How did you guys learn how to build and maintain your own bikes? i'd love to build my bike up myself rather than have a mechanic do it.
Based on my experience:
- Starting cycling while relatively poor helps.
- Starting cycling with a cheaper bike that fits your abilities/experience makes the risk of braking something a bummer, but you won't cry over Alevio (or similar). As your cycling performance and maintenance skills improve, elevated gear choices will be all the more natural & calculated based on this.
- Living 45 minutes from a bike shop helps.
- Having 1 bike helps. If you want to ride today, you have to fix it today.
- If you don't know how to fix something, look it up. When this didn't help me (this was back before YouTube and online manuals), I took it to the shop, then purchased the tools they used so I wouldn't have to come back again for the same problem.
I'm far from the biggest bike-wrench geek and I don't know how to deal with disc brakes or electric groups (since I've never had either) but I will learn as soon as I need to.
In the last 14 years, I've taken my bike to the shop 5 times:
- 3x Cutting carbon steerers (I don't have a carbon sawblade, yet..)
- Installing tubulars for the first time just before a bike vacation (I was a bit scared to ride in the Alps to test my proficiency, but obviously I do that myself now )
- Broken frame warranty required an authorized dealer to confirm the claim (bike came back from the shop with a broken seatpost... apparently someone (larger than me) was curious to throw a leg over my bike)
They really are very simple machines. You'll get it, as long as you start thinking you can do it.
In addition to money savings, the biggest element for me is never having much 'down time' while the bike is at the shop. Stocking typical spare parts at home also cuts down on the need to order replacement parts.
I could be wrong, but I think 95% people on WW build, maintain, and repair their own bikes.