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Tech Tuesday: Trail and Roadside Repairs

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One concern that so many women (and guys) have with owning a bike is the basics of fixing it, or how to do basic road side repairs. I do recommend that as an avid cyclist even with some mechanical skills that you should become best buds with your local mechanic (beer or ice cream works well.) I also want women to feel empowered and to have a better idea of what they are talking about. Tech Tuesday is the remedy for common tech questions!

You’ve branched out on your own, you want to ride on your own or not be worried about basic repairs that happen on the road side.

Changing a Flat Tire

A while ago I did a basic video on how to change a flat, and boot your tire. This is probably the most crucial thing to know when you venture out on the road or trail as it is the most common issue. Someday in the future I need to update the video since I have a better camera and audio microphone.

Chain tool and quick links

It doesn’t happen too often, but you are able to break your chain. When this happens you can often trim your chain and use a SRAM quick link to put it back together. You’re gears will be limited but you’ll at least be able to ride the bike home.

If a Spoke Breaks

Another thing that doesn’t happen too often is breaking spokes on your wheel. Normally on an older wheel, or after a crash you’ll start breaking spokes. On the side of your ride you need to move the spoke out of the way. On some front wheels you can actually remove the spoke by pulling it out of the wheel. If you have disc brakes or if the spoke on the back wheel you’ll need to bend the spoke around another so that it doesn’t get in the way. Open up your brakes if you have v-brakes or u-brakes. This should make enough room for the wheel to spin freely, if not you’ll have to tighten spokes or in a last ditch effort remove the wheel and bang it against a tree. I try to avoid the last two since it is harder to repair once you get it to a shop.

Other Things to Know

Go confident on your bike ride. Things break and sometimes you can’t fix them. Bringing a multi-tool helps with many things, but if you are going to venture more than walking distance (6 or so miles) bring a friend or a cell phone until you learn more things.

Tech Tuesday: Bicycle Maintenance Check List

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Make sure to visit the sponsors of this posts.. Problem Solvers!

One concern that so many women (and guys) have with owning a bike is the basics of fixing it, or how to do basic road side repairs. I do recommend that as an avid cyclist even with some mechanical skills that you should become best buds with your local mechanic (beer or ice cream works well.) I also want women to feel empowered and to have a better idea of what they are talking about. Tech Tuesday is the remedy for common tech questions!

Proper basic maintenance on your bike can prevent major road or trail side catastrophe’s, keep your bike running smoother and save you money in the long run.

Before Every Ride

These are things I check over before every ride. The below takes less than 5 minutes once you get a hang of the routine.

  • Wipe off lube I applied after my last ride
  • Tires pumped up properly
  • A quick brake and gear check prior to starting down the road or trail
  • Make sure you put your front wheel’s quick release on tightly

After Every Ride

The below should take no more than 10 minutes.

  • Spin the tires to make sure there is no glass or cuts you didn’t notice before. While doing so quickly make sure the wheels are true (not wobbling side to side).
  • Wipe down frame, checking for anything odd especially if you crashed on your ride.
  • Wipe off chain and lube, if needed. Normally I leave the lube on until I ride again, wiping off before I leave. (Gives the lube time to soak in.)

Monthly

This list is more labor intensive but will keep your wheels and drivetrain last longer!

  • Clean your entire bike, including rims (use a degreaser on the wheels) and drivetrain
  • Make sure wheels are true
  • Check tires for wear and cuts
  • Check brake pads for wear
  • Put a tool on every bolt on your bike. This doesn’t take as long as it sounds.
  • Check drivetrain wear with a chain checker.
  • Lube SPD style pedals (mountain bike)

3 Months

  • Check over your bike for bent or worn break pads
  • Check for bent chainrings and rear cassette/freewheel teeth

6 Months or Annually

Take your bike to a bike shop or qualified mechanic to get an overhaul. This is when they take the entire bike apart, re-grease, re-cable and your bike as good as new without replacing all the parts.

Other Notes

The timing above is all based on how often you ride. If you ride daily, the scale may need to be sped up, if you ride once a month, the scale may need to move back. Some things such as pumping up tires, lubing your chain and a safety check are all important, being handled often.

Going forward I’ll work on some basic video’s on how to do the above!