Easy Repairs to Keep Your Bicycle in Good Condition
When you purchase a bike to rekindle the love you had of cycling as a kid, you want to make sure that your recreational vehicle lasts as long as possible. You can keep your bicycle in great condition and perform many minor repairs on your own by investing in some basic parts and tools to add to your arsenal of bike gear.
Fix a Flat Tire
If you fixed flat tires with an inexpensive repair kit when you were young, the task should be relatively easy to perform on your adult-sized bike. Furthermore, you should keep a flat tire kit in a compartment on your bike in case you have a mishap while you are out and about.
The basic parts you need for your flat tire kit include a spare tube, a patch kit, tire levers and a pump. You can purchase these items from shops like Random Bike Parts.
However, you need to know the tube size of your bike before you purchase a matching spare. The size should be printed on the side of your tires. If you cannot find the information, check your bike owner's manual.
A patch kit is helpful in the event you do not have a spare tube. It is a short-term solution to a flat. Patch kits usually come in small storage boxes and include rubber patches, glue, a scuffer and instructions. If you cannot remember how to replace a tube or other bike repair tasks, invest in a bike repair book. Many bike part shops also sell repair manuals
Straighten Your Wheels
Over time, your bike wheels will become misaligned. When you notice that wheels are wobbly and feel unstable, you should straighten them out. This task, commonly called truing, can be completed with a few basic parts:
- A truing stand
- A spoke tension meter
- A spoke wrench
A bike shop with knowledgeable employees can help you choose the correct spoke wrench for your bike. Once you measure the tension on your bike spokes, you can begin adjusting the wheels.
While you can take your bike to a repair shop for this task, you can save money if delve into your bike repair manual and learn to do it yourself. If you plan on making biking a serious hobby, you should definitely learn how to true your wheels so you can always enjoy smooth bike rides.
Replace Wheel Rims
Once you purchase a truing stand and a spoke wrench you are nearly equipped to replace damaged wheel rims. Pick up a small tool called a nipple driver from a bike shop plus a new wheel rim. You should also purchase waterproof bike grease.
The nipple driver will help you to remove spokes from the old rim. The grease helps to loosen spokes. You will use your truing stand to keep the wheel rim stable as you loosen the spokes and replace the rim.
Fix the Chain
If you plan on going on long bike rides, you definitely need to learn how to fix and change your tire chain. It is fairly straightforward task that you probably mastered if you were an avid bike rider as a child. However, you should not wait until the chain breaks to replace it.
When you notice that the chain slips as you ride or you cannot shift smoothly, you should replace the device. To make the task easier, purchase a chain removal tool to help you remove pins easily. The tools are small enough to keep in your bike repair kit.
When you go on long rides, put a new chain and some chain lube in your kit as well. You should also keep the undamaged parts of an old chain in your kit. The extra parts can help you adjust the size of a new chain in case it does not come with enough links.