THE COMMON PROBLEMS MALAYSIAN MECHANICS HAVE TO SOLVE
First of a five-part series on the types of problems bike mechanics have to face
e at Cycling Plus Malaysia have always wondered what the life of Malaysian bicycle mechanic is like. What we mean by this is not what they have for lunch every day or how much overtime pay they get, but rather what kind of everyday
Wproblems they have to solve when it comes to their customers’ bikes.
Thanks to adored mechanic Syazman Irman Mohd Ariffin from Specialized Concept Store Petaling Jaya, we now have a better insight into these common problems and how they are fixed.
Syazman or Syaz as he is most commonly known at the PJ store, has been around bikes since 2009 when he picked it up as a hobby. He started hanging around Taman Tun Dr Ismail’s KSH, where he would quietly watch and learn from outside of the mechanics pit. However, this was never going to be enough for Syaz, because in 2016 he attended and graduated from the famous United Bicycle Institute in America, and has never looked back since.
These days, he is the go to person at Specialized PJ and gave us a hint of what he has to face everyday. “There are all sort of problems obviously but the five most common ones are gearing, loose wheelset, BB creak, headset problems and electronic shifting issues,” said Syaz.
Most of the time when people have gearing problems, it usually just requires tuning. But if a tune-up of the derailleurs is not the solution, the next thing to look at is rusted cables.
“It’s actually something that you can do at home and learn to do from the internet. Some people say it is hard to get, even after mimicking what the mechanic on Youtube is doing. Well actually most of them have got it right; it’s just that they do not believe they have done it. Due to sweat and rain, the cables can get rusted over time. So if your bike has some mileage and the adjusters on the derailleurs are not working, then it could be your cables. You can actually prevent this by using calcium grease, which can help protect from water going into the holes. For new bikes, we advise people to come back after six weeks to readjust the cable tension as new cables do stretch with time,” he said.
But that’s just gearing. The other problems also seem quite straightforward, but sometimes there can be more to it than meets the eye. For the next series we will be talking to Syaz about the problem of a loose wheelset and possible solutions.
As much as Syazman is a certified bike mechanic, he also has experience in dealing with bikes from life lessons
Did you know that you’re supposed to return for a tune-up after six weeks of riding your new bike?
Calcium grease helps prevent cable rust