Bicycle Repair

in Sports & Fitness

A Beginner’s Guide to Bike Maintenance

Have you ever thought about doing your own bicycle maintenance, but were not sure where to start? Or maybe you felt that you were not really the bike mechanic type.

If you love cycling, learning to do your own bike maintenance and repairs is worth the effort. It allows you to get to know the workings of your bike better, and you will have a better understanding on how to keep it running at tip top shape. You do not need to know how to take apart your whole bicycle and reassemble it.

Becoming an expert at home bike mechanic is like anything else, you take one small step at a time. Here are 3 simple steps to get you started.

#1: Keep Your Bicycle Clean

Sounds simple, but it is half the battle. A regularly cleaned bicycle will last longer and ride better.

Some people simply use a hose as well as an old toothbrush to get at the hard to reach places. There are a few tools that I would recommend to do the job even better though:

  • Bike cleaning brush
  • Chain scrubber
  • Degreasing Solvent
  • Chain lubricant
  • Rags and Sponges

Use all of the above with some soap and a water hose. My Dad used to always say that his car ran better when it was clean. So does our bike. Everything in our life needs a little regular love and attention to keep it working properly.

#2 Fix Your Own Flat Tires

If you ride long enough, you are sure to get a flat tire one day. If you ride long distances, you’ll want to keep a tire replacement kit in your pack.

You only need the following tools.

  • Hand pump
  • One or two tire levers
  • Brand new tire tube

If you are doing this work at home, you can also use a tire patch kit to fix the old tube instead of replacing it with a new one.

Fixing a flat is a simple thing. When you get a flat tire, you will want to remove your wheel from the bike and then deflate all the air from your tire. Stick the tire lever between the rim and the tire, and use it to pry the tire completely off.

Once the tire is off, take the tube out, and feel inside the tire (carefully) to see if there are any sharp objects still inside. If the puncture on the tube is visible, use your tire replacement kit to patch it up. If it is not visible, blow it up with the pump and stick the tube in a bucket of water. The bubbles will point out the puncture.

If you’re fixing your tire on the road, don’t worry about trying to find the hole and patch it up. Just replace the whole tube with a new one. There are plenty of demos on YouTube that can give you a visual demonstration.

#3 Check and Replace Your Chain

When the chain gets old, it starts to stretch. When it starts to stretch, it starts to wear down the drivetrain. Eventually you’ll find it slipping under pressure. It is much better to replace your old chain before this happens so you can avoid replacing parts of the drivetrain along with it.

You can use a ruler to check if your chain needs replacing. Take your ruler and place the ’0′ inch mark above the center of one of your chain pins. Then count out twelve complete links. By complete link I mean one inner and one outer. If your chain is fine and dandy, your chain will line up exactly with the twelve inch mark on the ruler. But if your chain is between 1/16″ & 1/8″ past its mark, you should look at getting a new chain.

To change a chain you are going to need:

  • a tool called a chain breaker
  • a new chain

Use the chain breaker to push the pin out of one of the old chain links so that you can remove the chain from your bike.

Ask your local bike shop for the correct chain according to how many gears are on the rear of you bike. You’ll want to make sure your new chain is the right length. If you get a chain with a Master Link, you won’t need to use any tools to put it back on. Simply reattach the chain, and use the Master Link to connect the ends of your chain together

If your new chain doesn’t come with a Master link, you can watch this video to see how to use your chain breaker to properly attach the new chain.

Other Necessary Tools

A good set of allen keys will be your best friend. They can be used to adjust your handlebars and seats, as well as many other parts of bike maintenance.

A decent bike repair stand to hold your bike solid and at an elevated level while you clean or work on it makes things a lot easier. This is a luxury tool, but if you regularly maintain your bike, you will be super glad that you have it.

There are many other tools that can help when you really get into it, but the above three are a good way to start. Investing in the health of your bike is like investing in the health of your body. It takes a bit of effort and work, but it will pay off in the long run by providing you with many years of quality cycling.

img

More Doable Than You Might Think: Support Yourself Independently Doing What You Love on The Web

For a limited time, get access to over 100 hours of video training, plus The Web’s most active entrepreneurial community, for just $1.

Turning your skills and expertise into a way to support yourself is more doable than you might think.

There’s this big misconception about expertise, that you have to be one of the world’s top experts before you can earn a living from what you know.

But expertise isn’t an absolute. You might only be a 3, on a scale of 1 to 10, but there are plenty of 1’s and 2’s out there who would pay for your knowledge and experience, right now.

The key is to find a unique corner of your topic, to start building a tribe of people who trust you as their expert, not the expert, and to be resourceful about filling in the gaps by leveraging other experts when necessary.

This is why we built Fizzle, to teach you how to support yourself independently doing what you love on The Web. Fizzle is half training library, half supportive community, and it’s full of people like you who are building their thing online.

You’ll find big name courses in Fizzle, from well known and successful online business builders. We’re talking about courses like Book Yourself Solid (Michael Port), Start a Blog that Matters (Corbett Barr), and Connect With Anyone (Scott Dinsmore). And new courses are added every month.

And right now, you can get access to everything Fizzle offers, including the course library, the community, the live coaching sessions and the behind-the-scenes Founder Stories, all for just $1 for your first month.

Learn more and join Fizzle today for just $1 »


Since applying more and more from Fizzle, I’ve started making as much (sometimes more/month) from my online business as I do from my full-time job with a fraction of the weekly hours. It’s exhilarating. I owe you guys so much.
Preston Lee, graphicdesignblender.com


P.S. — we hope you’ll check Fizzle out, but we know it isn’t for everyone. We’re a little, um, different from your typical “business” training. Watch the video on the home page to see what I’m talking about. If it isn’t your style, no hard feelings :)