Wrenching Tidbits from Tori Bortman

I wrote an article for the Oregonian about a month back on Gracie’s Wrench, the brainchild of mechanic extraordinaire, Tori Bortman, and I wanted to make sure that her Tips and Tidbits from that piece were available on the blog.

Juicy maintenance-related secrets to sweeten your shop life.

Bortman also recently wrote a “Spring Cleaning Tips” article for BikePortland.org. Check it out for some extra goodness.

Tori’s Tidbits!

Favorite oil: ATB Lube. Stands for Absolutely The Best. Not too light, not too heavy. Carries a solvent and lube — like a shampoo and conditioner in one!

Best way to get bike grease off your hands: Dawn dish soap, with a firm hand brush.

Most common mistake: Not letting every last bit of air out of your tube when you’re trying to remove the tire. Air takes up space and makes the tire much more difficult to remove.

Favorite reference book: Bicycling Magazine’s Complete Guide to Bicycle Repair and Maintenance for Road and Mountain Bikes. It includes beautiful illustrations, step-by-step photographs and is written in everyday English as opposed to tech-ese. Perfect for the beginner, enough details to be useful to the bike-savvy.

Most important maintenance: Oil your chain every week in the rainy season, every third week in the dry and always, always, always thoroughly wipe the extra oil off afterward. Check your tire pressure weekly. Full inflation and a lubed chain can make your bike feel brand-new.

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  1. Benjamin Tomkins

    That’s my wheel! No seriously — it is. Tori’s class is great — wouldn’t have known about it but for this blog.

    • Rad! I’m so glad you enjoyed her class. I was super enamored with her no-nonsense, hands-on approach… sprinkled with great Bortman snarky humor!

  2. My wife has purchased other dish soap from time to time “because it was on sale.” I’m always telling her it has to be Dawn, and she always wonders what the big deal is.

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