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Old 09-27-2011, 01:34 PM   #1
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Bicycle Mechanic

I am new to this forum and long term RV'ing. Not full time yet but hope to within a year or two. I am about to retire and hit the road for 4 months with DW and 2 dogs. In the summer I work part time as a bicycle mechanic in a local bicycle shop. Just wondering if I should take my tools this winter. Seems to me it would be convenient to have a bike mechanic in a park. I could do repairs so campers would not have to hunt up a bike shop. What do you think? Would this be a valuable service or a waste of time and fuel carrying the extra weight.

Thanks,

Smooth
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:03 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

We've been on the road most of the past 4 + years and IMHO, I haven't seen too much demand for bike repair while at CGs. Maybe if you plan to stay put in one spot for several months you could put fliers on boards and it might drum up some business but my gut tells me it would be pretty sparce.

Best of luck to you.

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Old 09-27-2011, 06:27 PM   #3
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Try it, what have you to lose an extra $10 in gas. After bikes bag around for a couple thousand miles on the bike rack, a tune up couldn't hurt. There are quite a few bikes traveling with RVers
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:26 PM   #4
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There are a lot of RVers that cannot patch a bicycle tire, so you would be of benefit to some. Hang a sign in the window that states Bicycle Repairs. Problem is most RVers are a "thrift" (read cheap) bunch and won't pay much.

Ken
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:57 AM   #5
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Well, if you happen to be in Yuma, advertise your service and I'll probably be using it. Looking for one last year.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:06 AM   #6
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I'd do it.. if your at all handy (you'd pretty much have to be, huh?) I'd bet you'd be putting them tools to use in some fashion.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:59 AM   #7
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It sounds like a great idea. I'd say that the only problem you might run into would be CG owners/managers. Some are just control freaks and might be upset with someone trying to conduct any sort of business, even fixing a bike tire, on their property. There are usually rules against trying to fix anything. Whether those kinds of rules are well founded because of legal exposure remains a topic for conversation. The bottom line is that the property is owned or controlled by the managers and they can control what happens there.

I agree with TXiceman that we tend to be a cheap lot. I will say, however, that I tend to take my bike to the shop when cables break rather than trying to find the parts and fix them myself. If you could do enough occasional work to put a tank of gas in your vehicle every once in while, it is still probably worth it.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:13 AM   #8
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I would do it! we always carry our bikes and a tune up would be nice while on the road.
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:03 AM   #9
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I'm getting rather good at that myself..

This I can tell you: You will need to advertise discretely.. And should. There are several issues with Bicycles I have observed or experienced, from frozen cables (shifters mostly) where replacement was the only option, to broken shifters, to deformed rims to loose chains.. Most all these I do know how to repair.

However: For those who do not know.. if there is "Wobble" in your wheel, (not bearing wobble but deformed rim) and you get it fixed, you will be AMAZED at how much easier it is to ride.. The professional has a special device for "Truing" I do it on the bicycle (the brakes replacing the special device) 25 bucks Al's quick release charges, Well worth it if the job is extreme enough... A slight adjustment (Which I need to do) is easier to do on site without removing the wheel.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:01 PM   #10
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Some of the repairs are really simple but most require special tools. Can't cut cables with diagonal cutters, need cone wrenches to adjust wheel bearings, on and on. Monday, I trued a wheel that bike owner had worked on and gave up. It was not only out of true (wobble) it was out of round from owner attempts to true it. I had to get it round before it could be trued.

I used to true them on the bike too but I bought a Park 2.2 truing stand. It is well worth the $200.00. If you do much of this get a truing stand you will be glad you did. Also get a GOOD portable work stand,,,,another $200. You will need an axle vise, makes adjusting and rebuilding wheel bearings much easier, alignment tools, box end wrenches, crimpers, spoke wrenches, cable and housing cutters, grinder or Dremel to clean up housing end after cutting it, hex wrenches , cassette and freewheel tools, bottom bracket, crank tools....... The bike store has all the best tools. I got spoiled having every tool I could possibly need so I bought most of them for my home shop.

I love it. I have been working on bikes since I was in grade school. Last fall I started working Saturdays in a local bike store for FREE and learned a lot about assembling and repairing bikes. In the spring the store owner offered me a flat $$ rate per bike to assemble or repair bikes. Didn't turn it down but I would still do it for free.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:15 PM   #11
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What I have problems with the local bike shop (LBS) does not want to do any work on my Catrike recumbent tricycle. Catrike Recumbent Trikes

So I tend to most things myself, and buy what I need at the LBS.

You will run into all types of bikes, but I have yet to find another bent bike in a campground.

Ken
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
What I have problems with the local bike shop (LBS) does not want to do any work on my Catrike recumbent tricycle. Catrike Recumbent Trikes

So I tend to most things myself, and buy what I need at the LBS.

You will run into all types of bikes, but I have yet to find another bent bike in a campground.

Ken
Saw two of them at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach (Destin), FL, last week.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:23 AM   #13
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Smooth Sailn:

Hi, and welcome to iRV2.

Ya know, had we ever noticed a "Bike Repair/Tune-up" sign in any of the campgrounds we've stayed in it is VERY likely I'd have had our two bikes done!! Don't know how many others might have used such a service, but my "gut" reaction is that you'd probably generate some business as you move around. Your problem however, might be obtaining parts needed for various brands and getting such parts in a timely manner. We've carried our two bikes since 05 and just had em in for complete tune up, new tires, new seats, new lights, etc. but it took two or three weeks for the repair tech to get the parts. Right now, our bikes are almost like new and it sure was great having someone who knew what they were doing, get em in shape.

Steve & Lynette
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smooth Sailn View Post
Some of the repairs are really simple but most require special tools. If you do much of this get a truing stand you will be glad you did. .
Though I have to agree with you.. I work primarily on one bike. (The one I road to the internet room today)

As for cutting cable.. Give the tools I have that is never a problem.. I can slide cable like it was hot butter.. Heck, I can cut 1/8 inch steel plate if I so desire. (Thicker even, though that will cut like very cold butter)
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