy spending 3 hours rebuilding my seatpost every 6 months, but surely do not trust anyone around here to do it, and I'm not gonna pay $100 to send it out for repairs.
  • + 4
 Absolutely. I used to work at a bike shop once I was a teenager, so I know how to do most of the maintenance work, building wheels and so on. But I don't like to do it, I never have the patience to do the most important fine-tuning that matters, like making sure the wheel is perfectly true or the rotors never touch the pads. On the other hand, those little things mean a lot to me when I do ride my bike. So what I do is simply pay my buddy that works in a bike shop to do the job, enjoy riding and in the time left from working on the bike I bake my own crispy rye bread from a healthy maintained sourdough. Here, around me, people know how to fix bikes, yet somewhy nobody does a good job in the bakery >Frown
  • + 25
 Need another category. I CAN work on it competently but don't enjoy it. I do it because I am cheap. And I have had too many "professional" mechanics mess things up. I have had to:

a. fix things again because they did it wrong
b. pay for things I did not tell them to fix
c. pay $50 (!) for them to swap out brake pads (that did not need to be replaced) when I went in for a hub re-packing
  • + 4
 Haha yes! I sometimes enjoy it but mostly it's just annoying because I'd rather spend the time elsewhere.
  • + 1
 Completely agree
  • + 2
 @Rasterman: like riding the damn thing...
  • + 24
 8000 people on pink bike can build wheels?
Lol
  • + 16
 I like working on my high end bikes cause I know I care more than any shop about the tiniest of details. Where I really have fun is bringing the clunkers together from junk and scrapes found at my local shop, kijijii, friends garages. This bikes are always the most fun to rip around. V brakes, Winter studded tires, Marzocchi Z1 frankenfork, Avid arch rival brakes, ditch witch on 90's white industries hub. homemade hub adapters, different headset cups, different crank arms, homemade chain guides. Stokes on, im going home to wrench
  • + 16
 The wheel building poll, and this one, likely suffer from an unintended bias. People who build their own wheels or do all their own wrenching are more likely to answer such a poll than those that don’t build wheels or wrench on their own bike.
  • + 19
 You sir have no place in the comments section, with your data-based rational thinking
  • + 19
 I work on my bike all the time and enjoy it......then i take it to the bike shop to fix everything i just worked on.
  • + 1
 Hahaha makes us 2
  • + 14
 Bikes are sooooooo much simpler than cars. After some of the gymnastics I’ve had to pull under a hood, nothing about fixing a bike is difficult.
  • + 4
 You and me both mate , Bikes are so simple compared to autos and you don't get sore ,cut ,burnt fingers working on bikes Smile
  • + 3
 Exactly, the thought of paying a bike shop to work on my bike is hilarious after being into drift cars for ages. It's a bike, everything can be fixed in five seconds without even getting your hands dirty.
  • + 9
 How about I do it myself because I find it relaxing after work? Also, it saves me money and ensures the repairs are done correctly. I can’t tell you the number of poor repairs I have had shps do. I can do better work, in part because I can take as much time as I need to get it done correctly.
  • + 1
 Same here, I even built my own little workshop and the misses gave me a nice toolbench (she was very happy that all my stuff is no longer cluttering the house Smile )
  • + 6
 I just turned 50 and still enjoy wrenching on my bike..... I thank my dad who made me change my own piston and rings on my '77 YZ80 when I was 12. I can't imaging taking my bicycle to a shop to get fixed.
  • + 5
 Very useful especially if you have multiple bikes. Need to install new BB or switch cassettes? The tools needed cost less than the service you'd pay at the bike shop. Buy the tools, read up and do it as many times as you want!
  • + 4
 I pretty much get away with riding without any tools because every time I head out my bike is 100%. If it isn’t I don’t have as much fun. Maybe that’s sad but it’s the way I’ve always been. I was a snowboard instructor for a while, pretty much waxed my board every day. Fresh wax day every day. Same for the bike. (PS every day is a slight exaggeration even for me).
  • + 7
 While I still carry the average tools for my rides, I'm more or less the same way. Part of the enjoyment of a ride for me is knowing my bike is properly prepped and maintained for maximum enjoyment. No loud, un-lubed chains, fairly clean (brush off dry dirt), seals wiped, creaks gone, etc.

When everything is set-up the best I can make it, those are the rides where the bike itself just disappears and it's you, the trail, and the woods.
  • + 8
 I bring tools for other people's bikes Frown
  • + 3
 I have a couple of mates like this, I always end up lending them spares and tools haha
  • + 0
 @rabatt: if you have to lend them tools, your mates aren’t like me ;-)
  • + 2
 A perfectly tuned, waxed bike can still break a chain or bend a derailleur hanger...or flat. Are you sure your riding buddies don't all secretly hate you?
  • + 2
 @ReformedRoadie: the only mechanical I’ve had in the last 5 or 6 years is a flat because I was too eager to ride a new bike and used a tube for the first time in a long time - ran my usual pressure and pinched it in 5 mins. I walked back to my van and went home. They might hate me but it’s not cus my bikes broken down.
  • + 5
 What about option: "I don't like working on my bike, but I do some basic and some more advanced stuff and even though I don't like it I would like know how to fix advanced things like fork service or swapping bearings."
  • + 4
 After getting fed up with shoddy and expensive workmanship at a few bike shops, I joined one of those community bike shops where you pay a modest membership and get to use all their tools. After a few months there I learned so much and it was fun shooting the shit with like minded people as you worked. It was the best $30.00 I ever spent.
  • + 1
 That sounds dope! Wonder if there is something like that in my neck of the woods.
  • + 7
 I can do every repair on my own but is it more of a love hate relationship.
  • + 1
 So much this!
  • + 3
 I've been let down by most bike shops I've tried in France. I do all I can myself because it's the fastest and cheapest way. I admit I've struggled with bearings for example. In the end, I regret spending so much time wrenching rather than riding, but I love the feeling a successful self service!
  • + 4
 I enjoy a succesful "self service" too ????
  • + 5
 My bike rarely breaks and, when it does, my boys at the shop do a way better job fixing it than I can. They do it all day, they're just better and more efficient at it.
  • + 2
 I can fix something, I'm still a learner and for more complex issues I prefer to leave these to a professionist. Add on this that I am left with very little time to dedicate to riding that I try to ride as much as I can taking maintenance time out of schedule.
  • + 3
 My whole family rides. My wife and two kids. There's lots of bikes in the house. I love spending my snowy winters in my shop with a cold beer, bike in a stand and Star Wars playing from my VCR. Heaven.
  • + 2
 I have only certified 2 persons to work on my bikes: myself and my dad... (same applies to private cars)

Even if riding is just for fun, preparation of bikes is (still) pretty much run as a proper racing operation with...
a) an own workshop with machinery to make tools, modify parts, fabricate custom parts,
b) an stock of spare parts immediate at hand to keep them running rather than having to order about every tiny bit as the local bike shops.
  • + 2
 I started tearing bikes apart as a pre teen with my banana seat bike around 1970 and haven't stopped. My Dad helped me learn many things in life, which I had done with my kids and still do today. My son loves turning wrenches with me down in my shop, and has mastered many jobs on his bike at 13. He rides pretty dam good too.. Pass your knowledge along...
  • + 6
 I just hate having to fix shit when i want to ride!
  • + 2
 I leave jobs that require special and expensive tools to the bikeshop. Like facing an IS brake caliper or installing a headset. But I have to admit that I also choose my components so that I can service them. I do have the spanners to service a Shimano hub but I'm not going to buy bearing presses for hubs with cartridge bearings. I'm not sure if servicing my own stuff was born out of pride. More out of convenience. It is just annoying to leave your bike at the shop. How are you going to get home again?
  • + 2
 Likes:
#1. Mnt. Biking. Trail or Fat
#2. Wrenching my bikes. For what it's going to cost U @ the LBS you can by the parts And the tools and do it yourself! No-one cares for your bike the way U do.
#3 everything else.
#4 Wrenching the car and truck. For the same reasons as the bikes.
  • + 2
 Could not afford repairs for 3 bikes. 2 trail ( mine and my gf's ) and my DH bike.
So i started buying a few tools from time to time and have youtube + BBB from park tool.
I actually enjoy working on my bikes but sometimes i still struggle with a few thing and have to be very patient. but in the end i'm happy when the bike rides perfectly !!!
  • + 2
 Took my bike in to a local shop it was big $ and sometimes shoddy work. Started buying my own tools and using google and fixing it myself. But now a new shop opened up and they are real good prices kick down free little tunes everynow and then and are a great. I still do some of my own work but try and give them some business as well.
  • + 5
 There is no "Yes, but I am way too lazy and spend my whole day fixing peoples pieces of shit bikes." option Frown
  • + 4
 I almost burned the house down today while putting my headset together today and the fork slipped out of the headtube twice, but I still enjoy it.
  • + 2
 Could "watch DIY YouTube videos only to exacerbate the problem after your attempt" be an option? I like fixing and replacing things when it works, but I have made some rookie mistakes with maintenance! But hey we all start somewhere, right? Just bled some Codes for the first time so that was a confidence booster!
  • + 2
 I enjoy working on my bike as much as I enjoy riding it. It's half the hobby for me. I can't even remember the last time a tool touched my bike during a ride. Even if the local shops price matched online stores and did the work for free, I would still do it myself with pride. Occasionally I will need something from LBS and while shopping I'll ask a tricky (but basic) question that I already know the answer to. If they answer correctly or at least look it up online to get the correct answer for me, then I'll recommend them to others when they need a shop. If they just guess incorrectly, then they get put on the no-go list.
  • + 2
 Surprised how many people say they can build their own wheel. I can not do a full service of my suspension. I can do the lowers, and build a bike up from scratch, but building wheels and full suspension servicing I leave to the pros.
  • + 1
 I love working on bikes. What I don't love is that they like to change an adapter or thread size every couple years. I tried to bleed my new guides the other day and now the $70 bleed kit is now obsolete without a $40 adapter. And now you need another one for the dropper post as well. Stop taking my money
  • + 1
 I always try and make the time with family life and all. Sometimes I am too tired and leave it for another day, but I do get there especially if its urgent. The moment I sit down to do nothing, is when I realise I can work on my bike.
  • + 1
 Everybody should work on there own bikes. Heck, everybody should work on there own cars and trucks too. I actually feel bad for grown adults who can't do simple things and have to pay somebody to take care of their crap for them.
  • + 1
 with the repair costs sky high in where i currently live, i bought an old bike through craigslist, tore it apart and built it up again (with the help of the park tool big blue book of bike repairs and of course youtube) just to learn how to do it. maintaining the bike is relaxing for me plus gives me confidence in the knowledge that if something breaks while on a ride, i can repair it or fix it enough to be able to go back to the car and go home.
  • + 1
 I love working on my bike, but I hate all the nasty chemicals we have to deal. Grease, suspension oil, brake fluid. Magura offers food grade silicone suspension grease for their forks, which I really enjoy using. It's expensive and hard to find, but I don't feel like I'm working with cancer causing poison. I also avoid DOT brake fluid like it's the plague...Shimano and Magura brakes only (mineral oil). I'm still waiting for a good non toxic dry lube that isn't wax based, and non toxic suspension oil.
  • + 1
 Thank god we can actual still fix our bikes. Unlike many modern things, e-bikes, cars etc. It saves me time, if I take it to a bike shop then I am without bike for a week. Getting your bike fixed works once, getting the tools and learning lasts a lifetime. Shocks still make me nervous . And thankfully never needed to re-align a frame, weld or machine anything yet.
  • + 1
 I can do most everything I need to do but I draw the line at work that requires proprietary tools that will only be useful for that one thing. Like special tools for removing and installing bearings in hubs where I might only need that every four years. Or special tools needed for fork damper overhauls. I have many useless tools that I have collected over the years such as the twelve different freewheel removal tools we used to need. I own a number of giant flat headset wrenches from when they had threads. A bunch of sockets ground flat that don’t fit any forks I own.
  • + 1
 Working on bikes is almost as fun as riding for me. I get my kids involved sometimes and they seem to like it. I also find getting in my shop with the bike and some tunes can really be therapeutic after a stessful or busy work week.
  • + 1
 I used to get my tinkering fix with cars but then it dawned on me they're designed crap to be deliberately obtrusive and awkward especially modern stuff. Bikes on the other hand i will gladly spend hours tinkering and messing around with.
  • + 1
 Ordered my last three ripleys from parts on eBay and other online shops plus moving some of my old parts. I found all of the top end components easy to setup with the exception of adjusting SRAM xx1 and eagle setups. Turns out slightly bent hangers and chain lengths make adjustments funnn....

Love the satisfaction of putting them together but wish I could learn some of the finer points of adjustments. Only about half the mechanics at the lbs seem to have this down though. Jealous when I see a guy make it look so easy, but frustrated when one isn't any better than me ( or worse).
  • + 1
 You have to do your own wrenching. I do take my bike in sometimes as I do know a couple of top tier mechanics. But if you get a window to wrench in your bike you gotta do it. If you don’t then shit goes wrong and you end up riding a badly maintained bike. That only gets worse with time. Which leads to failure, crashing, or both. Mtbs need maintenance quite often because of the extreme use they get put through. I don’t care how good your componentry is. If you ride it a lot it needs work, and if you don’t acquire some wrenching skills you’ll be spending a lot of money at the mechanics shop.
  • + 1
 Bike shops can't be trusted. In the last year I've had:

Fox 36 setup with at 145mm travel, asked for 140 got 150 on the lower 140 on the neg spring
Caliper come loose after 25 miles
2x brakes bled improperly
2x chains go into the spokes
Chainring came loose due to lack of thread locker

The technical term for this is RTFM. READ THE F$@*&^% MANUAL.

One of the questions should be-"I enjoy riding my bike and living to tell about it."
  • + 4
 Somebody needs to tell Mr. Levy that roughly 7900 of the 8500 people that claimed to have built wheels, L-I-E-D
  • + 1
 I have faith
  • + 3
 I must admit I could spend almost as much on tools as on bike parts .... ????????????
For me, building and servicing my own bike is already half of the fun !
  • + 2
 Yesss, same for me. Im amazed, how much people hate servicing their bikes. I find joy not only to repair it, but also tinker it to fit my way of riding.
  • + 2
 Where is the option for "I'm a bike mechanic, I know how to do everything but after a day fixing other people's crap the last thing I want to do is work on my own bike" option?? Cause that one is me all day long.
  • + 2
 I love to take this opportunity to let you all see my travel toolbox and digging through the spare parts bin.
photos.app.goo.gl/I6ZFEnHNagnZcVAt1

Closer picture:
photos.app.goo.gl/e4foHx0eYs3DKoxE3
  • + 3
 Bike shops here are always so busy that its just faster to learn how to wrench. I am not gonna wait a week to get my bike back instead of riding.....
  • + 1
 Turn time is one reason I work on my own bike. I hear shops that take weeks to get repairs done... Also it seems like every time I had a shop do something like put new bearings in two weeks later the bike is broken in the same area as the repair. Maybe coincidental, but I need to be confident that the work done is fit to ride at 20 miles per hour and feel safe.
  • + 1
 I really enjoy it and it is really satisfying to me. Next step will be to learn how to bleed brakes. However even the simplest fix can turn into a nightmare if the allen keys keep falling from your hands, you are in a hurry and your work shop is a freezing cold garage in the winter or a 250 degrees oven in the summer, with a large piece of cardboard on the floor where you rest your bike upsidedown.
  • + 1
 Being a top mechanic and wheel builder for a local road cycling team in the early 90's, and working on their mountain bikes and rebuilding those old forks, I can do everything. Well almost everything. Fox cartridges have too many expensive specialty tools to rebuild maybe once a year. The only time I use a bike shop is to face and trace head tubes or bottom brackets. Those taps are expensive. I can also jump on a rack and do my own work if it's slow.
  • + 1
 Broken thru-axle at the trailhead earlier this week. Replacement calls for a special install tool or a 2.3 mm pin spanner. I have the pin spanner from the square taper bb era so nothing to it. I can build a wheel as long as it is cross 3 or cross 2. Bikes are a pleasure. I refresh my brake calipers with a Qtip and then take my car to a mechanic.
  • + 3
 I'm the only one I trust to work on my bike. It's better to learn the craft of bike maintenance and take the care to do things the right way.
  • + 1
 I try and do it all, apart from full suspension servicing. I do however sometimes regret ever starting some jobs, both from a time point of view and the fact that occasionally things just don't go to plan. In the early days, I used to hate that feeling, that you might have to admit defeat, go to the LBS and say "Bail me out".
  • + 1
 Needs to be an option for: Yes. I do all my bike work. yes everything. fork overhauls, suspension and hub bearing replacements, wheel builds, brake bleeds, frame up builds. everything. I have at least a grand in tools, and i hate every f*cking second of it. But its a necessary evil. really just wish i was rich and could pay people to do it all.
  • + 1
 What about the option:
I do all the work on my bikes, enjoy it (mostly) and do a lot more bikes if friends need something quicker than the lbs can do it or don’t trust the shop for the task.
Last time I wanted to have something done was when I bought a Yeti Carbon frame and wanted the BB already pressed in. Mechanic told me to do it myself with a wood block and a hammer because “that’s what I do anyway”. So now I own more tools than the lbs.
  • + 3
 I love a good tinkering session; pop the heater on in the garage, grab a beer, chuck some music on and dive in. My bikes are in pretty good nick.
  • + 1
 I moved from working on the tools as a technician into the professional side of engineering. I miss working with my hands, and spannering on my (and my friends) bikes offers me the chance. In the garage, playing music I want to hear, beer on the go and a full roller cab of nice tools. Bliss.
  • + 1
 I barely have enough time to ride the bike let alone spending hours trying to fix my ham fisted stuff up and end up having to get a mechanic to fix anyway (at much more expense than if they'd done it on the first place). Now I don't do anything except maybe wind the derailleur tension screw, everything else is the shops problem.
  • + 2
 I work on bicycles for a living. And so I make squatty poo per year, worry about insurance every november, and live hand to mouth, Because I love working on bicycles. My favorite machine. And my favorite customers.
  • + 1
 My nephew was working on bikes at 12...when he was 15 got a job doing smalls repairs at LBS..so what I'm trying to say is..if you can't work on your own bike, you're just lazy..watch a YouTube video it's not that hard to tune a bike
  • + 4
 I love working on my bike as long as it's clean, but, not gears, or brakes, or wheels Or working on my bike
  • + 1
 "all types of repairs" thank you very much ;-)

Note that for me, not only i enjoy it, but i also do it when im time limited. too many issues with bike shops around me not doing the job well.. it bite me several times (such as wheel builds and stuff like that - now i do that myself as well)
  • + 1
 i love working on my bike, it's fun and rewarding, not to mention a lot cheaper, it's also frustrating as heck, when something doesn't go the way you want it, but in the end heck yeah i done that crap, but relating to the older article of wheel building, i still take my wheels to a shop for truing and tensioning..
  • + 1
 Another poll I can't answer, in short I have all the tools I have the required skill and when not I try anyway with online tutorials and exploded diagrams. My workshop is set up in a way that I can quickly and cleanly work on bikes with all tools right where I need them. Do I enjoy it NO! I work too many hours in the week doing similar tasks, my dream is to have my bikes allways ready to ride, I would take them to the bike shop if it wasn't so expensive. However I believe I would enjoy working on bikes if I had more free time
  • + 1
 Why does this poll tie desire with proficiency? I can perform pretty much any repair on my bike, from tune-ups to wheel-building, to machining parts, to welding disc brake mounts on a non-disc brake frame, etc, etc. I don't particularly enjoy any of it; I'd rather be riding or doing something else with my time.
  • + 2
 Professional mechanic. Damn straight I like working on my own bike. Though I do have a co-worker I will allow to work on it as well. It's nice to be able to have someone to help me with things I can't figure out myself.
  • + 0
 I'm all for working on my own bike, specially when you live somewhere full of fishy bike shops that tighten bolts randomly, steal valve caps, and apply tiny amounts of grease on your serviced parts so you are force to come back after a couple rides because it needs servicing again. Fuck that, don't touch my bike.
  • + 2
 You like valve caps?
  • + 1
 @takeiteasyridehard: Don't care, but don't like my valves clogging with mud, and I happen to find them missing everytime I take the bike to my LBS.
  • + 1
 I don't have time to ride my bike as much as I want let alone find time to do my own maintenance I always take it to the shop. But finding a bike shop I can trust is a different story.
  • + 1
 Two years ago I drop my sh*t* jobs in the industry to work in bikeshop... I never work since this day, best choice ever! So I love work on bicycle, what ever the kind of bike.
  • + 1
 Wouldn't let any bike shop touch my bikes lol as soon as a shop mechanic gets enough experience to make them good they leave to get a better paid job and then another inexperienced kid replaces them.
  • + 1
 Unfortunately there is a lot of truth in this comment. It is frustrating for those who work as professionals in this biz.
  • + 1
 I do a lot of bike maintenance in my kitchen, mrs is cool with it as long as I clean up after, my attitude is why pay for stuff I can do myself, I just need to learn wheel building now
  • + 2
 I don't enjoy working on my bike. But I do it anyway. What I do enjoy is being able to work on my bike and the money and hassle it saves.
  • + 1
 There should be an answer: I am a bike mechanic, and I do it all, all the time. Or how many years of shop experience you have. It seems that half the pinkbike community is currently or have been professional mechanics.
  • + 1
 Im sure I could figure it out but I don't exactly know how to fix a flat, my iron horse is so burly and with the dh continental tires, I've never even had to pump the tires up, let alone replace the tubes
  • + 1
 I'm a shop wrench so do everything myself, and quite enjoying doing so, though sometimes when it's busy I don't have the time - the customer's bikes sometimes get more love than mine do!
  • + 3
 can we have an option for "i'm an actual bike mechanic, of course i work on my own bike"
  • + 1
 As a full time professional mechanic, I can do any repair. However, after working on everyone else's bikes all day long the last thing I want to do after I punch out is fix my own bike.
  • + 3
 i love washing my chain with soap and water and each every link on that dam thing
  • + 1
 My rear shock gets taken in for service. My buddy's the Manitou service guy, so he does the fork. Everything else, including wheel builds (usually) is done by me. I love collecting tools.
  • + 2
 I was liking the tools and feeling jealous then I noticed the Pittsburgh ratchet... Guess the Abbey tools took all his money.????
  • + 1
 That Pittsburgh is seriously out of place among the Wera, Bondhus, and Knipex goodies. I can't tell what the calipers are, but I sure hope they are Mitutoyo's and not a harbor freight special.
  • + 2
 Its essential to know the basics. Lbs charge seriously crazy amounts of money to do simple things. The only thing i don't do is build wheels and major suspension overhauls.
  • + 0
 As a bike mechanic, my bikes used to be pretty drift missile style ride wreck repair type things when I didn't have any deals. Now that I'm "representing the brands I work for", it's hard to excuse my bikes being in bad shape...
  • + 1
 Where's the: I work on bike shit all day long and the last thing I *want* to do is work on my own bike - option? Cause I'm pretty good at it, but I sure as hell do not enjoy it any longer... hashtag I'd rather just pedal...
  • + 3
 You bet your bottom dollar! If i can do it, why pay someone to do something you can do. Thats my thinking.
  • + 2
 And that's why we work at shops, am I right? I bet you tune your own weedwhacker carbs, and replace the water pump on your truck when it's at 100k also...you sir are a dying breed.
  • + 3
 I like working on my bike but i would prefer if i never had to do any maintenance ever
  • + 2
 You missed out the 'I'm forced to maintain my own bike as shops in my area have incompetent "mechanics" that do more damage than good' option.
  • + 1
 I don't have to work on my own bike; I am a professional suspension tech.... I can do that drunk, out on the trail and asleep.
  • + 1
 i always enjoyed learning how to fix and work on my bike and it lead to me having my dream job building and fixing bikes in a shop now.
  • + 1
 not really, I've spent time ridding, and pay for service, do not want to spend time fixing, better to spent time with other activities
  • + 1
 I need an option that says no, but I do all my own bike work anyway. If I had the option for someone else to fix my bike all the time I would give it to them. M
  • + 1
 I used to fix my bike all the time when I was younger then I realised I get paid and someone else can do it for me. I can still fix my bike if I have to.
  • + 1
 I like working on my bike as much as riding it. Sometimes I take it apart and rebuild it just so I k ow everything is 100% perfect and clean.
  • + 1
 I love it right up until the point when something does what it's not supposed to. Then it's either I like a challenge or it's tools out the pram. Pot luck which one.
  • + 1
 I do everything by myself coz i dont any shop thats trully honest . I always seem to catch them lying or trying to make a little more $
  • + 1
 I enjoy it very much and find it relaxing, sometimes the bike dosnt need anything and still work on it to get in a good state of mind. Cheers
  • + 1
 Why is there an assumption that skill level is directly proportional to enjoyment of implementing such skill? I CAN work on my bike, so I want to do it? NO!
  • + 1
 Where's the option: "I'm a mechanic and why the f#@! does it always take longer when I work on my own bike than on one of a customer?!?!?" lol
  • + 1
 Because you care more??
  • + 1
 I do everything myself including suspension revalves. I must admit I don't like building wheels because of the time it takes so sometimes I'll outsource that to a local shop.
  • + 2
 Suspension revalves like putting a ramp control cartridge or new air shaft on? Or do you mean creating custom shim stacks, or even installing different preassembled shim stacks? To me, there is more precision required in deep suspension work. Surfaces and torque tolerances are much more sensitive. Wheel building is quick and easy if you've done enough. Tuning your compression shim stacks, or even getting to it, takes more effort for me....
  • + 1
 @takeiteasyridehard:

I do custom stacks on my shocks. It really isn't rocket science. if are in tune with the bike it's easy to figure out what changes to make. It can be a trial and error process, but after you do a few it gets easier.
  • + 1
 @rollertoaster: I agree with knowing what you want personally on your own tunes. I would have a harder time with a friend or customers shocks. That's cool you are so comfortable with shims. That's really rare, and valuable knowledge. I have also custom revalved my monarch plus HV, but that's about it there. I've also installed a premade shim set. It just surprised me you were that good with suspension, but not as gungho for wheel building. I find wheel building to take a lot less thought and time. I have been the go to guy at a few shops for wheelbuilds though...so I guess practice makes perfect. I don't have that much experience with shim stack tuning. It's crazy to me how advanced people on pinkbike are when it comes to bike knowledge. Well, take it easy dude.
  • + 1
 @takeiteasyridehard: Wheels take me forever and are a tedious task for me. I obsess about spoke tension and dish and only tighten them a little at a time so it ends up taking me forever to produce a wheel that I'm happy with. The upside is my self built wheels have lasted a very long time aside from the occasional riding error causing a rim explosion.

I agree that tuning for a customer is difficult. But that's why I only do mine a couple close friends. Most people aren't able to accurately convey what they are feeling.
  • + 2
 Wrenching is almost as good as riding... wait, almost as good as trail building, because nothing beats riding !
  • + 1
 Can I do it? Yes or course, it is a really simple machine. Do I like it no, not really. I like riding my bike.
  • + 2
 Where did the toolbox shot come from. I want that more than a new bike.
  • + 1
 Yes, especially when I fix something the local shops got no idea how to fix!
  • + 1
 I know how to do pretty much everything, I just don't have the tools to do the job.
  • + 1
 I'm just not eager to bugger my $4000 machine and I don't have a junker to practice on. Besides, I have other hobbies.
  • + 2
 This survey proves that there are a lot of bullshitters on PinkBike.
  • + 1
 Full time mechanic here, and i'm proud to fix the bikes of people i did't know.
  • + 1
 Where’s the option for ‘I only enjoy working on my bike when fitting new parts’
  • + 1
 Ever since I started working at a bike shop I've lost all drive to work on my own bike.
  • + 1
 Fixing/repairing and maintaining is much easier than spending on replacing if you're tight like me.
  • + 1
 How about I fix most repair or service. Much rather go riding. Why is the word like in there?
  • + 2
 I'm the only jackass I trust to work on my bike.
  • + 1
 Ditto
  • + 2
 "I know how to do that, but I hate it"
  • + 0
 I was hoping there would be a "yes I work on my own bike, but it's honestly just another chore and I would rather just ride."
  • + 1
 If you call your self a man and cant fix a bicycle I feel sorry for you. Man up and get you a bag of skills.
  • + 1
 Everything apart from meddling with forks and shocks. That stuff is to fiddly to deal with.
  • + 1
 I love to do it... music ON, wrench in hand and here I go ! Big Grin
  • + 1
 Give me a good frame and two rims...
  • + 1
 Love working on my bikes Big Grin
  • + 1
 I absolutely love working on my bike which is why I got a job as a wrench.
  • + 2
 Namaste!
  • + 1
 it's like therapy, one of my favourite things to do in the world.
  • + 1
 I can do most of the stuff and I hate doing it...
  • + 1
 I'm a German car mechanic, so working on bikes is a vacation!
  • + 1
 Where is the - I don’t enjoy it but do it because I’m poor button?
  • + 1
 Should be an option of yes I do all my maintenance but I don't enjoy it!
  • + 1
 Do I like working on my bikes? I'm an addict. I'll admit it.
  • + 1
 Seems emojis display as ‘???’ ...sorry for that
  • + 1
 Having no workspace sucks most of the time but winter is the worst.
  • + 1
 I'm too cheap to pay someone to fix my bikes LoL
  • + 1
 No shop space to work on a bike
  • + 1
 Do it outside?!
  • + 1
 missing potion :
i can do most of stuff , but dont enjoy it ?
  • + 1
 I hate working on my bikes but typically do everything myself anyhow.
  • + 1
 It’s my therapy
  • + 3
 Ditto here. I build up and maintain my own bikes sometimes even when it is wiser to buy full bike because I can't wait to get in workshed, turn on radio, pop a beer, and wrench on my bikes. No phones, no computers, maybe a youtube video on phone when I'm stuck...end of day or week therapy....
  • + 1
 Love fixing bikes.
  • + 1
 Oh, yesssss... Smile

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