Suburban Assault – Delivering a high quality, easy to use, online repair manual. For everyone.

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As an aspiring bicycle mechanic, and by that I mean having almost no ability and even less confidence, I’ve been wanting to learn more about wrenching bikes. Sure, I can fix a flat, adjust a rim brake or switch out an accessory here and there, but I really lack the knowledge to tackle the big jobs, like drivetrains, gears and building/truing wheels.

I’m not the kind of guy that can pick up a mechanic’s manual and follow step-by-step. I need hands-on training with real parts and tools, being taught by a real mechanic. I like having the ability to ask questions and get immediate feedback. I’ve considered going to United Bicycle Institute in Oregon or taking on a part-time job at a local shop (even for no pay), but I don’t have the time or flexibility right now.

YouTube and Sheldon Brown are great resources, but you don’t get that one-on-one instruction or feedback.

There is a new site out there (well, new to me), where it takes it a step further. It’s called MadeGood is a website that is “delivering high quality, easy to use, online repair manual. For everyone.” They also claim to be “a complete guide to fixing bikes, in one place, for the first time” as well as giving you “access to the worlds largest community of professional bike mechanics.” Sounds pretty promising.

I went ahead and signed up with a user account (which is free), and I plan to do a little exploring. So far, I’ve discovered a few interesting, well produced videos. The site is well organized, and a pleasure to explore. I haven’t tapped into the bike mechanic community yet. I’ll follow up, once I do.

Sure, won’t replace that hands-on training that I want, but it’s a big step closer.

Written by dickdavid

July 20, 2012 at 5:39 am

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