I’ve ridden a bike for years. Probably 40 in total. Scary! However, to get the most out of riding a bike, it’s important to be able to maintain it too.
I’ve watched quite a few YouTube videos on various maintenance tasks and dabbled a little but wanted to make sure I was doing things properly. Fortunately, the peak of my desire to do this coincided with seeing an ad for a basic cycle maintenance course run by RideRide, a small cycle maintenance workshop in Southampton.
Having struggled to adjust brakes and index gears, the course seemed ideally suited to my needs as it covered these topics as well as a 1-minute bike safety check (the M check) and puncture repair.
On arrival at the workshop, I was greater by Tom, the brother-in-law of the company’s founder, Tim. It transpired that it was the 2nd time Tom had delivered the course.
There were 4 of us participating with the other 3 being in their 20s and all working at Southampton Uni. Two of the students had hybrid bikes and one had a Boardman road bike.
We started off with introductions, a quick review of what we’d be covering and then Tom took us through the M check. It was all straight forward and simple to understand. It was also an excellent opportunity to get some advice on issues with our bikes.
We then moved onto puncture repair. The back wheel was chosen as it’s the more complicated wheel to remove and refit. I’d struggled to work out how to remove the front wheel without releasing the brake cables but Tom showed me a tiny lever on the Boardman which opens the brakes just enough to release the wheel. Magic!! I’d probably never have spotted the lever without that guidance!
Having gone through puncture repair it was time to go through brake inspection and adjustment. Again, this was far simpler than I’d thought.
Finally, we moved onto gear indexing. This is something I’ve tried in the past with very limited success. As I had problems on my last 30 mile ride with the chain jamming between the rear cassette and spokes, the first thing to take care of was the L and H limiters. We then moved onto the indexing itself. Although not 100% simple, the process seemed straightforward and even though I didn’t completely do the task myself, I got my gears ‘professionally’ indexed.
Overall, the course was really useful and well delivered by Tom. I’d recommend it to anyone that cycles, or plans to, regularly.