Bicycle repair guide - Tools to carry
It is quite impossible to include all the "tips and tricks" of a bicycle repair manual here, I will try to address the most common problems. I have to say that I am not a bicycle mechanic; Most of my knowledge comes from my experience as a bicycle rider, who is doing some of the necessary repairs by myself, and from searching the Internet and, from reading several books about bicycle repair.
Tools to Carry
When we talk about bicycle repairs, problems seem to pop up when we are outside, riding our bicycles. We don't normally see the problem when we are at home. We should always be prepared for problems that we might encounter along the way. Tools that we need to carry along are:
- A good bicycle tire pump - It is an essential tool you should always carry with you.
- A good Swiss army knife or any multipurpose utility knife
- An adjustable wrench
- Bicycle Allen wrenches that would fit most of your Allen heads. Most common Allen heads for bikes are 5mm and 6mm.
- Bicycle self seal inner tube - It is easier and faster to replace an inner tube than trying to fix it with a patch, however I strongly advise carrying a patch kit: they are really small and light and fit just about any pocket. They might become useful, for instance in case you get a 2'nd puncture.
- Bicycle repair kit - they come with the basic tools. You could very well use multi-tools - they are really small and super handy and have almost everything you need. They aren't expensive as well.
- Tire levers - to remove and mount the tire with ease in case you have a puncture and need to take the tire out. Do NOT use screw drivers for this task, as you might puncture the inner tube a lot worse.
Bicycle Repair Guide - Handling a Flat Tire
The most common problem of bicycle riders is a flat tire. To go about fixing a flat tire is not a very challenging task, but will probably take a lot of practice.
Did you know...?
Did you know you can use your spit to find leaks on your flat tires?
Sometimes, small punctures on a tire may be too small to be seen by the naked eye. In such cases, you can apply a little saliva on your tires. Since air will still be escaping from the puncture, the saliva will bubble up at the point where the leak occurs, enabling you to locate and patch it. The same applies to find air leaks from the valve on the inner tube.
You wouldn't notice a flat tire right away because you would be looking at the road. So if you experience that you are unable to control your bike, then you should stop. When there is a flat tire, your bike will feel heavy, and you will feel how the rim touches the ground. Stop immediately to avoid further damage to the inner tube and the rim.
If you feel an extra bounce coming from your tires, you should, as a preventive action, stop and check the air pressure to be sure that the air isn't escaping from a puncture or through the valve.
How to FIX a Flat Tire?
There are different ways to fix a flat tire:
- If there is only a small puncture: you would need to patch the puncture (by using your bicycle repair kit). It is advisable to carry a small piece of sanding paper to clean the surface of the inner tube around the area of the puncture. This will help the glue to stick a lot better. Remember to clean the excess rubber after you are done sanding.
- If there is a gaping hole in the tire: you will need to replace the inner tube. You just have to remove the old punctured tube and replace it with a new one (I am strongly recommend on a self sealing tube).
Bicycle Repair Guide - Eliminating Strange Noises
Generally, if you hear something that is not a natural bike sound, then there's something to worry about. The first thing that I am trying to do is to diagnose the problem by getting to know the exact source of the noise. Sometimes it's just a lack of lubrication that should be completely avoidable if you follow our basic bicycle maintenance guide. If a strange whizzing noise is heard either from the front or back bicycle wheels, then it is most probably caused by the brake pads hitting the tires. The reason for this is that the tires are not centered, or the pads or disk rotors are contaminated.
How to Eliminate a Strange Noise
As first aid, try to remove the tires and then reinstall them while placing enough pressure on the nuts and bolts to center them or tighten the quick release. If the noise persists, then it could be a problem of the rim being bent. Taking it to the bike shop is the only way unless you know how to align a rim by yourself.
Note: If the sound is strong and it's coming from the frame, from inside the hubs or from the bottom bracket, you should be careful and stop riding to avoid damaging the bike or yourself. In some cases, you will have to bring your noisy bike to the bicycle shop for professional diagnostics.
Bicycle Repair Guide - Solving Seat Post Problems
A seized seat post is caused by either undue force applied to the seat post or because of corrosion - a situation that is very easy to prevent yet very difficult to resolve.
Taking Out a Stacked Seat Post
There are several ways to face this problem:
- There is the twist and pull method. As the name implies, grab the seat, and then proceed to twist and pull. To determine if there is progress, make a marking on the initial placement of the seat post.
- If there is no progress then use a fluid that is acidic in nature, or use grease (such as the Pedro's Syn Bicycle Grease) that is made for this purpose. If you don't have any, try applying some WD-40 all around the seat post tube.
- If the two above fail, try hitting the seat-post down with a hammer (just a little bit), sometimes the corrosion does not let it out: by hitting the seat-post down you are loosening the tube, therefore it would make it a lot easier to take it out.
- If the seat post is truly bonded, then there is no other way but to take the problem to the nearest bike shop where they will fix the situation by using a hacksaw.
Note: As in many cases in this short bicycle repair guide, "Prevention is Better than Cure." To prevent this unholy union, greasing the area where the two parts meet is recommended.
Where to Buy Bicycle Repair Tools?
If you are interested in buying bicycle repair tools you are invited to visit these trusted online stores:
More Bicycle Repair Tools on eBay
Recommended Bicycle Repair Guides
More information about bicycle repair can be found on several informative books. Take a look at these selected books:
Last Word About Bicycle Repair Guides
These are just some of the tips that I have learned from bicycle repair guides that I found important to share because of how common they are. Have a great bicycle riding experience