Want to know the single most important thing you can do to cut your visits to the bike shop in half?
Clean and oil your chain once every two to three weeks.
It’s that simple and it will probably take you 5 minutes.
Will most people do anything about this?
In fact, I can give you a bunch of these tactics that can really help. But, unless there’s a way of tying them all together and making them extremely easy to take action on, they will mostly be little more than words on an email.
Why do we know we should do these things, yet we never get round to them?
We know the advantages of maintaining our bikes ourselves:
- It means more money in your pocket to spend on other things you enjoy (I’m saving up for an iPad!)
- It means a quiet bike, that doesn’t squeal as you pedal down the road, causing everyone at the bus stop to turn round to face you
- It means you don’t have to be without your bike when something goes wrong
Yet, we continue to procrastinate on it.
How many of us can proudly say we are completely on top of our bike maintenance?
Here are some of the typical excuses people make, when you ask why they don’t maintain their bike themselves:
You need a bunch of expensive tools
In fact, you can complete around 70% of your bike repairs with a handful of tools totalling no more than £20. That’s what I spent yesterday buying a round of drinks for my friends at the pub! (I’m making a note now – they owe me a round!)
But I’ll mess things up
I’ve been maintaining my own bike for a long time and the biggest mistake I ever made? I put my front tyre on the wrong way round. This meant that in the rain, the water from the road was splashing on me, instead of on to the road. Hardly earth shattering right?
And I’m probably the opposite of the mechanical type. IKEA furniture scares me!
The truth is, with a clear set of instructions, presented by someone that knows how to explain things in such a way that even a complete novice can follow, anyone can maintain their bikes themselves. Let’s not forget, bicycles are designed to be repairable.
But I don’t have any space in my apartment
This is a juicy one and I’ll reveal how to get around it.
All of the above are valid concerns. I know, because I’ve had many of the same thoughts, but as is so often in life, most our fears prove unfounded.
On Thursday, I’ll be revealing a new project I’ve been put a lot of thought and work in to.
It’s an online course, designed to be followed in just a single weekend. By the end of it, you’ll be able to maintain your bike yourself.
It will provide an easy to follow system, that overcomes the things that stop most people from succeeding.
There’s going to be some bonuses there for early joiners, so you’ll want to keep an eye on London Cyclist or join the newsletter below. I’ll be revealing more details over the next few days.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.