How To Do These Five Common Bicycle Repairs By Yourself?
It might be inconvenient when your bikes confront these five issues. What they are and how to do these five common bicycle repairs. Let’s find the answer.
Has your cycling journey been interrupted by some break-downs? Do you find repairing the chain or pedals of your bike complicated?
Don’t worry, a lot of new cyclists are on the same boat. In this article, I have the guidance to fix the popular bicycle malfunctions with full details attached. Even if you are new to bike problems, a comprehensive introduction is available.
Moreover, there are some secrets about DIY bike repairs that may be helpful for your future cycling.
What Are The Common Issues Happening To Bicycles?
You can master it at home with 5 ways to repair bicycles yourself in this article
Here are the most typical issues that cyclists may face up with when they are riding:
- Tight pedal: This is the part that people’s feet push down on to make the bike move forward. Your pedal becomes stiff when there is excessive friction, or it is in inappropriate gear.
- Flat tire: This issue happens when your tire is punctured by sharp stuff, over-pumped, or ripped due to corrosion after long use.
- The tire rubs brake pads: It results in pad rub when the caliper gets misaligned. This problem can also be rooted in an incorrectly seated wheel.
- Snapped chain: Generally, if your bike has run for 2500 miles, its chain will possibly stretch out. It causes the failure of metal fatigue, leading to a broken chain.
- Broken spoke: The cause of this problem is wear and tear. When there is a pothole on your riding road, cyclists being overweight or lacking balance can break the spoke.
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How To Do These Five Common Bicycle Repairs?
It would be best to keep in mind that the left and right pedal threads are not similar. The left pedal has the left-hand thread loosened, following clockwise and vice versa.
There is another way to tell the pedals apart. The first thing to do is keep the pedals stay horizontal; the one near the front wheel is the drive side, and the other is the non-drive side.
To fix the stiff pedal at the drive side, you need to turn it (over the top) towards the rear wheel with a wrench. The technique is similar to the one on the non-drive side. You’d better use a wrench to turn it towards the back wheel.
It is advised to place the wrench at different positions to take mechanical advantage from the middle of the crack arm and the wrench.
Fix A Flat Tire
It is such a pity if your tire gets deflated when you are riding, and no pump or tubes are available. Some people having the equipment along would even properly fix the flat wrong.
Step 1: You need to get out the tube from the tire and locate the damaged position. The next step is to clean and dry that area.
Step 2: Cyclists should use a piece of sandpaper to rough up the punctured zone. This process will help the glue adhere.
Step 3: Take a certain amount of glue and spread it to cover the position except the hole. Please wait a few seconds to let the glue set tacky as it is vulcanizing fluid.
Step 4: The last thing is applying the tube patch over the tacky area while holding or pressing it in place strongly to finish.
If there is a tear in the sidewall of the tire, the stop-gap is placing a folded-up dollar bill at the gap between your tire and tube.
The bill can be replaced by shoe glue or an empty gel wrapper. It will cover the gash and save your tube from bulging through.
Normally, there are two skewer springs to keep your cycling wheel stay centered. When you remove the wheel to fix a flat tire, one of them would be dropped or reinstalled backward.
Step 1: You should have a check to make sure that the spring’s narrow side is close to the hub.
Step 2: When your wheel, especially the back one, is not aligned, turn your bicycle over and place it on even, solid ground. It would help if you estimated how far the nut is away from the frame, do it with both sides.
Step 3: Deflate the tire by releasing the entire air inside. Particularly, you need to press the minor object inside the air nozzle by using a ballpoint pin and keep holding until the tire is flat.
Step 4: Then you should drop a small amount of grease to each spoke hole and turn all the nipples counter-clockwise on the offside. Next, you turn the other side clockwise, making sure all the spokes are loosened.
Step 5: Spin the wheel and adjust it until the distance between the nuts from both sides to the frame is equal.
Reattach A Slipped Chain
There are two common cases: the first one requires no tools while the other needs equipment.
With No Tools
When a chain falls out, it mostly happens at the back cog set or the forward chainring, also known as a part of the crank.
Step 1: Cyclists should let the chain stay back properly in the rear cog set, particularly in the bottom groove.
Step 2: As soon as the chain is attached, drape it over the front chainring’s top teeth.
Step 3: The repairman will turn the pedal forward slowly to reinstate the link between the front chainring and the bike’s back cog set.
The second case is when you need to cut the extra chain or reattach the broken one.
Step 1: It’ll work wonders to clamp down the pin through the broken link until the chain disassembles. Remember to keep the pin stay partway through the connection as re-inserting a pin is challenging after removal.
Step 2: The next step is to take off the snapped links and attach the new ones to the chain by pushing the pin into the connections. To have a proper attachment, the cyclists have to ensure there is a “male” end attached with a “female” end.
Step 3: You need to interlace the chain through the derailleur and back on the crankset.
Step 4: Push the pin through two ends of the chain with a tool and loosen them up by hand; you will have a new link.
Replace A Broken Spoke
As mentioned before, the spoke is an essential part of the bike’s design. Like brakes and pedals, the spokes withstand the physical forces as well as the weight of the cyclist.
The common broken positions are the hub and the area reaching the nipple. You can use a spoke key to unscrew the hub end and insert the nipple in place in the first case.
With the back wheel, you must remove the cassette first. Then you do the same to replace the nipple.
Step 1: You have to take off the tire and tube. After prying back the rim tape, you will find a hole above the nipple, then take out the nipple.
Step 2: Get a new spoke with an equal length to the old one. Drop a little oil on the threads and nipple to make them easier to tense.
Step 3: You need to insert the spoke through the hub flange in a similar orientation as the old one. Alter the nipple into the rim by screwing its back onto another spoke; you can place it neatly.
Step 4: Tighten the nipple onto the substituted spoke by your fingers or a flathead screwdriver. The last thing is turning the nipple clockwise to tension the spoke with the relevant key.
Tips For Maintenance To Reduce Bike-Repair
Follow these pieces of advice for preservation to minimize the chances to repair your bike:
Keep The Nuts And Bolts Tight
All the screws, nuts, and bolts must be tightened properly. If a screw is loose, it will cause a banging or rattling sound. It happens when you are riding, and the screw holds the mudguards in place.
Keep The Drivetrain Clean And Lubricated
The sprockets and chain of your bicycle can also result in an annoying sound. The root of this problem is worn-off lubrication. Thus, having a habit of cleaning and lubricating your drivetrain is money-saving.
Check The Engine Oil
The oil helps your bike function smoothly and keep its engine greatly lubricated. Additionally, sufficient oil can cool down your engine. You should check the oil level periodically and change it if necessary.
Keep Your Tire Inflated
One of the crucial impacts on your bike’s standard is tire pressure. Before any riding, you should check the existing pressure from the sidewall of both tires. The front tire can have less pressure than the other one.
If you do not use the bicycle for a long period of time, remember to remain the tires inflated or remove them completely to avoid side cracks.
Make Sure Brakes Are Adjusted Correctly
If you are a high-speed lover, make sure that your brakes work effectively. The problem happens when you pull the brake lever close to the handlebar, and your bike is almost unstoppable.
You should tighten both the screw and the adjusting barrel in the brake arm end or lever. Besides, ensure your braking surface and pads are free from oil and dirt.
What Do I Need To Prepare For Bike-Repair?
Having a toolkit at home will help a lot in case of emergency
A well-built tool kit plays a crucial role in DIY bike repair. Here are some common types of equipment that you should purchase:
- Chain scrubber: This tool is used for getting rid of the dirt and build-up on your chain. It is recommended to clean your chain per 100 miles. Also, try to scrub it after riding from 300 to 400 miles.
- Gear clean brush: This tool helps you keep the crank arms derailleur pulleys from dirt.
- A wrench set: There are numerous positions in the design of your bike, having different sizes and shapes. An adjustable wrench, particularly a medium-duty one, will help you solve the issues.
- Chain tool: As mentioned before, this equipment is essential to reattach your broken chain. You’d better choose the one with small size and lightweight.
- Others: If you aim for a more professional tool kit, you can extend the equipment list with thread locker, bearing grease, pedal wrench, and locking pliers.
When Should I Get My Bike Repaired And Serviced?
There are some signs to indicate that your bike is due for being serviced:
- Hard to brake: If your brake does not engage smoothly and cause some annoying sounds, it’s time to have a service. Make sure that you have your bike repaired when it requires a long pull on the lever.
- Grinding noises: When there are noises from the gears, have some adjustment.
- Rattles: Along with wobbles and creaks, these issues should be investigated soon.
- Squeaking bike chain: Your bike is asking for repair when your chain is scraping due to the lack of lubrication.
Regular maintenance will help your bike last longer and save you lots of money.
What Are The Mistakes In Repairing Bicycles?
Here are the most frequent mistakes that amateurs involved in when they DIY bike repair:
- Overinflating the tire. If there is more pressure in your tire than the requirement, a blowout or damage on the rim will happen when you cycle over a stone or hit a pothole.
- Leaving extra chain lube. Applying enough lube after cleaning the chain is necessary to avoid squeaking. However, excess lube can attract dirt and create build-up on it faster.
- Not greasing your seat post. If you do not grease your seat post regularly, it will get stuck when you adjust the position.
- Overtightening the pedals. This mistake will lead to the same result as mentioned above. Tighten the pedals enough and add a certain amount of grease.
- Inappropriate brake pads. Choose the right brake for the rims of your bike. For instance, carbon rims are compatible with the pure carbon brake pads.
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This writing has listed the most common issues happening to cyclists. Furthermore, there are tutorials on how to do these five common bicycle repairs provided.
Remember to have a regular check on your bike, especially before riding. Purchasing a tool kit including the items mentioned above will also help you deal with the broken-down.
In addition to the mentioned repairs, there are numerous problems that you may encounter when cycling.
Don’t try to fix them if you have no idea about the repairing technique. You’d better take your bike to a shop mechanic instead.