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Basic Bike Mechanics
CREATED: 07/13/10 by abbyjs REPLIES: 11
abbyjs's ravatar abbyjs    JOINED: 4/7/09    POSTS: 699
Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 3:34 PM

I would love if the club offered a basic bike mechanics workshop...

I initially registered for one at The Bike Rack this weekend but I won't be able to make it. They are offering one on August 14th as well but that's the Brick-Nic, and frankly, I need to do this before DiamondMan (9/12--same day as Nation's) because I would just HATE to have to drop out of that race because I got a flat and didn't know how to fix it. That would be super lame.

I'm wondering if anyone else would be interested? Perhaps if we could get enough people, someone from Conte's or The Bike Rack would give a workshop?

I'm one of those planner/organizer types and would totally put this together if we had enough people. What do others think? What would you be willing to pay? The Bike Rack charges $25 a person for their workshop.



kristoferkitto's ravatar kristoferkitto    JOINED: 1/24/10    POSTS: 59
RE: Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 3:46 PM

I love this idea. I live in constant fear of having to fix a flat during a race -- and it's bound to happen sooner or later. I also want to make sure I'm providing the proper general maintenance to my bike, since it's such an investment.

I'd be willing to pay up to $25 for a thorough workshop. Maybe we could do a club-wide pre-Nation's clinic?

Thanks, Abby.


dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1481
RE: Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 3:47 PM


You might also consider trying Revolution Cycle. They are not yet an official DCTri club partners but they have done a lot of community outreach projects. For example, they offered their SAG and mechanical support services to PeasantMan for free. I think that if you were to approach them and tell them that you have bunch of eager DCTri folks who are interested, they might have a clinic for you for free.


abbyjs's ravatar abbyjs    JOINED: 4/7/09    POSTS: 699
RE: Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 3:51 PM

Tuan, great idea! I will probably give them all a call and see what they can do. If we had at least 10-20 people, I'm sure it would be worth it for someone to come out. Perhaps we could coordinate it with the Brick-Nic or do it the week/weekend after.

Anyone else? I will totally spearhead if there is enough interest. I need it!!!

JHJ20012's ravatar JHJ20012    JOINED: 2/1/10    POSTS: 197
RE: Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 4:02 PM

I'd be interested in a clinic, but am not available the weekend of the Brick-nic. I'll also add that my LBS (Bicycle Place, Silver Spring) offered to walk me through a tire change if I came by on a week night. I haven't taken them up on it yet, but something to think about if we don't get a full blown clinic together.

Joyce (

ecrandlemire's ravatar ecrandlemire    JOINED: 4/13/10    POSTS: 63
RE: Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 4:04 PM

Hey, I am interested. While I can change a flat, I would definitely like them to give a little bit of info on regular maintenance and cleaning since we all put a lot of miles on our bikes. Thanks.

hppeabody's ravatar hppeabody    JOINED: 9/17/09    POSTS: 193
RE: Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 4:17 PM

City bikes does a class for free every week. Never actually been but inquired about it once. I know that both the adams morgan one and the one in chevy chase do. See

On a side note, and I know this does not help you as you are on a time line it seems, but for anyone else wondering-- the training programs put on by the club provide this sort of thing, both formally and informally. It was my NTP mentor that helped me to get equipped with everything I needed to take care of a flat. Then I watched a youtube video to have a basic idea and hoped for a little while that at least with all the right tools, I would find myself somewhere with someone who knew what to do with them and that my basic knowledge would help me.

I found myself with my first flat on an NTP group ride in which two of the leaders were sweeping the course. So I knew if I just waited they would come to my rescue--which turned into an impromptu lesson by Amanda and Will to about 6 or 7 of us. Thank goodness for that because I've had a couple since then and found myself giving the lesson to a couple of other club members last weekend.

The best practice is having to do it yourself on your own bike-- for now, watch a youtube video so you have a basic idea, and ride with other club members who know how to change a flat. Everyone is generally pretty friendly (except Tuan-- he's just creepy) and will be happy to show off their skills by teaching you how to change it when it happens. Also, make sure you pump your tires up with a floor pump that has a gauge before every ride-- I learned the hard way this past weekend that hitting a big enough pothole with even just 10 psi less than what you are supposed to be at is a pretty surefire way to end up with a flat.


tgrollman's ravatar tgrollman    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 298
RE: Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 4:30 PM

Count me in!


PotomacTriathlete2009's ravatar PotomacTriathlete2009    JOINED: 9/19/09    POSTS: 532
RE: Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 7:37 PM

I've been to free bike maintenance clinics at both Conte's (Ballston) and CycleLife USA in Georgetown. I think most of the bike shops in the area offer these free classes from time to time. Check the websites for the latest info. Other possibilities are Revolution Cycles, Bonzai Sports, Big Wheel Bikes, Spokes and others that I can't remember right now.

The free classes don't cover advanced topics but they will show you how to fix a flat and how to do basic maintenance for your bike.

kev7's ravatar kev7    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 470
RE: Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 8:54 PM

I believe REI occasionally offers free clinics.

karlaj's ravatar karlaj    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 215
RE: Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 9:02 PM

Two things...
First, YouTube is your friend. You can see how to change a flat, clean your chain, and all the other basic bike maintenance you could ever want. There are multiple shops that have put up vids, so you can watch 'em all to get different perspectives.

Two, go to your LBS when it's not super busy, tip the mechanics $5, and they'll show you how. They'll pro'ly even use your tools.

Or find a basic maintenance workshop.


markhakd's ravatar markhakd    JOINED: 10/8/09    POSTS: 231
RE: Basic Bike Mechanics
POSTED: 7/13/10 11:52 PM

For anyone looking for videos, this is a site that I have found helpful:


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