Jun. 09, 2010 - Issue #764: Hot Summer Guide 2010
Rev Cycle's Mr Fix-it reveals the dirtier side of biking
The bike's down tube, the part of the frame that connects the pedals with the head tube near the handlebars, had broken in half.
The bike "stretched out like a limo," says Fedoruk. "I just about turfed out, jumped off, ran it out."
"Rabbit Hill is pretty hard on bikes."
The mangled cycle ranks high on Fedoruk's list of most damaged bikes he's ever fixed in 20-plus years of bike repair. With Bike Month in full swing and the Canada Cup mountain bike race just over two weeks away, I caught up with Fedoruk for some tips on bike repair.
Fedoruk, who estimates that Revolution receives 15 to 50 broken bikes per day, says the most common form of damage to any kind of bike is the flat tire. "A lot of people don't realize that they have to check tire pressure more frequently," he says. Tubeless tires provide better resistance to flats, but leak air more quickly than standard ones.
Mountain bikers, more than commuters or road racers, also have to keep a close eye on their chains since they ride on dusty trails and through mud holes so often. Dirt on a chain can make bearings wear out faster.
Fedoruk cleans his bike's chain with alcohol or a citrus cleaning agent and re-lubes once or twice a week when commuting, and more often when doing dedicated trail riding.
"You go for two, three hours in Terwillegar [Park] doing laps," he says, "it can suck the oil out of a chain pretty quick. You're gonna find yourself lubing that chain at the beginning of the ride and at the end."
Less expensive bikes "really suffer the worst in mud and wet-weather riding," says Fedoruk, because their bearings are protected with lower-quality seals than those found in pricier rides. Entry-level bikes need to be cleaned often.
Crank-arms, which connect the pedals to the rest of the machine, are another part mountain bikers stress heavily, says Fedoruk. Standing up on pedals, as off-road bikers often do, places all of a rider's weight on the pedals and cranks.
Though Fedoruk acquired his own expertise with the aide of a mechanically inclined father and a healthy dose of trial and error (he claims to have broken every bike part that can be broken), to learn bike repair today, he recommends turning to that great repository of knowledge, the Internet.
"Google 'how to adjust cantilever break,' and it pops up, and it has videos," he says. "How to change a tube, how to tape a road-bike handlebar. All these things are shown."
Fedoruk says technology has also changed the bikes themselves. Modern materials and manufacturing techniques let bikes "fare fairly well through the crashes," he says.
"The rider usually sees the brunt of the damage themselves." V
Possibly related storiesvueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
Vue respects your privacy. We will not forward your personal information to any other organization except as required by law, and will use your e-mail address only to respond to your comments. We reserve the right to edit and remove comments for length, clarity and/or if they are illegal or inappropriate. Your email address is never shown to visitors to vueweekly.com. Read the whole policy at: http://vueweekly.com/privacy