How to bicycle repair

Regular inspections and bike repairs is a guarantee of safety of bike owner. A lot of people turn to professionals for preventive bike maintenance, but it is also quite possible to prepare the bike for use with your own hands.


 

Contents list:

1. Preparation.

2. Bike maintenance.

– Bicycle frame

– Steering (Headset)

– Suspension

– Drivetrain

– Bottom bracket

– Cables and shifters

– Break system (handles, hydraulic lines, calipers)

– Pedals

– Wheels (hubs, spokes, rims)

3. Wear and tear of components.


 

1. Preparation.

 Before you begin bike maintenance, you need to stock up on certain tools. They will be useful in any case, and will last for a long time. Here are basic bicycle maintenance tools:

– Hex keys of different sizes. (It’s better to purchase them in sets)

– Wrenches of different sizes (also I advise acquiring in sets)
– Screwdriver (slotted and cross)

– Pliers of different sizes

– Tweezers

– Rubber or wooden mallet

– Socket wrench set

– Scissors

– Clamps


These tools should always be available, because you never know when you are going to need them. You should also think about acquiring additional tools like:

– Brush (for chain cleaning)

– Chain tool (key)

– Ratchet key

– Spoke key


The necessary tools for the repair and maintenance of bicycles include consumables – they must not only be always available, but also in sufficient quantities. In this case, consumables include:

– Brake fluid

– Oil (different oil for fork, chain, pedals etc.)

– Solvents

– Cleaners

– Hydraulic oil


All these consumables will not only help you qualitatively repair your bike, but also maintain your vehicle in almost perfect condition. Particular attention should be paid to the lubricants – their choice on the market is simply huge, you can trust the sellers, but with caution. To avoid any mistakes, you should remember the following recommendations:

1. Any liquid lubricant (oil) is suitable only for rear bushing and the chain. This lubricant has a unique feature – it is easy to apply exactly where you need it. But there is a downside – if you plan to ride a bike in the cold season, you cannot use liquid lubricants, as they quickly harden at low temperatures and make the work of mechanisms more difficult.

2. If there is no time for full repairs, and is necessary to lubricate the chain and cables, you can use aerosol lubricants. They instantly restore the work of all mechanisms, they are as effective as easy to use.

3. For threads and bearing best option is grease.


In order to run a full bike maintenance, it’s best if you know the purpose of every part and are able to carefully examine it.


Frame

Most important thing in frame maintenance is keeping it clean. Therefore, before proceeding with frame examination, it is necessary to thoroughly clean it of dirt, dust, and peeling paint so that these particles do not get into the mechanisms and cause them to become unusable. The best option for cleaning the frame of the bike will be washing it with a soapy warm solution.
In order to avoid any problems when using a bike carefully inspect the frame for the presence of cracks and chips. We recommend you to pay special attention during the inspection to the seat stays on the rear triangle, head tube, rear suspension and bottom bracket shell. If while inspecting the bicycle frame we see scuffs and chipped paint, it is better to remove them. Clean that place out of rust, dust and paint residues, then use aerosol paint.


Headset

When working on a headset, keep in mind that there are two types of them: integrated(quill stem) and non-integrated(threadless stem) When it comes to quill stem maintenance, only thing that you can do is to lubricate it using grease.

Threadless headset on the other hand requires much more work, but it is better overall. If something is wrong with a threadless stem you will notice it right away. There will be excessive sounds and creaks coming from it, and there will be problems with turning the wheel. Not only will you have to lubricate it, but most likely, you will have to change the bearings. You have to be very careful when assembling and disassembling it. All parts should be in correct order (and there’s a lot of them).

If something breaks in a threadless stem, you can fix it. If something breaks in a quill stem it’s going to be a big problem.


Suspension

It is imperative that when servicing a bike, special attention needs to be paid to the front fork – you need to regularly clean it of dirt, if necessary, carry out the replacement of wiper seals, springs, lubricant, etc.

Pay close attention when working on or replacing wipers, they have an important role. They keep dirt and dust from getting inside the fork which can lead to serious problems.

We do not recommend working on suspension on your own. It’s mechanism is fairly complicated so you need to have some knowledge and experience when working on it. But even if you disassemble it yourself, I strongly advise you to not change the cartridge. Leave this work to professionals, you will save your nerves and time and money.


Drivetrain

Bicycle chain also needs regular maintenance – it is removed using a special tool if there is a lock on the chain, and if it is not present, the process is carried out manually. You need to clean the chain from dirt, and lubricate it, check the tension – this is the necessary minimum of work that needs to be done.

Whole system should be cleaned with a special solvent (this fluid might also be used when working with a chain). Make sure when you assemble the system back together the cassette rings are assembled in correct order – there’s an indicator on the middle ring that should “face” towards the front of the bike.

The cassette is removed using a special tool. It need to be cleaned of dirt and dust. This whole process is not difficult even for an inexperienced cyclist.

If you have a freewheel on your bicycle, then you need to clean and lubricate the bearings. Carefully inspect it and replace parts if necessary. After maintenance it will work much better.

Comfort of the ride depends on smooth gear shifting. It is not recommended that you repair rear derailleur on your own, but if you do, make sure to properly adjust the “limit” screws and correct installation of the mechanism in relation to the system and cassette (or freewheel). Do not forget to regularly check the tension of the cables.


Bottom bracket

In general, bottom brackets are designed in such way that they cannot be disassembled. In reality there are many masters who can disassemble them for maintenance.

Please note the possition of all parts and bearings, they have to be assembled back (exactly) in right order.


Cables and Shifters

Shifters experience minimal load while using, that means that you don’t have to service them that often. Once per season is usually enough. When working on them clean the entire mechanism, lubricate it. Do not forget about the cables, they are lubricated with special oil that ensures soft sliding inside mechanism.


Break system (handles, hydraulic lines, calipers)

Bicycle break system is first of all safety of rider, so it needs special attention. Experts say that when working on the bike, maintenance of brakes is most important process.

– Brake system maintenance should be carried out in three directions:

1. Check the pistons and calipers, replace parts if necessary. It is easy to spot problems with calipers, rider will notice faulty brake leavers or unreasonably long braking distance.

2. Brake levers must be completely disassembled, although the mechanism is not that complicated some problems still might occur : for example sealing rings often fail. In case of them failing you will need to replace them.

3. Check the brake fluid in hydro line, this is very important. Even the smallest change in fluids homogeneity might lead to faulty braking.


Pedals

Pedals are the weakest part on your bike. They experience maximum load. To check them, it’s usually enough to spin them by hand. If there are any problems, i.e. they spin too slow or they stop spinning to quick, then you need to disassemble and lubricate them. This process is not complicated, you need to unscrew them from the back of the crank and carefully inspect and lubricate the bearings.

Note: If you are using clipless pedals it is important to lubricate the springs, otherwise clipping in will be hard.


Wheels (hubs, spokes, rims)

Wheels are also a part of a bike that experiences constant stress. Keep this in mind while working on them

– Hubs with industrial bearings need to be maintenanced once per two seasons. The safety margin on them is huge.

– Hubs with ball bearings need to be checked before each season – balls can have dents and scuffs, this is the sign that you need to replace them.

– Check the rims for dents and if they need trueing. If you will spot a problem then you need to tense the spokes on the opposite side in relation to the curvature (do this carefully, half turn at a time)


Wear and tear of components

Cyclists not only have to know how and when they need to repair their vehicle, and properly (and regularly) perform maintenance. it is also very important to pay attention to the wear of some parts and fix the problems immediately.

Here are parts and components that you need to pay close atention to:

– Bearings

– Transmission

– Frame

– Braking system

– Wheels

– Suspension


 

 

What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave a comment below.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. You provided a very detailed introduction, I am planning to buy a bicycle recently, so I keep this article first, in case I need to repair my bicycle someday.
    I have a question, if I ride about 2-3 times a week, how long should I do the regular inspections?

    1. If you ride 2-3 times a week, not less then once per season, if it isn’t making any excessive noises.

  2. Thanks for this, among the reason why i have not goten a bike is due to the fear that if my bike should develop a fault while i am not close to it experts it really would be a useless toy.

    With this i think i should be able to handle minor faults on my bicycle, would rush and get mine once i have the money at hand.

    Thank you teacher looking forward to the next set of tips

    1. Fixing up your own bike is fun, once you get the hang of it. I don’t even consider it to be a chore. Not to mention how much money it helps you to save.

  3. Actually I had not been able to understand the different parts of a bike like I have after reading this article. My younger brother owns a bike and I am very happy I can finally help him with some of the questions he asks me about his bike. Maybe you can write an article on how to ride a bike too. will love to learn.

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