By Maggie LaCoste
For less than the cost of a Vente Starbucks Latte, you can download the i-Phone and Android app called Bike Doctor with tutorials covering a mix of basic bike repairs. Many of the repairs in the app are beyond the needs of a recreational cyclist, but if you are in the middle of nowhere, perhaps on a rural part of the Canal du Midi or the Burgundy Canal trying to figure out how to fix a punctured tire, you would pay a lot more than the price of the Bike Doctor app for some help!
Easy to use and easy to understand, this app is good even for people with minimal repair skills. Using a combination of photos and text, Bike Doctor walks you through repairs ranging from how to safety check your bike (good for when you are renting a bike in France) to adjusting brakes or your bike saddle to tire repairs. The developers even added a Twitter link this year so that users can keep their friends up to date on their biking adventures.
Each repair includes a list of items you will need to perform the repair, so you’ll need the emergency repair items discussed in my last blog, Cycling in France: When Trouble Strikes. The app then takes you through a step by step tutorial with photos to perform the needed repair. Of course none of this stuff is ever easy when you are in the middle of nowhere, your lovely day disrupted with a flat tire, but you have a much better chance of successfully repairing the tire with Bike Doctor than without it!
One of the developers of Bike Doctor is Andreas Kambanis, founder of the London Cyclist Blog. Andreas found bike repair too complex, so he and his co-developers, Ron Forrester and Ian Fuller set out to develop an app that simplified basic repairs in a way that even beginners can understand. The result is a sort of pocket mechanic tutor that cyclists can easily carry with them all the time. Kambanis, Forrester and Fuller are the same team that produced the i-Phone app, 30 Best Bike Rides Around London.
You can get more information on Bike Doctor at www.bikedoctorapp.com or at the iTunes store.