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I have been riding a bike for many years now, but I am embarrassed to tell you all that I am an novice when it comes to repairing and maintaining bikes. I have always had a problem with repairing bikes.

I am very interested in learning about bike repair. I want to build a custom bike someday... :) I would be open to do some volunteer work and learn on the job.

I do not have all the tools or the workshop to learn on my own and cannot afford these... If someone have some information where I can approach, I would be really glad.

EDIT: I study in Germany and am looking for some information specifically in Germany :)

I am extremely Sorry, if its not the right forum to post such questions...

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Welcome to Bicycles.SE. Asking how to repair bicycles is certainly on-topic here. We already have many questions asking about repair and maintenance here, please look around and feel free to ask questions. –  Neil Fein May 31 '11 at 18:13
    
Thanks Neil for being nice and correcting the post :) I am more than convinced that I am in the right place to learn about repairing bikes... –  www.sapnaedu.in Jun 1 '11 at 8:06
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3 Answers 3

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If you want to be knowledgable on the level of a professional mechanic, Matthew's answer is the way to go. However, until you can find such a position, learning more about bikes will only help.

While I can't speak to resources in Germany, I can tell you that I've learned bicycle repair from three sources: from friends, asking questions at my bike shop, and reading online.

I have a friend who's a part-time bike mechanic, so that's obviously helpful. I try not to impose on him too much, but he enjoys talking about bikes--what rider doesn't?

Your shop: When you bring your bike in to be repaired, ask questions. See if they'll let you watch while doing the repair. (If they're secretive about what they do, perhaps finding a better shop should be a priority.)

Finally, the internet:

  • The most comprehensive bike site on the net is, without a doubt, the site put together by the late, great Sheldon Brown. It's in English, but the writing is good and easy to follow, and covers a broad range of topics. Some of these essays are parodies, most are serious, but all have good points to make.

  • Youtube has a great many bicycle repair videos, and that's how I've learned how to adjust a hub and use a chain tool. Can anyone speak to the quality (or existence) of any repair videos in German? While you wouldn't be able to follow along, not having a shop or tools, watching the procedures will help familiarize you with them, so that things will go more quickly when you're in a shop later on.

  • This very site. We have users all over the world, and there are many questions here on maintenance that have already been answered, and please feel free to ask more if you see a gap. We also have a Terminology index you can consult (and even add to).

Sorry I can't answer your question about local resources, but learn as much as you can on your own and you'll be better equipped to take advantage of local opportunities when they come along.

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Thanks again.. SheldonBrown.com site is amazing like an encyclopedia about Bikes and how to maintain it.. –  www.sapnaedu.in Jun 1 '11 at 8:07
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Not to worry! Get yourself a part time job in the local bike shop in a supporting role - maybe not sales (unless you have the product knowledge), maybe not the workshop but something in between.

Start with what you can do - punctures, wheeling bikes in and out the yard, keeping the place tidy. A couple of weeks later have a go at assembling bikes. You will know if you are going to like it by then.

The cycling season has started it should be all hands to the deck in your local shop, show confidence and enthusiasm and you won't go wrong.

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Thanks Mathew, as I write, I am contacting the local Shops in my town in Germany. –  www.sapnaedu.in Jun 1 '11 at 8:07
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Look for a local bike co-op or bike recycle group, often called "send bikes to poor countries" or similar (our local ones are "bikes for africa", "bikes for refugees"). Or even a local cycle club. They tend to focus more on riding but might know of the other groups. I don't know specifically about Germany, but in Australia most major cities have some sort of group like this. Finding them can be somewhat tricky, as they're often not very well advertised. I would start by asking bicycle advocates, at bike shops and searching the internet.

If you have a cycle person in your local government they would be an excellent person to ask, even if their title suggests they only deal with infrastructure (bike paths) or law enforcement. Usually they are well connected with other cycling organisations.

The other avenue is bicycle maintenance courses, run either by local bike shops or as night classes by educational institutions. Again, ask the shops and look at the websites for the shops and schools.

Since you don't have the tools or workshop yourself, looking at how-to sites on the internet is less useful to you. I would focus more on finding people near you who have websites. Be prepared to volunteer time to whatever their cause is in exchange for help.

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