The Great Butingting

One of the things that I really like to do is tinker with the adjustments of my ride to make it perfect. A quarter turn of a small allen bolt can make one's brakes fit better. A few millimeters of cleat adjustment can do wonders on one's knees, not to mention power output. A few turns on a knob of a suspension fork can make it all buttery smooth and make the owner realize what a good buy it is when he got it seven years ago.

I really pity those who take their bikes to the bike shops for the littlest of stuff because part of the allure of having one is being able to do what Filipinos call butingting. (Don't you just love how that sounds?)

Admittedly, there will be casualties - bolts will lose threads, wheels will wobble, or there won't be any brakes - but I think this is part of the learning process that makes a cyclist appreciate his ride more.

I did some repair work last weekend on my wife's ride, and I have to say that I'm particularly proud of what I accomplished.

I saw that the past owner wasn't too keen on chain length and the big chainring-big cog combination was impossible to do. So I went to the bike shop and got myself a new Shimano HG-93 chain, and with the help of my trusty old Topeak MacGuyver's chain breaker and instructions from Park Tools, shifting is now excellent. It was my first time to install a brand new chain so to see things go in order is pretty rewarding.

I also switched brakes with her (mine was XT and her's was XTR! Damn!), did the toe-in adjustment and adjusted her brake reach. I'm also planning on getting cable cutters when I have money so I can replace her cables. (Her's right now is a bit short.)

For those of you who want to be your own bike mechanic, don't be left in the dark. Login to the repair section of Park Tools and read up! You can also join the Philippine Cycling Network and ask other cyclists to tips.

Have fun!