Author Topic: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice  (Read 1694 times)

Trying2bFrugal

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Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« on: March 05, 2018, 11:56:49 AM »
Long time lurker inspired through readings decided to get bikes for self and wify.

Bianchi Premio (road bike) 1987
Bike is in decent condition with working brakes, shifters work
  • Crankset   "Sugino
    VP-110
    52/42T"
  • DERAILLEURS AND SHIFT LEVERS   "Shimano
    525 SIS"
  • HUBSET AND SPOKES   KK-310 QR F/R, UCP
  • FREEWHEEL AND CHAIN    "Shimano 14-28T
    Shimano UG"
  • TIRES AND RIMS   "CST C-631
    27 x 1/8
    Weinmann alloy"
Bianchi Advantage (hybrid) may be 1990 model not sure.
- Bought from original owner (78 yo lady), lightly used, maintained, but stored for long time (atleast 7-10 years) on garage.
- Both tires needs to be changed
- all look stock, handle bar has rust but all other parts intact with no rust


Now, I have very little/no knowledge on bikes. I need
1. Find a local mechanic/someone who is knowledgeable in bikes. So i can convert the bikes to riding condition without breaking big bucks
2. what basic tools should I buy used/new?
3. Any fellow Michigan mustachios who could help finding #1?
4. How to find local biking clubs? I live near Orchard Lake Farmington area in Michigan area. Not for racing rather making friends.
5. I live in apartment, so want to pack the absolute necessary for DIY down the line.
6. What bike rack do you suggest for Prius 2010?
7. What stuff do i buy from craiglist/walmart/ebay and what I should be buying new?

First post on this forum and totally noob biker. So punch into my face :)

nereo

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 02:31:30 PM »
Here's what I would do.
Look for local bike coops that offer DIY repair shops.  You can find these at many universities, and generally membership is not limited to students and is very inexpensive. They will have all the tools you need (many of which are very specific to bikes and expensive to buy for just yourself).

Once you have found one, show up and learn how to repair your own bike.  Often there are classes. Bikes are very easy to learn, since you can visually see almost every problem. Before going watch a few youtube repair videos for whatever task you want to do.  E.g. "how to change my front brakes".  The first time you do anything it will take you 3x longer than the video suggests, but once you've done it you can repeat it much faster.

This is the path I took and I went from knowing literally nothing to replacing my own brakes, shifters, chain, rear-deraileur & truing the wheels, all in the span of a year. Now I can do these tasks whenever I want.

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 07:31:52 AM »
Here's what I would do.
Look for local bike coops that offer DIY repair shops.  You can find these at ma..

Thanks! I searched internet, I found one
http://thehubofdetroit.org/volunteer-at-the-hub-of-detroit-and-back-alley-bikes/
Still searching for more options. Seems the road bike is in good shape except for back wheel alignment (even tyres, tubes sound good).
 
Wife  thought is, get the bikes tuned by mechanic and we maintain them. Seen a Craigslist ad by a mechanic ($asks $30 For standard tuneup), local performance cycles shop is $54 for tune up.

I still need help in finding
1. Bike carrier for 2010 Prius.
2. Helmets
3. Bike groups for making friends and inspire more
4. Local communities for learning stuff.

Reynolds531

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2018, 08:01:12 AM »
Very familiar with both of those. Both are built like tanks, will serve you for many years. I actually own a 1991 bianchi volpe.

PoutineLover

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 08:04:24 AM »
I'd say buy a new helmet, you don't know if a used one has already had a serious impact and they are basically one time use items. I don't know where to buy helmets in the states though, but any general sports store would probably have them. And check if meetup.com has any biking groups near you, or facebook groups.

JimmyFry

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 08:45:46 AM »
First of all - welcome to the forums!  Great to see someone join up, especially when talking bicycles :)

+1 on the YouTube vids.  I subscribe to the GCN (global cycling network out of UK) channel, and they have a "maintenance monday" series that has a 200+ videos at this point.  Scrolling through those will help with almost any issue, even if it's just learning more about an issue before going to a bike shop.  Here's a link to all of their playlists: https://www.youtube.com/user/globalcyclingnetwork/playlists

+1 also on getting new helmets.  Helmets are designed for one impact and one impact only (even dropping one from the height of your handlebars can count), so don't get used ones.

Regarding bike shops, visit a few shops and just talk with the staff.  These guys are plugged in and will be able to tell you about local group rides, which ones are beginner friendly, etc.  Visiting a few will let you know which ones are the most helpful to have a relationship with.  When I was getting started in cycling I was at the shop every few weeks.  These trips were often for small things for the bike but also to ask new questions I had about the bike, the culture, etc.

Last recommendation: befriend a more experienced rider and ride with them.  You'll absorb a TON of knowledge - from safety basics to technique - by simply riding with someone who is a little ahead of you.

Happy riding to you and the wife!

SimpleCycle

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 09:33:26 AM »
There is also Common Cycle in Ann Arbor.  They are at the Artisan Market every Sunday once the weather is warm, and will teach you how to do stuff right then and there.  It's also a place you could hang out to make bike friends, although I realize it's not as close to your house as you might like.

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2018, 12:39:35 PM »
Very familiar with both of those. Both are built like tanks, will serve you for many years. I actually own a 1991 bianchi volpe.
Thanks! Hope I would ride them longer and maintain well.

First of all - welcome to the forums!  Great to see someone join up, especially when talking bicycles :)
+1 on the YouTube vids.  I subscribe to the GCN
Thanks! Channel subscribed!
I talked to two coworkers. First one is using cheap wally MTB for weekend recreational riding. He is all DIY guy
Other one is just drop at LBS and get it done person. Neither of them are serious bikers but causal weekend riders. I guess, I may find couple other bikers in office itself!!

There is also Common Cycle in Ann Arbor..
Thanks! Its 30 min drive (dont like to waste oil but detroit one or this is same distance, may be i will pay a visit to my friend in AA, so the cost covers it).
It looks like they have meetup during Apl-Oct for DIY learning. Let me find if there are more in this area or try to talk to people.

New things I would need to buy
1. Helmet (what do i need to look here? or what is considered as standard? I looked at least expensive Schwinn helmet in Walmart ($20) and expensive ones ($40-70) in performance bicycle shop helmet, but I cannot tell the difference between them.
2. If I am doing my grocery shopping in bikes, is backpack is all i need? or a rack? or pannier? its only 2 mile radius on side pavements.
3. On work commute, how do you guys pack things? I can leave laptop in office, but still need to pack dress, lunch, snacks (fruits)
4. I will look at PriusChat forum for finding the solution to bike rack.
5. Locks (many varieties, whats the basic, better one)
6. Bike rack for back on the road bike (the hybrid came with the rack)


For basic tools, is there any suggestion? Should i just buy the bare minimum multi tool from amazon?

My co-worker told me to just DIY by watching youtube. Wife says to fix bikes with mechanic ($30 service + any new parts) for first time, then maintain ourselves. Whats your take on it?

Thanks for the amazing forum, its a lot of information and wise folks.
I know I am jumping fast like a rabbit, a typical newbee effect.

« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 01:00:58 PM by Trying2bFrugal »

PoutineLover

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2018, 12:50:27 PM »
I use folding racks on the back of my bike to carry what I need for work and groceries, plus I have my backpack when there's a lot to carry. Kinda like this, but I don't know the brand of mine.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DMXGY6/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B001DMXGY6&pd_rd_wg=qmjw4&pd_rd_r=647XV38H7DJN6W8590ZF&pd_rd_w=JrMKy
They do add some weight, but it's convenient to not have to carry around panniers and I can stuff my backpack in one so I don't get a sweaty back while riding.
Edit: for locks I recommend Kryptonite, great locks and they have excellent customer service and an anti theft guarantee. Someone tried to steal my bike and damaged my lock, so I sent a pic and they sent me a whole new lock, no questions asked.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 01:34:05 PM by PoutineLover »

JimmyFry

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2018, 01:25:54 PM »
4. I will look at PriusChat forum for finding the solution to bike rack.

Whoops, forgot to help with this... I have an 08 prius and wife has an 11.  We use a Saris Bones 3 rack that fits both.

For basic tools, is there any suggestion? Should i just buy the bare minimum multi tool from amazon?

If you're going to be wrenching on your own (which is completely doable!) I recommend getting a bike stand.  I found an old Park Tool stand on craigslist a few years ago and have used it ever since.

You'll definitely need Metric Hex keys.  I'd get a set which MUST include 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm.  Your bike will probably need other sizes as well, but those will cover most mechanisms.  A spoke wrench is also very handy. These two buys should get you through what I'm guessing a normal "tune up" would be. 

If you need to install new cables/housings, a bike specific wire cutter is key.  For replacing chains you'll want a chain tool, and if you're needing to replace cassettes (rear gear clusters) you'll need a chain whip and cassette lockring tool (get one that matches the name listed on your hub - SRAM / Shimano are compatible with each other, but Campagnolo has its own shape).  [EDIT - just saw you listed a Freewheel as opposed to a Freehub... your cassette may be threaded on instead of held on with a lock-ring.  You may want to get a pair of eyes on that as none of my bikes have freewheels so I'm not familiar with them]. Pedal wrenches are nice too if you want to change out the type of pedals that came with the bike.  When in doubt go to amazon and at least check out the Park Tool version of each tool.  Reputable brand, which can serve as a baseline for other brands.

The above - combined with regular screwdrivers, pliers, and other things you probably have - is a pretty complete list for majority of tune ups and repairs.  For any specialty needs it's probably best to do LBS (local bike shop) or the co-op suggested earlier.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 01:32:24 PM by JimmyFry »

nereo

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2018, 01:36:43 PM »
Quote
New things I would need to buy
1. Helmet (what do i need to look here? or what is considered as standard? I looked at least expensive Schwinn helmet in Walmart ($20) and expensive ones ($40-70) in performance bicycle shop helmet, but I cannot tell the difference between them.
2. If I am doing my grocery shopping in bikes, is backpack is all i need? or a rack? or pannier? its only 2 mile radius on side pavements.
3. On work commute, how do you guys pack things? I can leave laptop in office, but still need to pack dress, lunch, snacks (fruits)
4. I will look at PriusChat forum for finding the solution to bike rack.
5. Locks (many varieties, whats the basic, better one)
6. Bike rack for back on the road bike (the hybrid came with the rack)

1) you need a helmet that has an ASTM (formerly ANSI & SNELL) certification.  Most helmets will have this - the difference in the ones sold at Walmart and a high-end bikeshop is basically aerodynamics and 'style'. If you aren't racing it doesn't matter as long as it fits properly and you use it.

2) A backpack is fine until it is very warm out, and then your back gets sticky which isn't much fun.  I prefer the rear fender + milk crate appraoch, which can easily haul 40+ pounds of groceries.  My rule of thumb is if I can fit it into one of those hand baskets in the store I can get it home on my bike.   

3) I have a pannier bag which mounts to my rear rack - allows me to pack a lunch, change of clothes and my laptop & notebook.  If you have a crate on the back you can toss a backpack in there too (or wear it) which basically doubles your storage capacity. 

4) Online is also good...

5) Get a u-bolt lock.  If theft is a problem in your area get a 4' cable lock in addition to your ubolt.  Cost is ~$30-40 and many brands will offer cash if someone actually succeeds in cutting your lock to steal your bike. See this graphic.  Mine is a Bulldog - Kryptonite is another major brand. Most any will work fine as long as the cable and lock are thick enough... what you are trying to do is make your bike not worth the trouble to steal (i.e. not be the 'low hanging fruit' for thieves).  Given enough time and the proper tools any bike lock can be cut, so yours just has to be better than most.


Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2018, 08:57:06 AM »
Whoops, forgot to help with this... I have an 08 prius and wife has an 11.  We use a Saris Bones 3 rack that fits both.
Is trunk mounted works better than the hitch ones? I see them listed in local craigslist for 75-100 and I see I can get a new one for $135.
               https://detroit.craigslist.org/search/bop?query=saris
               https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BT0Z9G/ref=twister_B0007M64GK?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Wife's take on this is, to just put them by folding the seats and if we use more than 10 times and if we are serious and continuing biking, then we will see buying options for mounting.

If you're going to be wrenching on your own (which is completely doable!) I recommend getting a bike stand.  I foun...
I will work on the list of items I need to tune it up. Right now, the set from Ikea had wrench, allen key, multiscrew with we adjusted some parts. I will check what I can build or buy one multitool. Right now the casette things is alien :) I will know when I read or ride more on gears.

1) you need a helmet ..
1) Thank you - I am planning to get new Helmet from wally (Bell or schwinn with safety and fit)
2) I will go backpack until I ride frequently and thats wify thought as well
3) backpack is the way now
4) Saris bone - need to see if this is going to be sale or better price. Need to see if I need hitch mounted vs trunk mounted
5) I see that Kryptonite is being addressed as good one in many places (damn, i bought the road bike for $30 in near perfect condition from S.Army and i am needing to spend more than that to secure it), i will get that.
6) Bike mechanic said the road bike doesnt have the place for hooks, so planning to get something like this
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Schwinn-Deluxe-Alloy-Rear-Rack/17248454

I gave the bike to a Bike mechanic for first tuning ($30/bike - wify wins here), he is a bike enthusiast and work out of his garage and i liked his attitude. So went with him to support/fuel those minds.
After that we will do the maintenance ourselves is the plan.

We will be going to the workshops and meetup on coops (still trying to find a nearest one). Actually wify is a lot better in wrenching than me. Hope I grew the desire much more and inspire fellow folks to get a group created in this summer.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 09:00:40 AM by Trying2bFrugal »

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2018, 08:43:03 AM »
We got our bikes tuned by a local mechanic ($30/bike), changed tubes/tires for hybrid.
My road bike per him, is a racer Bianchi Premio (I got it for $30), i just added the stand.

I looked at craigslist, see saris bones mount asking for $100 or $80. (is mount is sufficient or do you recommend hitch?)
When you guys buy from craigslist, how do you negotiate without offending them?
I am really terrible on negotiating.

Do you send a quote in email (you may get turned down depending on the mood of that person) or do you go check and haggle (its waste of time for both if it doesnt work). we can throw the bikes in the Prius, but I dont want to remove the wheels each time and we may plan to do summer short trips to UP.

nereo

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2018, 09:04:51 AM »
We got our bikes tuned by a local mechanic ($30/bike), changed tubes/tires for hybrid.
My road bike per him, is a racer Bianchi Premio (I got it for $30), i just added the stand.

I looked at craigslist, see saris bones mount asking for $100 or $80. (is mount is sufficient or do you recommend hitch?)
When you guys buy from craigslist, how do you negotiate without offending them?
I am really terrible on negotiating.

Do you send a quote in email (you may get turned down depending on the mood of that person) or do you go check and haggle (its waste of time for both if it doesnt work). we can throw the bikes in the Prius, but I dont want to remove the wheels each time and we may plan to do summer short trips to UP.
Regarding the Saris Bones - it does a good job holding bikes onto the back of oyur car (had one for years).  It's only "flaw" is that it is a bit finicky with setting up and taking it off, and you can't open the trunk while its mounted to your car.  hitch mounted is faster to install (assuming you have a hitch), and depending on your car you *might* be able to access the trunk with it on. Downside is the hitch-mounted ones don't pack up as flat (I could get my Saris Bones tucked under my bed when not in use.

Regarding haggling on craigslist - typically I know what price I'm willing to pay.  If the ad says "firm" I don't try to haggle... having sold a lot of things I hate dealing with people who want to knock of 5% when I've clearly said "this is the price".
If, OTOH it is a "OBO" I tell them what I'm willing to pay in an email/conversation, and then I show up to make sure it is as advertised. I never try to lower the price in person unless the item clearly isn't as nice as advertised.

Most of the time though I just pay what they ask or keep searching. These are typically ordinary people who sell stuff occasionally.  CL works because ordinary people find it a mostly pleasant experience. 

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Bike repair-Michigan-any fellow Mustachian advice
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2018, 12:49:51 PM »
...
Most of the time though I just pay what they ask or keep searching. These are typically ordinary people who sell stuff occasionally.  CL works because ordinary people find it a mostly pleasant experience.

Thanks, it makes sense. I usually contact only if I am sure I need it and it looks good price to me.

I think the only time I asked to reduce price was buying on the hybrid bike listed in this post. The owner said it needs nothing but air, but I found the tyres, tubes needed change and there was rust on bar, so I asked her if she can do anything about it (I drove 30 miles, so dont want to go empty handed) she reduced $25 for it and I took it since it will take 40 to replace them. Other than that most my craigslist is just buy on the price they ask.

I had this question asked by my wife, since last week my wife placed an ad for her S8+ (yeah, i hear you, but what to do when she doesnt like Android and want to go back to IOS) in fb Marketplace and the people were just unbelievable on asking (we quoted $475 for 3 month old phone, they start at $300). I told her to remove the post for peace of mind than haggling with numbers.

I wasnt sure if thats normal, but luckily so far I wasnt in that position of low balling. But your thought cleared my doubt.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.