I know two things about my bike: it has wheels and I like to ride it. In fact, it’s become a weekend tradition of mine to saddle up and hit the local trails down to the beach or ride circuitously around the park just so I can log at least 20 miles.
No, it’s not exactly Tour de France but it’s something look forward to doing since I no longer weigh 300 pounds, with the 20-mile mark being my weekly milestone as sort of an in-your-face to my former flabby self.
All of that said, and despite putting hundreds of miles on it, I don’t know jack about fixing my bike. Sure, I’ve replaced a tube now and then but the most difficult part of that is finding the right tube for your tire. The rest is pretty easy.
But as far as major repairs go I’m a novice and frankly, a bit worried about attempting to make any kind of repair – especially if it involves the brakes.
That’s why I decided to buy the Bike Repair app for my Android phone and while I haven’t made any repairs just yet, I’ve been nosing through the app and I can tell you that it was definitely money well spent.
Take a look at the main screen:
You just scroll down and see which part of your bike you suspect there is a problem with and it will give you a list of options. So let’s say it’s your rear derailleur giving you heck. Press that and you get this screen:
Hopefully, your problem is listed here and if it is, choose it and you get the problem’s explanation and solution. The app goes into great detail in plain, well-written English to explain what it takes to solve the issue. It also includes a list of tools and even step-by-step images for those of us who aren’t exactly comfortable with bike repairs.
I don’t think it can get much easier than this. I will give it a through look-through this weekend since I do need to give my bike an inspection, which the app also covers in great detail. It even has pictures showing how to use a chain tool, something I didn’t even know existed until the app pointed it out to me.
Hey, I said I was a novice right? But as is obvious, this app has already given me some knowledge on how to keep my bike functioning in top condition and how to avoid potential future problems.
Price: The Bike Repair app averages $3 between the three major outlets (Amazon, Android Marketplace, iTunes) but I got it on sale for .99 cents at the Amazon Appstore for Android. Note that with so much offline detail, the app is a huge file at over 30MB so Android users had better make sure there is room on their card to hold it since, well, this will kill your internal memory. The download did stall a few times but closing and re-opening the Amazon Appstore app did the trick and it went straight to my microSD card so no shuffling was required. Also, because of the file size, I’d recommend using wi-fi.
All in all, with its 42 guides and 58 problems explained, Bike Repair is a definite must-have for the novice and serious cyclist alike. Just make sure to remove any muck from your hands before scrolling through the app’s pages. Things could get ugly.