Tuesday, May 5, 2015

links and homework for bike maintenance class april-may 2015

At the fourth session of my bike maintenance class, my students asked if I'd set up a page with links to the homeworks and sources. So, herewith (you can probably bookmark by right-clicking on the title above):

  • Sheldon Brown's main bicycle articles page, and his page of articles for new cyclists, which includes a link to his useful page on pain. Brown died in 2008, and his pages are kept up by a number of his friends and associates. Sheldon Brown was the authority on matters bike-related; if it was around before he died, he had useful stuff to say about it. He's been referred to as a "guru", and he deserved it.
  • Jim Langley's main page, his repair and maintenance page, and his bicycle-related tips and tricks page. His nearly-exhaustive page on noises, what they mean, and fixing them is hidden under "Basic Repairs and Procedures" on the maintenance page... but since there's now a link to it here, you won't need to remember that. D'OH! Langley also has great articles and links about bike culture; if you find yourself with time to kill, you could do worse that whiling away a few hours at his site. (Well, I, for one, do that, but normal people may want to spend time with their lives and families...)
  • Grant Peterson is the founder of Rivendell Bikes. I think he's completely lost his mind recently, but years ago he had lovely lugged bikes and frames for sale (they're still lovely... but, really, double top tubes? And NO standard road bikes?). His site is notable for two things: it's a good source for specialty parts, and for information about bikes and riding (all the bold links on that page link to collections of other articles). Over at BikeReader, Peterson has an article about Riding a Bike Forever, which all of you should read.... and reread, every time you think about buying a new bike. Peterson's book, Just Ride, is a screed about how bike racing has ruined bicycling for the rider who doesn't want to be a racer. It's worth reading (as is much of his stuff) just so you understand why you don't always agree with him (unless you do agree with him, of course...).
  • I didn't get a chance to assign it as regular homework, but you might want to check out Bike Snob NYC. He's rude, profane, opinionated, and entertaining.
There are also some vendors you should know about:
  • Bike Nashbar is owned by the same folks that run the Performance Bike site and stores. Nashbar sometimes has stuff at incredibly low prices, but you've got to comparison-shop. Nashbar has an excellent return policy, and has return- and factory-second stores. They don't always have a wide selection.
  • Jenson USA is probably where I spend most of my online money, partly because you get free shipping for a $50.00 order. They used to have stupid low prices on my favorite tires. Alas...
  • Universal Cycles. HUGE selection, decent prices.If they don't got it, you might not need it. (There are other huge vendors, but the search feature on the Universal site is the one I find most useful: results are broken down into categories, for example.)
There are others, of course, and, if you know exactly what you're looking for, Ebay can be your friend. Locally, I shop at Kim's. Mention my name to Dave or Benny, or the Latino guys in the back, Francisco and Vincencio.

Addendum 5/7: I promised I'd add the link to the spoke length calculator. (I buy most of my wheel parts from BikeHubStore.)

To my students: Thank you all for being in my first course. I'm writing this before I get your course evaluations back, so I may regret this last paragraph, but all of you have taught me about how to teach what I do; I'm sure I got at least as much out of having you all in class as you got from hearing me. I hope you'll keep in touch - perhaps you'll come to volunteer at the Bike Exchange!

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