Recently, we ran a survey on the topic of bicycle maintenance. I wanted to know more about readers thoughts so I can better serve them on this blog. The results of the survey are private (won’t be shared with any nasty marketers etc.) but I wanted to post up some of the early insights I’ve been receiving.
Here are some of the most interesting reasons people give for not maintaining their bikes themselves.
1. Not enough space at home
It’s easy to see why this would be one of the top 3 reasons readers gave for not maintaining their bikes themselves. Filling the hallway with a bike stand, getting grease everywhere and annoying your flatmate or wife are amongst the top considerations. Londoners often are not blessed with an abundance of garage space.
This was one of the concerns that most interested me. It’s also a problem I personally face and has put me off bicycle maintenance in the past more than I would like it to. Therefore, I’m going to create a video that demonstrates how to setup an effective home workshop within a very limited space.
2. Can’t afford the tools needed
This is a very real concern. Bicycle maintenance toolkits start at around £120 and run up to £1000 and above. I want to look in to ways of borrowing tools and saving money on the tools you’ll need.
3. Lack of knowledge
We live in the information age so finding bicycle maintenance tutorials is just a quick search away. However, the quality varies wildly. This is something I experienced when I tried to repair my iPhone myself. By following a badly researched YouTube video I ended up doing more damage.
In general I’ve always found bicycle maintenance manuals a little too unnecessarily technical and often lacking in clarity and detail where it is needed. I’d like to address those concerns and see if something could be created that is far more simple to follow.
4. Look foolish to a bike shop
Sadly certain bike shops don’t treat their customers as well as they should. Therefore, you end up feeling bad taking your bike in to the shop for fear of the smirk on the bike shop workers face when you explain what went wrong with a repair.
5. Safety of the bike after you’ve “fiddled” with it
It’s excellent that people have identified this as a concern. No doubt the image of a wheel flying off your bike as you are pedalling down a busy road is enough to cause a lot of fear for any would be home bicycle mechanic.
Fortunately, it’s easy to perform safety checks and if the maintenance instructions include steps to check your work then this fear should never come true. Plus I’ve yet to hear a story of this happening to someone.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the sort of insights this survey has provided. I’m really excited to get started with helping people combat their bicycle maintenance fears and help them look after their bike themselves for both their own pleasure and to save money.
Once again, a very big thank you to everyone who responded.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.