Kimeldorf's Bike Library Index

Bike Care, Riding & Repair

Martin Kimeldorf
Kimeldorf Library:
Table of Contents
Written and Illustrated By: Martin Kimeldorf

This book was written for the great fleet of bike owners who just want to know how to keep their bike in safe, working order. After reading Bike Notebook the reader will walk away with a personal bike riding safety strategy. Add to this the skills for conducing pre-ride inspections and the bike rider greatly reduces the risk of accidents. The first part of the book teaches the essentials in detail. In addition to safety and inspections the reader-owner will master the art of proper cleaning, quick lubes, tire repair, chain maintenance and seat adjustment. The entire skill set can be learned within an afternoon. The result will be more comfortable and reliable ride. Knowing a few basic repairs means the individual can take off for a 5 to 10 mile ride feeling secure and safe. In the latter third of the book, chapters cover standard repair and maintenance tasks found in many highly technical books. This simply written book of 200+ pages is highly illustrated (with over 100 drawings) making this bike care guide accessible even to the mechanically-challenged.

Printed version of the book is 252 pages with over 100 illustrations.


Dear Bike Rider
    First Bike Journal - Thinking about Your Trip

Part I - Caring for the Bike Rider (Page 13)
Chapter 1 - Lifting the Bike and Naming PARTs
Chapter 2 - Riding the Machine (Riding Techniques)
Chapter 3 - Warming up and Cooling down the "Machine" (Stretches)
Chapter 4 - Fueling the "Machine" (Nutrition)
Chapter 5 - Bike Locks and Theft
Second Bike Journal - Goal Setting and Goal Getting
Chapter 6 - Developing a Safe Riding Strategy
Third Bike Journal - My Safety Strategy

PART II - Caring for the Bike, Bike Care Checklists (Page 72)
Chapter 7 - Basic Tools and Materials
Chapter 8 - Tool Using Tips
Chapter 9 - the Quick Safety Inspection
Chapter 10 - Quick Lube and Tire Maintenance
Chapter 11 - Cleaning Da Bike
Chapter 12 - Saddle Adjustment and Seat Posts
Chapter 13 - Chain Maintenance
Chapter 14 - Pumping Tires, Removing Wheels
Chapter 15 - Fixing Flats and Removing Inner Tubes
Chapter 16 - Preventive Maintenance Inspection
Fourth Bike Journal - Inspecting My Bike Inspections

PART III - Basic Maintenance & Repairs (Page 146)
Chapter 17 - Derailleurs
Chapter 18 - Cables
Chapter 19 - Front Hubs
Chapter 20 - Rear Hubs, Freewheels, and Sprockets
Chapter 21 - Bottom Bracket: Bearings, Cranks and Chainring
Chapter 22 - Pedals
Chapter 23 - Handlebars and Stems
Chapter 24 - Headset
Chapter 25 - Truing Wheel Rims
Chapter 26 - Adjusting Brakes
Chapter 27 - Emergency Road Repairs
Chapter 28 - Summary Trouble Shooting Chart
Final Bike Journal - Maintaining Maintenance

RESOURCES (Page 247)


 Dear bike rider,

A bike is a wonderful, magical, and artful machine.

The bike is a beautiful machine: simple in design, lightweight, and rugged enough to travel mountain trails. Throw your leg over the saddle and you can escape the daily routine on your two-wheel wonder. Exploring back streets or gliding along back country roads, you discover what lies hidden just beyond the turn in the road.

Cranking up hill demands energy from every cell. You feel incredibly alive when you reach the top. You take satisfaction in pumping up a hill so steep that walkers even avoid it. Riding uphill gives you a chance to prove something to yourself. Going downhill, your heart races as the wind hits you with a face-tingling blast. You experience both terror and ecstasy!

If you enjoy stunt riding, you'll experience a new freedom from gravity (that few people, other than astronauts, know about). After cranking through forests on a mountain bike, you emerge cloaked in a new garment of mud and debris. You triumph as the master of downhill slopes and rugged trails.

A sense of pride comes with knowing that you can get anywhere in town or go exploring without relying on others or needing a car. After so many hills and miles, your heart beats that much stronger and your body takes on a more muscular and fit shape. You feel like you can do more of everything--because you have energy to spare! You gain a new sense of self-reliance once you learn how to care for your bike. You take on additional pride because you know how to repair a flat tire, fix a stiff chain, or can eliminate that annoying noise in the pedal.

That's what this book is all about: caring for your bike and caring for yourself. Bike Notebook is designed for the beginner to intermediate bike rider. Hopefully you'll be able to enjoy the following chapters whether you are a young person in school or camp, an old duffer (like myself) working in the garage, or as a member of a club or recreation group.

Life Long Learning = Life Long Biking

Career experts say that everyone needs to become a life long learner if they want to survive in today's world of work. Life long learning is a huge idea, containing a hidden wisdom. People who enjoy learning new things get more out of life. Their curiosity takes them places other couch potatoes only dream of. In fact, research indicates that one way of keeping your mind (and body) young is to keep actively engaged in exploring new things all the time. Thus, life long learning is the key to a longer, happier life.

I began as most kids with a small Schwinn single speed bike in grade school. In high school I graduated to a ten-speed, which was a pretty hot machine in the early 1960s. I biked through college and thereafter lost touch with biking as I entered the adult world of full-time-employment and automobile ownership.

Later in life, many people get back in touch with bikes through their children. Today, as I begin to enter the later phases of my life, I have again gotten in touch with the chro-moly frame, well-oiled chain, and the wind pouring across my face as I bike across town and along the back county roads.

If learning keeps your young, then I figure I've added about a decade to my life. I've studied bike repair, researched the history of bike technology, enjoyed reading poetry and novels related to cycling. Along with my learning, I discovered a whole new group of potential friends and riding partners.

Biking And Learning

Perhaps someday bike culture and bike technology will become part of education and recreation programs. Imagine being in a school, summer camp or club where you ride, read, write, take photos, and draw. Wouldn't it be great way to learn and bike at the same time! Students would join bike clubs or classes at local recreation departments or public schools. Like computers, bike technology and riding could become a gateway leading to learning about all kinds of topics. Cycling fits into just about any subject.

If you are intrigued by math and science then go off and calculate your best gear ratios or get involved in the various angles used in frame design. You could pursue engineering principles as you study what people call "bike frame geometry". In fact, did you know that many famous engineers and inventors enjoyed experimenting with bikes? The Wright brothers and Henry Ford are two prime examples.

If you are interested in the writing and expressive arts, perhaps you could take pictures or write about your experiences while on a three-day bike tour. Could you live through a bike crash on a mountain trip and later write about your feelings of joy and fear? Could you describe the survival and problem solving skills used to get safely back home?

Some people love to mix it up in the political arena. What about developing a plan for your city council which would increase the number of bike paths and improve rider safety? This involves reviewing local laws and customs. People who enjoy history might even go farther into bike culture by investigating old, oddly shaped bikes, as well as studying the history of wheels and bike technology.

If you have an artistic bent, there's plenty to soak up. Take a look at the ever-changing styles of bike frames and design. The new models or experimental bikes have a space-age quality while the older Schwinns have the vintage car look. And if you are into flamboyant colors, glistening chrome and just plain craziness, then check out the low-rider bikes, the latest helmets or sunglasses, and stylish clothing.

Do you appreciate fine craftsmanship and detail? Try visiting with a custom bike builder. Note how they route cables inside the bike frame, carefully finish each welded or brazed section, and attend to every nook and cranny of the bike.

Will the subject of bicycles ever enter our school and recreation programs? Could it happen in your town? Today many, many schools are experimenting with new ways of learning. Perhaps, you can find a teacher who is open to giving an independent study credit for improving health through riding, or a math credit for applications related to bike design. You never know until you ask. Whether you are in school or not--your bike learning can now be captured on the pages of this notebook.

Using this book in your own bike studies

Think of this book as a three part binder. Part I covers basic techniques of riding and safety. You'll be prompted to develop your own safety philosophy or riding strategy. If nothing else, these precautionary steps will help to prevent the kinds of accidents or injuries uninformed cyclists often encounter. Even if you are experienced, you may want to review this material if you plan to teach about cycling and bike care to others.

Part II contains checklists for pre-ride inspections, lubricating, and cleaning your machine. You'll also learn how to do two of the most important repairs: fixing your tires and chains. Information about the seat or saddle position can also make your riding more enjoyable and comfortable. If you do nothing more than these things, you will extend the life of your bike (and your investment). Most casual riders never go further than the material in Part II. And, if you are totally new to biking and maintenance this may be all you cover in a bike club or class.

In Part III you progress into more technical maintenance tasks associated with upkeep and basic repairs. You delve further into the machine. The directions in these chapters are general in nature. This means that the illustrations and details of your actual brake system may be different from the one reviewed in this book. However, you'll get a sense of how to approach the repair or adjustment for each component. As you work, you can write notes in the right hand margin.

You may want to create your own notes and sketches on these pages. This is why I have purposely left a generous outside margin on each page. Here you can scribble your own reminders or draw your own personalized directions. In this way, you transform this book into your bike notebook. Think of this book as a bike rider's diary, a mechanic's journal, or a portfolio documenting your bike studies.

Today, the bike is just as magical as it was when I plunked down my hard earned $80 and bought my first Peugeot. And I think my "new" bicycling hobby keeps me learning new things, keeps me in touch with my younger side. It has become a most enjoyable life long habit, and a wonderful ride.

-Martin Kimeldorf

FIRST BIKE JOURNAL -- Thinking About Your Trip

As the superstitious culture of the middle ages ended, people looked to new ways of learning, thinking and creating. Inspired individuals invented new machines, different ways of painting, and whole new philosophies which said that anything was possible. It was the beginning of a terribly exciting historical period.

One of the best known people of this era was Leonardo DaVinci. They later referred to him as a "Renaissance Man". He studied painting, anatomy, weaponry, architecture, sculpture and the stars. His notebooks even include some of the earliest pictures for modern bicycles. He knew no limits.

Through your bike, you can also enter many different arenas of thought. Bikes are not just vehicles that get dirty and bike mechanics are not just good with their hands and tools. Many mechanics are going to college or already have colleges degrees and have decided to work in a bike shop because they simply love everything about biking!

If you want to join in the fun, then it's useful to stop and dream about all the possibilities. Stop and page through this book. What parts of bike riding and bike care would you like to learn about next? You might want to turn the pages of a few bicycle magazines or books for more ideas. Biking is more than just getting from one place to another. Riding can drain the stress from your body, make you feel stronger, give you a sense of power or freedom, and make you more aware of where you live. An open road invites your legs, your heart, and your mind to go wandering through time and space.

As your mind fills with dreams and great ideas, consider writing a short journal about what you hope to get out of your increasing involvement with bikes. It will be interesting to go back later and review what you thought at the beginning of this book.

To help you get started, try responding to any of the following journal- starters. Then, to go deeper into this subject, try the advanced journal directions at the end.

  1. In the beginning, I thought it would great if I could learn more about repairing my bike because...

  2. In the beginning, I figured I'd ride...   [time or distance]

  3. In the beginning, I was a little bit nervous or unsure about the fact that...

  4. In the beginning, I thought it would be fun to learn more than just repairs. I also wanted to find out about...

  5. In the beginning, I had a fitness or training goal to...

  6. In the beginning, I wanted to buy a...

Advanced journaling

To really get to the heart of biking, you need to dig into your own heart first and think about what biking means to you. For instance, if you were to make a list of keywords which describe biking, what would you put on it?

Suppose you looked up the subject on the Internet and were prompted to enter a keyword. Would you enter words like: repair, oil, technical, maintenance? This would only bring up the subjects of tools and fixing things. But, that's not why you bought a bike. This is only part of the story.

What words would you enter to describe the experience of challenging a long steep hill? What words could be used to describe a 3 day bike ride? What words describe riding by a small lake at sunrise, light streaking across the silvery lake and through your gleaming spokes.

Would you use key words such as: excitement, independence, self-reliance, persistence, risky, beautiful? And if you commuted to school or work, would the key words become practical, ecological, economical, helpful?

Each of us has their own reasons for riding. Each of us has their own key words. What are your words? Make a list of keywords and add any drawings or phrases which help you express what biking means to you.

Table of Contents

About the author  

  Martin Kimeldorf,  
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Amby Duncan-Carr,
page designer
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