To get the most enjoyment out of your bike you'll want to keep it in tip-top condition. This will not only massively improve your riding experience but also enhance the lifespan of your bike - saving you money!
Most routine tasks can be completed at home with a few simple tools and a bit of patience. Download and follow this guide to basic bicycle maintenance and you'll reduce your chances of a costly repair job.
Learn from the experts
If you're looking for some help, there are several organisations that provide training courses (look at the Events list for the next ones):
- Life Cycle offers basic and advanced bike maintenance courses to help you look after and repair your bike yourself. Visit www.lifecycleuk.org.uk for more information and details of how to book.
- Mud Dock run monthly classes for women to learn the basics about maintaining brakes and gears. An evening course costs £10 and includes bread, olives and a glass of wine. Call Mud Dock on 0117 929 2151 to book.
- Jake's Bikes offer a series of workshops where you can bring along your own bike, learn how to repair it, and leave with a serviced bike at the end! Book yourself on a course here: www.jakesbikes.co.uk
- Bristol Bike Project run a number of different courses aimed at several different groups of cyclists - womens' nights, young people's sessions, earn-a-bike and Bike Kitchen. Visit www.thebristolbikeproject.org for more information.
Dr Bike surgeries
- Life Cycle offer Dr Bike surgeries to schools, businesses or community groups. Dr Bike mechanics carry out safety checks, make minor repairs and give 'prescriptions' - advising on more detailed work that needs doing to your bike. Visit Life Cycle's website or call 0117 353 4580 for more information.
... or leave it the professionals
- If you don't fancy doing it yourself, don't despair! Getting a bike serviced is much cheaper than running a car. A good annual service by your local bike shop will cost approx £15-£50 depending on parts and bike type and add years to the life of your bike and help you ride safely. Check out the list of local bike shops to find one near you.
- If you can't face going to a bike shop you could try one of several mobile mechanics across the South West.