Break It, Fix It, Ride It|
Saturday, March 02, 2002
When in comes to do-it-yourself bike repair, a good guide is essential. Traditionally the home mechanic has turned to books to gain the technical knowledge necessary to perform surgery on their beloved machines.
Welcome to the 21st century. A new interactive CD-ROM called "Break It, Fix It, Ride It" is poised to change the way we work on our bikes. Gone are the cumbersome and out of date printed manuals. We now have the ability to interact with our PC to get the info we need.
BFRit's intuitive navigational menuís allow you to simply point at the part you want to know more about. Then you are presented with options form maintenance to overhaul of the part selected. It couldn't be easier.
Once you pick the task you want to perform, colorful photos and clear instructions will guide you through all the steps necessary. Unfortunately the CD is not all encompassing so you may need to improvise and use your imagination some to carry over instructions for one brand and model to yours.
One challenge I ran into is while I've always kept a printed manual in the garage right next to my work stand, it's impractical to keep a computer there. This becomes even more of a problem when you consider that I don't look up how to do something unless I've already tried it and gotten stuck. So now that my bike is in pieces I have to go in the house, wash my hands and fire up my PC. Fortunately I am able to print out the instructions and take them with me. I just wish the printed instructions included the photos as well. After all, the photos are what really make the CD compelling.
Overall, I found the CD a fun and informative way to get the info I needed. But I do have a few gripes about the application itself. First, it requires both an installation on your hard drive and it requires the CD to be present at all times. This is annoying, but understandable with all the photos that are stored on the CD. (Yes it'll require you to restart your PC after installation).
Another challenge is you can't have the BFRit program running in the background. I don't know how real this complaint is, but it was definitely annoying while writing this review. Every time I switched back to this document to add some notes, it would shut down the BFRit program. UGH!
One thing that I learned is you can't cram an experienced shop mechanic into your computer, but this CD comes pretty close.
Buy it now