Author Topic: BIKE maintenance & Repair for the not-so-handy  (Read 1227 times)

lexde

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BIKE maintenance & Repair for the not-so-handy
« on: May 08, 2017, 08:47:17 AM »
I just got a bike (for free/permanent loan) a few months ago and it has served me quite well. I topped off my tires with air the day before yesterday, then yesterday I heard a POP! and hiss as the air left my back tire. I don't think I over-inflated it. I also don't think any maintenance has been done on it probably ever.

I need to replace the tube but I'm not very handy. I don't want to pay $35 for a new tube (which is insane!), I'd rather buy the tools and learn to do it myself.

So I need recommendations on a buy-it-for-life bike repair kit that won't break the bank, and brand recommendations for tubes As I'm clueless. It's a women's mountain bike if that makes any difference.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 09:06:13 AM by lexde »

PlainsWalker

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Re: BIKE maintenance & Repair for the not-so-handy
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 09:13:33 AM »
    I usually hop on YouTube and watch a video on how to do whatever bicycle maintenance task I'm thinking about tackling. There is a channel called Global Cycling Network that puts out a Maintenance Monday series and they do a good job of presenting the material.
    I source my parts from my local bike shop just to support them. The one I go to keeps Bontrager aka Trek stuff in stock so I've been running on their inner tubes. they work well, pricier than the unbranded tubes but then I'm paying extra to support the shop anyway so I'll get the good stuff.
    There are full bicycle repair kits available. They generally contain tools that are unnecessary or infrequently used. Or alternatively are so stripped down that they don't have what you need when you need it. I've just been collecting tools as I need them instead of getting a turn key set. I keep the basics such as a multi-tool, tire levers, spare inner tubes, and a pump on the bike all the time. As I bite off new to me maintenance tasks I acquire the required tools and parts and have a go at it.

rothwem

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Re: BIKE maintenance & Repair for the not-so-handy
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 09:30:24 AM »
I just got a bike (for free/permanent loan) a few months ago and it has served me quite well. I topped off my tires with air the day before yesterday, then yesterday I heard a POP! and hiss as the air left my back tire. I don't think I over-inflated it. I also don't think any maintenance has been done on it probably ever.

I need to replace the tube but I'm not very handy. I don't want to pay $35 for a new tube (which is insane!), I'd rather buy the tools and learn to do it myself.

So I need recommendations on a buy-it-for-life bike repair kit that won't break the bank, and brand recommendations for tubes As I'm clueless. It's a women's mountain bike if that makes any difference.

Tire levers and bike pump are really all you need to change a tire.  If you're a beast with strong thumbs, you don't even need the levers.

For other general bike stuff, a small set of allen wrenches is also useful. Make sure there's a 4,5,and 6mm wrench in the set.  The allen wrenches will help you snug up handlebars, seats, seatposts, etc.  An 8mm comes in handy sometimes, since Shimano has started using a concave 8mm on their pedals.  If you've got carbon fiber on your bike, I'd consider picking up a small torque wrench, but otherwise I wouldn't bother.  As for other tools, I'd just pick them up as they're needed, since they start to get really specialized. 

Take a look at parktool.com, they have the best tutorials on how to do bike repair on the internet.  Here's the link for your tire:

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/tire-and-tube-removal-and-installation#article-section-1

As for inner tube brand recommendations, they're all the same.  Most of them are made in the same factory in China by the parent company of Kenda.  Michelin and Conti tubes are the exception, but they're no better or worse to use, and they cost more. 

MsPeacock

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Re: BIKE maintenance & Repair for the not-so-handy
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2017, 09:54:04 AM »
You just need a tube, tire levers (two) and a bike pump. The bike shop can help you make sure you get the correct size tube. They are about the same price in the store as on Amazon, in general. Get two tubes so you have a back-up. A tube will be `$8.00, tire levels are a couple dollars. A pump can vary widely - I recommend getting a floor stand model with a build in pressure gauge, and that will fit both presta and Schrader valves. They should last for years.

I fumble through with the help of a video about changing tubes. Usually the video is 2 minutes long and my actual work time is like 20-30 minutes depending on how much fumbling around I do.

Be sure you look over the inside of the tire very carefully to see if there is any glass or wire that caused the flat. You'll want good light and use your fingers to "look" too. Also look over the wheel rim to see if there is any exposed metal that might have popped your tube. If you miss these things then you'll put a tube in and get another flat in very short order.

ETA - Another big reason for flats is under inflated tubes. If you don't have a pump, be sure to get one and check your tire pressure before every ride.

Good luck!