Being able to do basic bike repairs can save you time and money. Whether you ride a mens or womens hybrid bike, mountain bike or beach cruiser, these basic instructions guide you through three common repair tasks. Learn how to patch or replace inner tire tubes, stop bike chain slipping and solve other problems that may occur when you shift gears. These fixes can keep you on your way, whether you ride your bike for transportation or recreation.
1. Fix Flat Tires
A bike tire can get punctured and go flat at any time, even if you ride the best e bike for hilly commute. Start by taking a pressure reading. Some bike pumps have built-in pressure gauges for tire repair on the go. Remove the wheel and open the valve to release the remaining air, then push up the valve so that it does not stick out inside the tire. Next, pop the tire out of the wheel rim.
Many cyclists carry wheel levers, patch kits and replacement inner tubes in portable repair toolkits to make it easier to fix flat tires anywhere. Remove the inner tube from the tire, lifting it over the valve. Visually inspect the tube to find damage and use a patch kit or replace the tube. Partially inflate the tube and insert the tire edge back into the rim. Inflate the tire and close the air valve. Never use a high-pressure gas station air pump on bike tires.
2. Reattach a Chain
Pedaling hard while shifting can cause a bike chain to slip. Place the chain back in the bottom groove on the rear cog before draping it over the teeth on the front chainring. After reconnecting a chain to the rear cogset, slowly turn the bike pedals forwards to pull the chain around the entire chainring.
It is always a good idea to ease off your pedaling cadence when shifting gears. Repeated problems may indicate that the chain you are using is too long for your frame. Take your bike into the shop or use a chain tool to remove extra links.
3. Solve Shifting Problems
A chain that skips or does not shift properly may be caused by an accumulation of lubricant in the links. Clean your chain with a chain cleaning kit or degreaser and a small brush. Re-lubricate each link in the chain with wet or dry lube, based on the climate and terrain where you ride. Cleaning and lubricating the cassette can also be helpful for smooth shifting.
Carrying a portable bike tool kit makes it easier to do basic repairs on the go. This kit should include a bike tire pump with a built-in pressure gauge, patch kit, spare inner tubes, tire levers, a chain tool, extra links, lubricant and both regular and torque wrenches. These tools make it possible to patch or replace tire inner tubes and maintain your chain and gears on rides, which can resolve a problem or provide a quick fix to last until you can take a bike into the shop for repairs.