How to Repair a Bicycle

How to Repair a Bicycle
Keeping your bicycle in proper working order is key to your fun and safety. A bike with mechanical problems is inefficient, and could break down, causing a dangerous crash. Knowing basic bicycle maintenance and repair information will allow you properly maintain and repair your bike, keeping you on the road or trail.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bike tool kit, including allen wrenches
  • Lubricant
  • Bike stand (optional)
  • Portable pump
Step 1
Consider purchasing a bicycle repair stand. This may be necessary if you often repair or adjust your bike, or if you're making a hobby out of repairing multiple bikes. Some bicycle repairs can be time consuming. A bike stand allows you to elevate the bike and inspect it more carefully, which is better than spending long periods of time on your knees.
Step 2
Learn to diagnose sounds you hear while riding. The frequency with which noises occur can indicate the source of the problem. For example, if the sound occurs with each revolution of the pedals, the problem could be in your pedals, cranks, bottom bracket or chain rings. A noise coinciding with each revolution of the wheels could be due to a malfunction in your brakes, rims, spokes or wheel hubs.
Step 3
Keep your bike clean. After a ride, inspect your drive train, including the chain, cassette, pedals, derailleurs and chain rings, for any leaves, weeds or sticks. Remove any foreign materials. Wash the bike with a low-pressure hose and soap. Avoid spraying a high pressure stream at such parts as the hubs, suspension and the headset; water can infiltrate the bearings and wear them out prematurely.
Step 4
Lubricate your chain every few rides. Purchase a small bottle of lubricant from a bicycle shop. Using other household lubricants could potentially damage your drive train or attract unwanted dirt and grime while riding. Put your bike in your bicycle stand and slowly rotate the cranks while dripping lubricant onto the chain. As you do this, inspect the chain for bends or breakage and replace the chain if you find a problem.
Step 5
Learn such basic repairs as fixing a flat tire. This will consist of removing the wheel, locating the air leak and patching the tube. Keep patches, patch blue and a portable frame pump with you while cycling. There's nothing worse than having to walk your bike for miles because you aren't familiar with simple repair techniques.

Tips & Warnings

Keep Allen wrenches with you while your ride. They're necessary for brake, brake lever, derailleur and saddle adjustments.
If you find a crack in your bike's frame, stop riding. The frame will have to be repaired professionally or replaced.

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