The Golden Wrench

A blog about bicycle repair and maintenance by the mechanics at Freewheel Bike.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Come learn to work on your own suspension fork.

One of our our goals at Freewheel Bike is to encourage the Do-It-Yourself spirit that so many cyclists embody. After all, cycling is a liberating sport and it is what attracts most of us to it. For me it brings back that sense of freedom that I felt as a child when I could get around the neighborhood on my own to go to a friends house or get to school without having to ride the bus or just get out and exploring the local woods. 
    I also remember when that sense of freedom was lost because I got a flat tire or my chain fell off and I had to walk my bike home. Although I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, that actually happened to me this summer. I got a flat on my way home from work one night and used up my only spare tube. I was pleased that two people actually asked to see if I needed help because this seems to be getting more and more rare among cyclists. The next day on my way to work I got another flat but had not yet replenished my spare tube. The hole was too large to patch and it would not hold air at all, so I started to walk. I think I was passed by about five other cyclists but no one offered their assistance. I have no patience and I wanted to get to work so I just rode my bike the five miles with a flat rear tire. Again, no one even seemed to notice my situation, no offers of assistance came, no one took pity on me, no one even snickered at me for riding on a flat tire (that I saw anyway).
     The lesson here is that you can't count on anyone else to help you if your bike breaks down, not like the olden days when I first got into biking in the mid 90s. You also don't want to be that person that always counts on other riders for help because you neglected your bike. This is why we think that you should learn to do as much of your own maintenance and repair work as you can. And that's why we offer bike mechanics classes at the Freewheel Midtown Bike Center. One area of the bike that people neglect the most is the suspension fork and rear shock. We want to change this so we are offering a Suspension Fork Maintenance Class. The next one is scheduled for Sunday August 14th and will be taught by the legendary B Rose.

Our last Suspension Fork Maintenance class was taught by Tyson Acker. He had two students in attendance.

Tyson stressed good habits like keeping a clean and organized bench.

He demonstrated good technique....

...and he watched over his students like a doting father...

...yet he made sure that they could do it themselves...

Don't be intimidated to sign up for the class if you don't have much experience working on suspension or bikes in general. This class is designed for you.