On my week-long hut-to-hut mountain biking trip this summer I brought along a raft of extra parts: chain, derailleur, spokes, cables, and brake pads but to be honest I really didn’t know how I was gonna use some of that stuff. Fortunately one of the guys I rode with, Matt, had worked in a bike shop so he was my go-to guy with trailside repair questions. Unfortunately I don’t get to ride with smart guys like Matt all the time so I was stoked when I heard about the Bike Doctor iPhone app.
The app itself is pretty simple: repairs are grouped by category (brakes, wheel, crank, etc.) and can be filtered by bike type (mountain, road, or hybrid). Each repair is broken into steps so you can go at your own pace and the presentation is neat, readable, and easy to navigate. The first step lists the tools and supplies you’ll need to complete the task and the tutorials offer (mostly) helpful photos to go along with the instructions.
The app is completely self-contained so you don’t need an internet connection to use it which makes it a good choice for backcountry excursions (just bring extra batteries if you’ll be gone a long time!). There’s even a safety check section included, though it’s mostly common sense and mountain bikers may not find it all that useful. Beyond repair stuff the Bike Doctor app also includes maintenance tutorials on how to clean and lube your bike.
I like the idea of putting repair info into a mobile format so I can use it in my basement workshop without lugging the computer down or printing pages from a PDF that I’ll end up throwing away afterward. While the Bike Doctor app doesn’t cover everything yet (bleeding hydraulic disk brakes comes to mind), hopefully we’ll see the number of tutorials grow as the app is updated.
Bike Doctor is also available for Android phones – check out the Bike Doctor app website to find out more and to purchase your copy.