a picture of a woman working on a bike wheel

A Rough Guide to Bicycle Maintenance

by Shelley Lynn Jackson Author

Shelley created this as a little take home instruction guide for her bike repair workshop at the Portland Zine Symposium. It goes over the basics of fixing a flat tire, working with wheels, the parts of a bike, bearings, doing a tune-up, tools, working on brakes, and dealing with bike shops as a woman. Most of all, what shines through is Shelley's character and personality, in the way that she describes things and her utter passion for cycling. 

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Comments & Reviews


"This is a nifty little zine compiled from a workshop titled "How to love your bike right" written after the Portland 2003 zine symposium. It shows you in basic steps how to fix a flat, do a tune-up, general info on brake systems, and overhauling. What I think makes this most user friendly in addition to the great descriptions is the hand-drawn images of bikes, their labeled parts, and commonly used tools. It reminds me a lot of the Chainbreaker Bike Book. A great lil' zine!"


"I had the good fortune of attending the workshop at the 2003 Portland Zine Symposium for which Shelley Jackson of Chainbreaker zine originally compiled this guide. It’s really a good deal for such a thin zine. Shelley’s a great mechanic and knew which basics were important enough to include: fixing flats, adjusting brakes, general tune-ups, and a visual guide to the necessary tools. Scott Spitz of Leapfrog zine also contributes a very clear explanation of how to clean and repack wheel hubs. All the information is broken down easily for anyone who wants to do simple bike repairs. Overall, it’s a nice, portable complement to the larger Chainbreaker Bike Book."


Works well on its own and it's a good place to start.


"Compiled in part by Shelley “Chainbreaker” Jackson, this zine is a fantastic introduction to the wide wonderful world of bicycle mechanics for nervous novices who still can’t bring themselves to admit they can’t fix their own flats. Painstakingly illustrated, patiently informative, the Rough Guide is one zine you’re positively encouraged to make a mess of — while whipping your wheels into shape. Microcosm Publishing still has copies of the zine available plus copies of the later, even more comprehensive book (co-written by Jackson and Ethan Clark)."


I love this zine! Its gives you all the basics on how to fix your bike and tells you what every part is called. And the info on how to change yr brakes is delightful and if you live anywhere in the hilly NW it comes in handy fast! I leave this zine in my bike bag just in case I ever need to fix something. You can't beat the price!