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default Bike Maintenance...

Post by mark barker on 26th April 2011, 11:15 am

It was mentioned a while back that a thread relating to the general upkeep of a bike might be useful..  Sadly I forgot until just a moment ago, so I thought I'd get it started right now!

So, if you've any general cycling queries or specific problems wih your bike feel free to ask away!

Punctures....

If you can avoid punctures then life is good, so its worth looking out for slime filled inner tubes.  They seal themselves in the event of a puncture, so all you need to do is put a bit more air in them.
Many punctures are caused by running tyres at too low a pressure.  Check the maximum psi for your tyres and try to run the bike as near as possible.
I always carry a spare inner tube with me so I don't have to patch an old tube whilst out.  Its much easier to fix a puncture at home in comfort than on the side of the road in the rain.

Removing the wheel….
Its generally easier to repair punctures with the wheel off the bike.  If you’ve got gears (and assuming it’s the rear wheel you’ve punctured!) its worth dropping the chain onto the smallest cog (easiest to line up when refitting).  If your bike is fitted with a hub gear (sturmey archer, nexus etc) then make a mark on the toggle chain tensioner  (small thumb adjuster at end of cable).  If you forget this, you’ll spend ages setting up your gears  afterwards!

If your bike has the option to disconnect the brakes easily (most do) then this will give you more clearance, so worth doing. If they don’t, remember you’ll need to reinflate the tyre after its been put back on the bike, otherwise you won’t get the wheel back on!

Removing the tyre…
Start with the inner tube fully deflated. At a spoke insert the tyre lever between the tyre and the wheel rim, then rotate the lever against the rim so that the tyre is forced upwards. Hook the end of the lever onto the spoke.

With the second lever repeat this action at the next spoke hole. And then repeat again at the next spoke hole with the third lever. (You may get away with just the two levers). Now, with one of the two end levers, unhook the lever from the spoke and slide it around the rim. This will remove the entire tyre.

Repairing the tube….
You’ve got a couple of choices when it comes to repair patches.  The traditional glue and patch combo or “scabs” (self adhesive patches).  I normally use the glue type (they’re cheaper!).  The key to a successful repair is making sure the inner tube is clean and dry.  A quick rub with some sandpaper will remove any residue and give a decent surface to stick to.  Don’t rush the glue!  It takes a while to work, so put the glue on and leave it for a few minutes before putting the patch on.  Whilst you’re waiting its worth checking the tyre for the object that caused the puncture.  Don’t run your fingers around the inside of the tyre (it hurts when you find the thorn!).  Use your tyre lever to “feel” around the inside of the tyre.  
Once the patch has been stuck on, inflate the tube so it holds its shape and leave for a minute or so to make sure its worked (and that you’ve not got another hole somewhere else!)  

Refitting the tyre & tube…
Put one bead of the tyre onto the wheel.
Inflate the inner tube sufficiently for it to hold its shape, but not enough that it takes up too much room. Insert the valve into the valve hole in the rim, then place the inner tube inside the tyre.

Now starting at the valve area put the remaining bead of the tyre into the wheel rim. Press the valve of the inner tube into the tyre and squeeze the beads together into the recess of the rim. Put the side of the wheel opposite the valve onto the floor and then with one hand on each side of the wheel stretch the tyre and with your thumbs press the bead onto the rim. When you get to the side opposite the rim you will have a short section of tyre that forms a straight line outside the rim. Pick the wheel up and with both thumbs on this section of tyre roll it away from you and over the wheel rim.  You may need to use tyre levers for the final part.  If you do, be careful not to pinch the inner tube with the end of the lever.

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Post by mr_sfstk8d on 26th April 2011, 6:52 pm

Concise and informative. Thank you.

One question, do you use soap or paraffin on your levers to aid the sliding for removal?
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Post by Compostwoman on 26th April 2011, 6:56 pm

nthread

Great post!

But could I put in a request? For some pictures? Some readers might well be "visual" learners and could do with things to illustrate the words?

Just a thought, no worries if it can't be done.....

Very Happy
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Post by Dandelion on 26th April 2011, 8:32 pm

Brilliant! Thanks Mark.

When I tested my inner tube in a bowl of water to look for the puncture (it was the only bit of the process I could remember from being shown when I was a kid!) it turned out to be a leaking valve!!

When we got to the last part of fitting the tyre back on (well, I say we - Mr D was doing it and I was making helpful comments. You know how it is...) he found the handle of an old spoon better for finishing the job off rather than tyre levers.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by mark barker on 26th April 2011, 10:04 pm

CW, I'll take some pictures tomorrow and add them Cool

Mr S, I've never needed to use a lube for the tyre levers, but have heard many folks mention it whilst out on the road. Bananas seem to be a popular choice amongst the longer distance riders (they never leave home without them!)

Dandelion, spoons used to be popular in my house, but I got fed up of having bent spoons everywhere! Wink

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Post by Chilli-head on 27th April 2011, 10:52 am

One thing which has caught me out - when you have found a leak, check that it is the only leak ! Last time I repaired a puncture I got a few hundred yards before the tyre went down again. I assumed I'd not glued the patch well enough, but it turned out that the thorn had gone right through the tyre and out the other side !
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Post by Dandelion on 27th April 2011, 5:07 pm

I would really appreciate some advice on choosing a new bicycle. I have a typical ladies' bike (think of Miss Gulch pedalling away furiously at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz) with basket on the front etc and three gears. Which isn't much good as we're in the foothills of the Malverns here. I would really like at some point to ungrade and get something with more gears, but I don't want a bike with a bar along the top because I wouldn't be able to get on to it. (Arthritic knees). Does such a bike exist? And how do you change gear on a bike with derailleur gears?

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by mark barker on 27th April 2011, 10:46 pm

Dandelion wrote: Does such a bike exist? And how do you change gear on a bike with derailleur gears?
If you like your existing bike, I'd look to change the 3 speed hub for a 7 (or 9 or 11!) speed hub gear. the cost will be less than a new bike, and you'll still have a cool looking machine, rather than being the same as everyone else.

Your local bike shop would probably try to sell you a mountain bike with 24 gears, but most of these are useless. Out of the 24 gears there are 6 that the manufacturers recommend you don't use as they put stresses on the chain, and of the remaining 18 theres normally only 8 or 9 unique combinations, so a 24 speed bike is really a 9 speed!

As for how to change gears on a derailluer equiped bike, its the opposite of a hub geared bike. You can't change gear whilst not moving, and you must be pedaling when changing.
If possible avoid any bike with "grip shift" gear changers. They're awful creations! Rapid fire, EZ shifters, STIs are all thumb lever gear selectors and fr easier to use and require much less setting up.

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Post by Dandelion on 28th April 2011, 9:07 am

great

Thank you! Luckily we have a good old fashioned bike shop here so I will ask about having the gears changed.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Sparhawk on 28th April 2011, 9:59 am

Thanks Mark, did you know you can also liberally smear bathroom silicone over the top of a patch if it doesnt hold completely... Bike Maintenance... 928403

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"the luxuries of civilisation satisfy only those wants which they themselves create..."
                 The Worst Journey In The World - Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1922)

                "Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar, Galactica,
    leads a ragtag, fugitive fleet, on a lonely quest—for a shining planet known as Earth."
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