Maintenance
Park Tools
Big Blue Book of
Bicycle Repair
Amazon.com or at your
Local Bike Shop
Bike Repair and
Maintenance for Dummies

Amazon.com or at your
local Bike Shop
"Ye" Olde Bike Shop
        Parts of a Bicycle
A bicycle is a fairly simple machine but does have some delicate
parts. Any bicycle is capable of lasting a life time provided it
receives a reasonable amount of care and maintenance. The
diagram below is to assist you in identifying the different parts of a
bicycle which will to help you order parts on your own, and to help
you to describe problems with your bicycle to your bike mechanic.
                                       
                                 
Buying a Bicycle at a Discount Store

  Buying the right bicycle is where you have to start for the rider to  enjoy their bike for a long time.      
 A bicycle purchase  for some people is a very difficult task. I  will share some of my observations of   
 trouble  that people seem to have  when  buying a  bicycle  at a discount store.  Price is usually the    
 first concern  it seems, then color, then the style of bike and then the size of frame.  Many of the          
 bikes sold at a discount store are bought as a gift  for another person . Don't surprise them,bring       
 them to the store.
 Price; Most of the bikes on display at a discount store are priced under $150.00 which makes         
 them sell quickly.  Usually the difference in  the price between bikes has to do with the materials         
 the bike is made of. More steel makes the bike heavier but makes them most often the cheapest.      
Bikes with more aluminum as in the wheels and etc and the type of shifting mechanisms and               
brakes tend to increase the price of the bike.  
Colors; You won't find a big selection of colors for bikes.  Bikes are painted certain colors for           
different brands, styles and sizes and  sometimes different colors for different retailers .  
 
Style of bike;  The first question that has to be answered is; "What is the bike going to be             
used for"?  Bicycles are designed for all kinds of different purposes. Will the bike be used for              
stunts, transportation, off road riding or touring. How much maintenance will the bike require and         
how capable is the owner going to be in performing the maintenance,( like cables and chains and      
etc). These are questions that have to be answered before the bike is purchased.
 
Size; The size of the bike is very important.  A bike too small that doesn't allow the rider to                
 straighten out their legs when the peddle is all of the way down isn't going to be comfortable and the  
 rider will not get the torque from their peddling that they should.  A bike to large will be hard for the     
 rider to maneuver and will prevent them from touching the ground when they stop.  In both cases the   
rider isn't going to be happy with that bike.  Most Bike Shops will encourage you to test ride a              
bike. Unfortunately, when you buy a bicycle from a discount store you won't get to try it out.
                            
 Whether to buy or not to buy at a discount store.
Discount stores do sell a lot of bicycles, indeed these are the bikes that most people ride, thus           
Wal Mart is the largest retailer of bicycles in the country. When buying a bicycle at a discount store     
keep these things in mind. All bikes, whether at a bike shop or a discount store, come in a box and    
have to be assembled.  The assembler at the discount store has to assemble up to fourteen bike a    
day during Christmas time  and the summer time so the assembler doesn't have time to adjust            
bearings and check lubrication or true wheels that the manufacture may not have done.  Bikes that      
are sold at discount stores are good bikes and with care can last a life time.  A bike shop while           
assembling a bicycle does have the time and equipment to adjust and properly lubricate bearings      
and true wheels etc.  A bike bought in a bike shop will cost more but is worth it.  Remember that          
bicycles are a bike shops first and only business.