Knowing your mechanical limits

I consider myself pretty mechanically inclined. Whether it’s wrenching on my own bikes, cars or even assembling furniture we bought at Ikea, I can do it without any hesitation.

However, in some of my mechanical endeavors, there’s a limit on what I’m willing to take on due to the fact that I can easily get myself in more trouble than I wish to take on.

For example, with my vehicles. I can do brakes, belts, water pump, install tires (yes I know how to mount and balance)basic lighting and a few other things that helps save me money since I can do these simple repairs at home (except the tire mounting thing). But for what I call “BIG” jobs such as timing belt, valves, head gasket or anything that requires me opening up the actual engine, then I leave that to the professionals.
The same thing goes for bikes. I can pretty much do about 90% of bicycle repairs. But I can’t build wheels. I’ve rebuilt shocks and forks, those are actually easier than you would imagine since half the time all you have to do is swap out o-rings and seals. However, I know my limits. I recall as a young kid, I had a BMX bike that I took the rear wheel and removed all the spokes. I then tried to re-lace it back together. Needless to say, I couldn’t ride my bike for weeks until I ended up buying a new wheel…

About the author

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of and Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).