5 DIY Bicycle Repairs You Should Know
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While you might enjoy going down to the local bike shop to get your bike repaired and the like, it helps to have some way of doing DIY bicycle repairs. That way, you’re not burdening your bike mechanic with the smallest of issues when you can easily fix them yourself.
This is especially important during those busy times of the year when your local bike shop is absolutely slammed with repair jobs and can take forever to fix stuff.
Besides, learning DIY bike repairs is a valuable skill for any serious cyclist because if you can fix your bike yourself then you don’t have to spend that much time waiting for the bike mechanic to fix it for you. Basically, bicycle repairs can save you both time and money.
Here are a few pointers on simple bike repairs that you can do on your own.
DIY Bike Repairs You Can Do on Your Own
In the following part of this guide, we’re going to share some real gems in the way of DIY bicycle repairs that’ll help to keep you on the road doing what you love!
Fix a Flat Tire
If there were ever bicycle repairs do it yourself job worth learning, it’s how to change or fix a flat. That’s because this is one of the most common issues that you’ll face throughout the lifespan of your bike and it can happen due to a peeled puncture or a damaged valve. Either way, you should be able to test a droopy tire by filling it with the requisite amount of pressure.
For this, you’ll need a pressure-gauge equipped bike pump that’ll ensure that you fill your tires with the correct amount of air pressure and no more. How do you know how much pressure your tires need? Check the sidewall of the tire for this information.
If the tire continues to lose air even after you continue to fill it then it’s flat and requires a whole new tube installation. Luckily, if you’re a responsible bike owner then you should have a spare inner tube somewhere so you can install it.
This is a simple DIY bike tune-up that you can even do while on the go.
- Simply remove the bike tire using the provided quick-release lever. If you want to make life even easier for yourself, then start by releasing air from the tire by opening the valve for a while, and then remove the wheel from the frame. Whatever you do, don’t allow the tube to get into the rim so keep your weight pressed onto the valve.
- Get the tire out of the rim using the appropriate lever points. In the absence of a lever, simply pry it off using your thumb.
- Now, find the source of the problem, whether it’s been pricked by broken glass or thorns. Make sure you’re careful so that you don’t get pricked by whatever it is that damaged your tire in the first place. Then once you’ve located the hole, you can then proceed to repair it and install the new tube.
- Attach the tube to the wheel while keeping the valve aligned.
- Replace the tire with the rim and inflate the tire once again.
Reattach Slipped Bike Chain
One of the most common DIY bicycle repairs is that of fixing a slipping chain, which can make riding uphill an absolute nightmare. In fact, a slipping chain can really put a damper on your favorite hobby.
Here’s what you need to do if this happens:
- If the chain falls, it should come out from the front chainring and back cogset.
- All you have to do is attach the chain starting from the bottom of the back cogset. This will make it that much easier to get the chain back onto the bike so that you can twist the pedal forward and bring the chain back to the middle of the chainring.
Tighten Loose Bolts
As part of your DIY bike tuneup, you want to make sure that the nuts and bolts responsible for keeping your bike components in place are all securely in place, particularly on the seat post, handlebar and stem.
That’s because these are the hardest working areas of your bike and due to the amount of friction that they experience, it can be easy for bolts to loosen at these points. The goal is to ensure that the bolts are securely in place but not too tight to the point where they would make your bike too stiff to move.
Make sure that there are no loose parts or rattles on your bike and you’ll enjoy an absolutely smooth ride all the time!
Loosen Stuck Bike Seat
DIY bike repairs can be really simple, especially in the case of a stuck seat. When this happens, it can completely throw you off and make for a very uncomfortable ride every time you get on your bike.
To fix this problem, start by loosening the nut keeping the set on the bike, and then get rid of the nut, collar, and binder. Soak the entire thing in WD-40. If you’re finding it difficult to pry the seat out of place, twist it a few times and you’ll eventually break it free.
This is a problem that’s commonly faced by people who buy used bikes because the seat is usually so old that it’s starting to fall off the bike completely. The best way to fix this problem is to get rid of the nut, the collar, and the binder in order to soak the seat in WD-40.
You want to completely submerge it in the stuff in order to resolve the offending problem. If you’re having a hard time removing the seat then you can twist it multiple times until it completely comes off.
Wrap Drop Handlebars
You’ll also want to pay attention to your handlebars and how to fix them because they tend to get wet, gummy, dirty, and stinky after a full season of cycling every day.
Obviously, this can make it extremely uncomfortable and even frustrating for you to do one of your favorite activities and you’ll want to employ your DIY bicycle repairs skills immediately to the situation.
The easiest and simplest solution is to replace the tap which is probably worn out at this point. Use a pair of sturdy scissors to peel the top layer off. This won’t be easy but it’ll be super worth it.
If you were smart enough to have the foresight to purchase a full tape kit then you can utilize the additional tape to start by attaching the bottom of the handlebar.
Make sure that the tip is completely covered in the tape so that it won’t come off. Keep to a clockwise direction in order to wrap the handlebar effectively. Once you get to the plastic covers, be sure to ensure that the whole surface is covered so that there are no spaces for air and debris to get in.
Once you’re done covering one side of the handlebar, do the other side while following the same tried and tested steps.
These are the main DIY bicycle repairs that you need to learn in order to maintain your bike and keep it in the best condition possible.
If you observe these simple and straightforward repair tips then you’ll never have to worry about being stuck at home with a broken bike again!
You can have peace of mind knowing that you can fix many of the minor bike problems and will only need to take it in for serious maintenance issues.
You’ll save a ton of time and money that would’ve been spent taking your bike in even for the smallest issue. It’s a win-win!