No matter how psyched you are to ride your newly acquired bicycle, some preliminaries should be at your fingertips in case of an emergency. Before hitting the road or heading to that adventurous cycling venture, ensure that your bike is ready for the trip.
As a bike owner, you need to keep your bicycle in tune to ensure that it is not just safe for riding, but also it lasts longer. But do you have to visit a bike repairer to have a well-maintained bike?
Well, no need for that. In this blog, you will learn about some tips for the most common bike repairs that will keep your rides trouble-free. Here are some most everyday bicycle repairs.
4 Commonest Bike Repairs
In the cyclist’s arena, you will often encounter the following problems which will need your urgent attention to continue enjoying your ride:
A Broken Chain
A Flat Tire
Loose Bike Brakes
Other bike repairs that you may encounter during your journey may include dropping handlebars, stuck seats, slipped chains, and a loose pedal, among others. But how do you repair them?
Tips for the Most Common Bike Repairs
1. Fix a Broken Chain
Sometimes the unexpected may happen, and your chain breaks. What do you do? Well, you can decide to use pliers, but a chain tool will make your work easier. You must have noticed that every chain link is held by a steel peg putting them together.
All you have to do in fixing a broken chain is to remove the broken link (2 segments of your chain) and to reattach the other remaining ends, especially on derailleurs bikes. For single-speed bikes, you need to get a link from an old spare chain, or you buy a new one because it doesn’t have other connections.
It is good to note that the segments in the chain of derailleur bikes usually alternate each other. That’s why you need to remove two segments before reattaching the broken chain. Be careful when removing the pin; just push it a bit; just enough for the chain to detach. Use a chain tool to make work easier. Note this process is a dirty job.
2. Tighten Up Loose Bolts
Typically, a bike is held together by bolts and nuts. Before you hit the road, ensure its hardware is intact. However, it is not advisable to tighten the nuts to the extreme. Over-tightening your nuts and bolts will create a more profound problem of ruining your threads. That’s why you should have a torque wrench.
Your bike manual has directions on how tight your bolts should be. A torque wrench has calibrated measurements that will enable you to tighten accurately. You should not tighten the nuts before every ride, just mind listening to any rattling noise from loose parts.
3. Fix a Flat Bike Tire
Do you have those awful and frustrating droopy wheels? Well, the first thing to check is not the holes on your tire but your tire pressure. Most bikes have their intended tire pressure on the smooth side of the tire. Ensure that the tire is at the required pressure range.
It is always advisable that you use a bike pump with a calibrated gauge. Never use a gas station pump; else, your tire will explode. However, if the tire goes flat immediately after pressuring it, then it is time to find the hole and fix the puncture. Assuming you have an extra spare tube, here is how to fix a puncture:
1. Pop-out the wheel out of the frame – you may require some tools like spanners to open the lever to remove the wheel.
2. Release all the remaining air from the wheel – this can be quickly done by opening the valve. Then you should push the valve up into your tire.
3. Pop-out the tire from the wheel rim – you may need to use a couple of tire levers.
4. Remove the inner tube – now you have the chance of looking for any hole on your tire and tube. Be careful of those sharp objects; they can easily cut your fingers.
5. Repair any puncture or replace the tube – In case you don’t have a spare tube, you will need to repair the leak by placing a patch on the hole. You will need to use some bike glue and a piece of the tube to seal the hole.
6. Inflate the tube halfway and slide it into the tire.
7. Use your thumbs or levels to fix the tire into the rim.
8. Re-inflate the tire with the required pressure
9. Shut the valve and start rolling on
It is good to note that sealing a puncture with a patch is just a temporary solution. You will need a new inner tube. By fixing a flat tire by yourself, you will have saved around 15-20 bucks.
4. Adjust Bike Brakes
In adjusting your brakes, you will need brake pads and those brake cables on your bike. If your brake pad is worn out or your brake cables too loose, you risk your life riding on such a bike. Fortunately, adjusting and fixing brakes in a bicycle is quite easy.
Before making any adjustments, take a look at the brake pads. Besides notice where the pads come into contact with the rim. If the pads are worn out, just replace them with a similar size labeled on their side. Use Allen wrench when loosening the bolts of the brake pads.
Depending on whether the pads were too high or low on the rim, adjust them accordingly. Now you fully tighten the bolts back. If you are struggling with loose brake cables, loosen the bicycle’s barrel adjusters. If the problem is not solved, adjust the caliper of your bike and then tighten your barrel adjusters.
To ensure that you get your job done quickly without hassles, you should have some essential tools. In your toolkit, ensure you have a gauged tire pump, Torque, a wrench, spare inner tubes, a chain tool, tire levers, lubricant, tire levers, extra links, and a tire patch kit, among others.
Although the processes of tuning your bike may be complicated at the beginning, especially if you are an inexperienced cyclist, with time and practice, it will be the easiest thing to do. Why not follow the above guideline and give it a try?