Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders


2007/04/21 Learning at Bike Pirates

Posted on April 21, 2007 by daviding

I saw a writeup on Bike Pirates, in Now Toronto. It’s not really a bike store. It’s an anarchistic place where bike geeks hang out, and can provide some advice while they lend you tools to work on your bike. I’ve mostly maintained my own bikes since I’ve been a teenager, but haven’t had the time to coach Ryan on fixing his bike. I thought that it would be a good place for Ryan to learn a few things.

Ryan removing the tire off a wheel at Bike Pirates

Ryan inherited an old Stumpjumper that had been ridden by Adam. I originally bought it at a pawn shop. The frame is really light, but the bike is old, and the parts could use some work. The biggest annoyance has been that the rear wheel is out of true, and more than one bike repair shop has said that it’s not fixable.

Truing a wheel at Bike Pirates

The guys at Bike Pirates said that the rim was high-quality — it’s a Mavic — and advised that it would be worth spending some time truing it. Unfortunately, I’ve never learned to true wheels, because that requires time and patience. It also involves lining up tensions in three dimensions, which is more of a challenge than I’ve been able to master.

Facilities at Bike Pirates

After a few hours of trying to true to the wheel, one of the Bike Pirates suggested leaving the wheel for one of the people who is really good with wheels. After 2 weeks, though, we hadn’t linked up with that person, so Ryan brought the wheel home. We stopped by Mountain Equipment Coop to pick up some more bike repair tools … and there now seems to be a regular group of teenaged boys working on bikes in our backyard.

4 to “2007/04/21 Learning at Bike Pirates”

  1. Pierreo says:

    I have never been good at fixing my own bike.
    Here, it is just easier to bring it to the shop had have experts do what they need to do.
    I had a recent tune-up and itmade a big difference. I also replaced the big stubby tires with small slicks and that made a even bigger difference on the road.
    Next: Singapore 2007 Triathlon at the end of July. I feel another post coming…

  2. Wayne says:

    Ryan may want to reference the excellent Park Tools web site. http://www.parktool.com/repair/
    This site provides an extensive library of bike repair instructions by either:

    1) selecting the “Bike Map” and then click on the desired area of the bike for a list of repairs for that area
    or
    2) selecting the alphabetical list of repairs

    They also publish, Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair – A Do-It-Yourself Cicycle Repair Guide From Park Tool.

    It is available in a number of bike shops in the GTA.

  3. Ryan says:

    Sounds good! I’ll check it as soon as I have time. I already have the Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair too.

  4. Bike Pirate says:

    Bike pirates help people resolve a mystery within their own propulsion. IT just takes time.



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