Bike Maintenance for newbies.
A well-looked-after bicycle is a thing of joy but the key is the looking after it bit - chains need to be kept clean and lubricated, brake pads refreshed and adjusted, wheels kept true and fitted with tyres of appropriate size and treads, etc.
Basic maintenance is quite simple and every cyclist should be able to do the simple tasks and certainly be capable of replacing tyres, tubes and mending punctures, so that you should not be stranded miles from home.
For the more complex tasks, such as replacing bearings, true-ing wheels, then specific tools are usually required. Many cyclists resort to the abilities of their local bike shops. However, the traditional LBS are going out of business, undercut by online sales sites, and the larger cycle chain stores offer bike servicing that frequently seems less than satisfactory and leaves much to be desired. Or so we keep hearing...
However, all is not lost: a number of our members are skilled fettler's and have all sorts of toolsets - for Campag, Shimano, SRAM, etc - and are more than happy to provide any advice to new and seasoned cyclists.