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10/08/2010 // HOW TO, INFO 1 Comment

How to…look after your bicycle



Since burning out on the slopes of the Galibier on the Marmotte cyclosportive in July I have taken a break from my Trek Madone. It’s not that bike and rider have had an argument but that I thought we both  needed some time apart. Early mornings together throughout the Winter and Spring and many hours riding out through the countryside had resulted in (I thought) both sides not appreciating each other as we once did.

However, after four weeks apart I felt ready to get the Madone out of its bike bag.  The bike had been dismantled, bubble wrapped, lugged in pipe protector and kept in storage since the Marmotte and was now in need of some maintenance and tender loving care.

It was my good fortune to have a new bike maintenance book to assist me in this task.  Guy Andrews’ The Ultimate Guide to Bicycle Maintenance was duly propped open and I set to work restoring the Madone to its previous glory and, in so doing, undertake some form of penance for my failure on the 8% slopes of an alpine giant.

The book is thorough and detailed. 184 pages to be precise, divided into 10 sections. It is written clearly and has plenty of good colour photos, which particularly helped me through the service of the aheadset bearings. I found that it was far easier to follow the instructions with my bike in front of me, rather than in the abstract when I was leafing through the pages for the first time. This is a good thing as that is when you are up close and personal with your bike and when you need to get things right.

I am experienced at dismantling and putting my bike back together and understand basic bike maintenance. However, up until this session, the most adventurous I had been was to replace the chainrings. With the “Ultimate Guide” I was able to raise my game and perhaps in the future I might even tackle the bottom bracket.

What’s good?

Thorough and detailed
Clear colour photos
Editor’s tips and tricks are worth a read (I didn’t know hairspray would be a workshop essential!)

What could be better?

Be realistic and don’t expect me to clean my bike once a week!
The book covers all types of bikes so if you’re focused on the roads or the trails only some bits are not relevant

The Ultimate Guide to Bicycle Maintenance is available from WH Smith and magbooks.com


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