On the Nature and Philosophy of Bicycle Maintenance

When repairing a bicycle we must go through several distinct phases. First we identify what is wrong,

“My rear wheel is bent.”

Then based on what we know we make an assessment of our own ability to manage the problem,

“I can probably true it by myself.”

Next we get advice from others who are more experienced by using online communities,


So we watch a YouTube video, as was suggested.

After this we gather the tools we have on hand and realize that these, are bloody useless.


So we go out and buy one of these.


Now that we are ready to start the repair. Once this is under way you discover the real problem,

“Some of my spokes are snapped off at the hub.”

So we go back to the community for more support.


Realizing we are now in over our heads, we heed the advice of our peers and take the wheel to our local bike shop where the mechanic explains that the wheel in question is still under warranty, and because he is a bit backed up he just swaps it out for another rim.

We then take the wheel back home, put it back on the bike. We straighten up our work area, wash our hands and then promptly go to the bedroom where we pass out for a completely indeterminable number of hours because we are incredibly sick and have been fighting it now for several days, so we need our rest.

Tomorrow we get back in the saddle and ride. Illness be damned!

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