I'm not one of those natural tinkerers. I didn't take apart radios as a kid or try to figure out how a toaster worked. My big achievement in the past was taking apart my espresso machine to put a new gasket in the steam wand. But I have always enjoyed working on bikes and taking care of my bikes.
My first job was working for a bike shop in suburban Vancouver. The owner had cycled across Canada and loved touring bikes, but was also smart enough to realize that in Vancouver in the mid to late 80's, mountain bikes paid the bills. Back then it was still cup and cone bottom brackets, 1 inch threaded headsets and thumb shifter's. All the bikes we sold were built up by us. We'd have 5 or 6 of us on hand on the busy summer days, each a combination bike mechanic and sales person. We'd get an order from the front of the shop and we'd build the bikes up, taking the BB apart and applying boat trailer grease instead of the Vaseline looking grease that the cups came with. Same thing with the headset, new grease packed in there and everything adjusted by hand, then handed over to the boss, who'd give it a whirl on the stand to check our work over, while talking to the new customer. After work, we'd hang out, working on our own bikes, rebuilding our bottom brackets or regreasing cables or using the shop degreaser to clean our chains and cassettes. All of us rode to work, in all weather, which in Vancouver meant rain at least one day a week. Throw in going off road on the weekends or week night rides in the winter, and the bikes took a lot of abuse. But it was fun to work away on my bike. We had good stands to work with, all the right tools to make it go easier and faster, plus my boss in the corner in case we ran into any trouble.
(stolen from mtbr forum)When I built up my Piolet last year, it certainly wasn't the same as when I built up my first MTB, a Rocky Mountain Hammer, back in 1988. The hubs are all sealed cartridge now, the headset and bottom bracket use cartridge bearings. I've been riding that Piolet as much as time and the weather here in Maryland will allow this winter. And yet, I'm not finding myself wishing that I could sit in the garage/shop and whittle away some hours repacking things. I've gotten older and have less spare time/free time to be able to look after that sort of thing now. Having cartridge bearings for the BB and headset means that I'll get the same level of performance now and in 5 years.
I'd say a good number of our customers are do it yourself'ers when it comes to bikes. Are you a DIY person when it comes to all things around the house and yard or are you more of a one specialty DIY person?
On another subject, should you want to install some nice, but inexpensive parts, then check what we've just added to the VO Specials Page.