Do you have a broken bike? Do you want to LEARN how to repair your bike easily, without spending a ton of cash on unnecessary things.
When a person rides a bike for the first time, he experiences a very unique feeling of freedom. This feeling comes from being able to go anywhere on a very simple vehicle made with a few bars of metal and two wheels. This feeling never leaves true bike lovers.
The exhilarating feeling of journeying miles using one’s own muscle power and balancing skills cannot be provided by any other vehicle invented by man. Cyclists feel power and independence that make people want to know more about this amazing vehicle that was invented more than a hundred years ago.
If you are a true bike lover yourself, you have probably thought of gaining mastery of the essentials of bike repair. This is indeed a good move as a cyclist because, if you want to be truly independent and proficient in using your vehicle, you have to know how its whole framework operates.
Of course, no one likes to make repairs, especially when out on the road. To minimize damage to your beloved bike, here are some important reminders that will help reduce the incidence of repairs:
1. Perform a comprehensive inspection of your bike before riding it. Just like a car, it helps if you can inspect the brakes, wheels, tires, steering mechanism, and even the gear system before going out. Inspect your bike even if you know everything is fine – you never really know when you are going to find signs of wear and tear.
2. The common belief is that you have to shift your bike’s gears up when you reach an incline, so you don’t have to pedal as hard. This works and the pedaling effort decreases because the chains are wider and thus, it takes fewer strokes to reach a full revolution.
However, using a higher gear just when you are about to reach an incline places a lot of strain on your bike’s chain drive. To remedy this problem, avoid using the highest gear for inclines. Before climbing an incline, gear down your bike once, and just use your momentum to climb the incline.
This will help lengthen the life of your derailleurs as well. Replacing derailleurs can be tricky, so you don’t want to replace them unless they have been worn out by age and weather.
3. The shock absorbers on your bike are designed to distribute the impact generated by movement. Over time, your bike’s shock system is also worn down.
If you want to lengthen the lifetime of your shock system, here’s what you can do: whenever your bike has to pass over really rough terrain, don’t force your bike to carry your full weight while it is managing the bumps on the road.
Raise yourself for a few seconds and use your legs and arms to equally distribute your weight while your bike is passing over the bumps and rocks. This way, your shock system will not be worn down excessively. If you still haven’t mastered the fine art of split-second balancing, save this for another day.
A Primer on How to Repair a Mountain Bike
Are you tired of hiring people to take a look at your bike after it has been damaged by repeated use?
The good news is that everything that your local bike expert knows can also be studied and mastered fairly easily. All you need is a good push in the right direction, and you are all set. To get you started on your own odyssey of DIY bicycle maintenance, here are some top tips for mountain bike repair that you simply have to know:
1. If you are really serious about setting up a bike repair area at home, buy a bike stand. Bike stands come in all shapes and sizes – choose one that fits your budget and the size of your bike. Obviously, heavy mountain bikes need a larger and sturdier model.
If you have a smaller BMX bike, for instance, you won’t have to buy a bike stand with thicker metal supports. Stick to stainless steel whenever you can. Some lighter bike stands are made from alloys made with aluminum, these are often less durable than stands made from stainless steel or titanium.
2. Whenever you have to remove parts from your mountain bike, lay down the parts on a clean section of the floor, and in the order that you removed them. Even seasoned cyclists are careful when removing the smaller components of bikes so they do not end up losing anything in the hubbub.
3. Machine oil is the universal lubricant for all kinds of bikes. You can even wash cups and bolts in machine oil. In the absence of machine oil, you can use rubbing alcohol instead. When lubricating nuts, bolts, and joints, use a squirt bottle with a narrow outlet so you can control how much machine oil is leaving the bottle. This way, you will not accidentally flood a mechanism with too much oil.
4. WD40 should never be applied last to any part that needs to be lubricated in order to function well. WD40 was designed to remove contaminants on metal surfaces. It can remove lubricants easily. If you need to spray WD40 on some joints and hinges, wipe down those areas clean, and re-apply lubrication before riding your bike again. Never ride a newly cleaned bike without applying machine oil!
5. You do not have to remove the derailleurs when changing rims or tires. Derailleurs are attached to the frame of the bike, not to the rims or spokes. Check if your wheels have a quick release mechanism. If not, loosen the nuts from both side and use a plastic mallet to gently dislodge the rims from the chain drive. A few short taps should do it.
6. If you want to replace your tires, remove the air (at least 50% of the total air) before attempting to remove the rubber. Trust me, this will help reduce the work time greatly, because the rubber is loose and easier to maneuver around the chain drive.
Buying a Bicycle Maintenance Stand for the First Time
Are you looking for a good primer on bicycle maintenance stands? Today’s discussion fits the bill!
There are two general types of bike stands on the market today: storage stands and maintenance stands. Both can be used for storage, but only a maintenance stand can be used comfortably for repairs.
Storage stands are often compact, because they either lock onto the bike’s wheels, or they can be used to hang a bicycle onto a vertical surface. Storage stands are not meant to be adjusted vertically or horizontally; what you see is all you will get.
Now that you know what you should be looking for when you go shopping for a new bike stand, let’s tackle a few buying pointers that will help you get the best deal:
1. If you are really strapped for cash at the moment, consider visiting garage sales to see if anyone is selling their old bike stand. Well-wrought bike stands are durable, and it’s only the paint that gets old. With some axle grease, an old bike stand made of stainless steel will serve its function as if it were brand new.
2. If you have a mountain bike with a large and heavy frame, don’t buy a maintenance stand made from aluminum. Aluminum stands are light and flimsy, to say the least. The risk of deforming and ultimately damaging the bike stand is high if you are going to elevate a heavy mountain bike for long periods of time.
The risk climbs even more when you try to rotate the bike’s frame while elevated. If you have the kind of bike that was designed for racing and rough terrain, you are dealing with a very heavy bicycle. Buy a maintenance stand that is heavier, and is made from heftier materials as well. Stainless steel and steel alloys are a good choice.
3. If you have the space at home for it, buy a bicycle hoist system. A hoist system is bolted onto the ceiling. This type of bike stand utilizes an adjustable cable hoist system, so you can elevate and rotate your bicycle while making your repairs. The cables are equipped with hooks that you can use to secure your bike at different points. If you are good with pulleys and cables, a bike hoist isn’t a bad idea.
4. Some DIY enthusiasts find themselves in a position where they cannot buy a full-sized bike stand because of space constraints at home. First of all, you don’t have to work in the garage if there is no space there.
Have you tried clearing up the basement so you can set up a repair space there? If that also isn’t possible, consider buy a compact, non-adjustable stand. You will not be able to adjust the height, but at least you will be able to elevate your bicycle when you need to.
5. If you cannot find a bicycle repair stand that is manufactured from stainless steel, choose an aluminum stand that is heavy so it can counterbalance the weight of your bike well. If your bike stand is too light, the weight of the bike will most likely destroy its hinges after a few months.
What are the Parts of a BMX Bike?
Wondering how you will ever memorize the parts of a BMX bike? Fret no more, as we will be exploring the essentials today.
Owning a brand-new BMX bike evokes feelings similar to driving a car for the first time – you’re nervous, excited and, at the same time, a little anxious that you don’t know everything that needs to be known about your new vehicle.
Yes, your BMX bike is technically a vehicle (even though that term evokes weird images of trucks and cars), and you have to know its most essential parts if you want to be able to maintain it properly (just like a car). Below is a list of BMX bike parts, along with their uses. Read the list, commit the details to memory, and start riding with confidence!
1. Handlebars & headgear – Your BMX bike’s steering mechanism wouldn’t be complete without the headgear. “Headgear” is the collective term that refers to the various levers that control the gears and braking system of a bike.
BMX bikes don’t have gears, for obvious reasons, and because of this, the chain drive is much simpler and easier to take apart compared to the chain drive of a mountain bike with multiple gears.
Our only advice when you are modifying the bars is to choose handlebars that are comfortable and sturdy. By comfortable, we really do mean comfy – the rise and shape of the bars should complement your body’s common position when riding, as well as your favorite “grip position.”
Taking apart a bike is relatively easy if you have the tools, so don’t be afraid to modify and customize your BMX to suit your needs.
2. Gyro – The gyro mechanism on a BMX allows the rider to make full turns (especially in mid-air). A well-oiled gyro can definitely help a budding BMX enthusiast when he is training, so make sure you apply the right type of lubrication, depending on the general weather conditions in your area.
3. Freewheels – The freewheeling system is applied on BMX bikes because of the need for reverse pedaling. The chain drive on other bikes will simply spin when a rider pedals on reverse. On a BMX bike, reverse pedaling will generate more or less the same number of wheel rotations, which will allow the rider to balance and move in the opposite direction.
4. Freewheel accessories – Reverse pedaling is often done when the rider needs to lift the bike vertically, or if he wants to show how he can balance while straddling the bike’s frame. If this is what you’re planning on doing, you have to install platforms and other accessories to make sure that your feet will be able to lock onto the bike’s frame while you are performing a stunt.
5. Chain guards – If your chain is derailed while you are performing a stunt, you’re toast. That’s why chain guards, or bash guards, are commonplace in stock BMX setups. If your chain guards are worn out from repeated falls, consider replacing them.
6. Braking system – The most popular brake variant for BMX bikes is the clamp type brake. It’s simple, cheap, and easy to maintain. You can even perform re-planing if you don’t want to replace your brake clamps yet.
What are Dirt Bike Parts?
Are you confused when identifying your dirt bike parts? Today’s discussion will end the confusion!
BMX bikes, or “dirt bikes,” have been the rage for over twenty years now because of this bike model’s versatility and adaptability in varying terrains. BMX bikes have been used to perform heart-stopping stunts in front of worldwide audiences, and are also agile enough for freestyle dirt racing.
If you want a bike that can take punishment and is popular enough to have relatively affordable parts on the market, you can never go wrong with a BMX bike.
The death of the BMX bike will also mean the extinction of a very large segment of the worldwide cycling community, which is of course nearly impossible given the large influx of new BMX fans every year.
Now, one of the most important things that you should wrap your mind around when maintaining and repairing a BMX bike is the actual name and functions of its parts.
Being knowledgeable about the parts of a bike will help you evaluate if your bike is working as it is designed or not. Here are some of the most important parts of a BMX bike, and what they are meant to do:
1. Valve caps – Valve caps are meant to augment your wheel’s aesthetic appeal. If you want to make an impact at an event, one of the things that you should consider is modifying the appearance of your wheels.
2. Inner tube – The inner tube is what you actually inflate when you pump your tires after suffering from a flat. If your inner tube is damaged, you may have to perform a quick repair before pumping more air into that damaged tire. If the damage is too big for a patch repair kit, call it a day – never tempt fate!
3. Rims – Stock rims for BMX bikes almost always have thirty-six spokes. This appears to be the golden number, given the fact that people use BMX bikes for stunts and riding on rough terrain.
4. Stem – The stem connects the headgear to the bicycle’s frame. There are two kinds of stems for BMX bikes – shafted stems and threadless stems. Shafted stems are meant to be inserted into the fork tube (that small length of pipe just above the wheels). Threadless stems, on the other hand, are manufactured with a quick release mechanism for faster disassembly.
5. Spokes – The wheels of a BMX bike should never be confused with the tires. Your wheels are actually composed of the rim and the spokes that help distribute the impact of the journey and the rider’s weight.
Most modern BMX spokes are crafted from titanium, which is very sturdy and, in most cases flexible enough to withstand even the most brutal and bone-jarring of BMX stunts. Before buying a new rim, ask the store clerk what the spokes are made of. Stainless steel spokes are also durable, so don’t hold back if the spokes aren’t made of titanium.
6. Pedals – Take a leaf out of your manufacturer’s book and don’t buy pedals that are smaller or bigger than your bike’s stock pedals. Feel free to shift to clip-less pedals, as these are sometimes more comfortable for some BMX enthusiasts. Ease of use is top priority when buying a new pair of pedals.
Dirt Bike Repair 101
Performing dirt bike repair is not as hard as it seems – read today’s article and find out why!
“Dirt bike” is but one of many alternative names for the extremely popular bicycle variant called the BMX bike. The BMX bike has become so popular with the masses that countless BMX events are held yearly, in almost every country in the world, to celebrate the unique sports that have sprouted because of the versatility of this bike model.
You probably found this website because you are interested in making repairs on your own BMX bike. There are a few things that you should keep in mind when making repairs or modifications on a BMX bike:
1. Bike manufacturers typically use gears and other parts that are ideal for the frame of the bike. Do not make abrupt substitutions just because someone told you that it could work. This might actually destroy one or two mechanisms on your bike, and can also endanger the cyclist.
2. Do not take apart your BMX without making a diagram of the parts first. This might sound corny, but this can really cut down the headaches associated with putting back a BMX together. If you have never done this before, read, jot down notes, and make diagrams!
3. Always use the right tools for the job, so that you do not inadvertently wear down the various nuts and bolts used to keep a BMX tight and in one piece. A worn down bolt can cause problems later on, trust me!
Here are some of the essentials of dirt bike repair that you have to know, especially if you have already taken apart your bike and you do not know how to reassemble the thing:
1. If the problem involves a cracked frame or mangled rims, don’t even try to make repairs with the intent of riding the bicycle again. Catch a ride home and call it a day – the risk to your wellbeing is too much. It might hurt your pride (some say walking home feels horrible), but at least you will be much safer.
2. Invest in a bike stand so you can elevate, adjust, and rotate your bike’s frame with ease. Some stands cost $20 while some cost over $180. Not everyone can spend $180 on a bike stand, so I understand if you decide to hunt eBay for cheaper deals. The important thing here is that you are able to use a bike stand – like the pros!
3. If you are planning on repainting your bike with a spray or a brush, grab some electric tape and cover all the exposed threads on your bike’s frame. Some people make the mistake of painting over the threads. This will affect how the parts of the frame fit together, so it is best to just cover the threads.
4. Bearing cups are not meant to be put back by hand. Use a mallet or a small hammer to tap them back into place. Loose or ill-fitting bearing cups can cause trouble! Remember to tap the bearing cups on both the right side and the left side.
5. Ball bearings, and generally anything that helps a pedal rotate, should never be installed with grime or soil. Wipe them down before putting them back in.
6. Axle grease can greatly reduce the friction between the metal parts that have to be kept in close contact when reassembled. Apply grease generously, and wipe off any excess grease so your bike doesn’t attract grime when on the road.