Bikes are don’t just get you from point A to point B, they offer multifarious advantages, to us and those around us. Riding a bike is the easiest and most sure-fire way of staying fit and maintaining health through the exercise it offers. The environment stands to benefit as well, there is a reason New Delhi in India has the dirtiest air in the world, unfettered traffic. But let’s keep things to the point, here are some of the most basic repairs a mountain biker should know.
The most important and the most basic repair everyone should know, is that concerning the tyre. If your tyre looks under-inflated, the first thing you need to do is re-inflate it, look for the appropriate air pressure range on the smooth side of the tyre. Invest your money in a good air pump with a guage. Also, avoid the car tyre pump at all cost, the pressure is far too much for a bike tyre to handle and will most likely explode if it is filled using one.
Patching or Replacing a Tyre
If your tyre starts drooping again, then you are dealing with a puncture. First release all the air from the tyre by opening the valve cap and removing the stem nut. With no air left, push the edge of the tyre (the bead) up and away from the rim, all around and on both sides. Further pushing it up and over the rim will make the tyre pop off the side of the rim and onto the top. Using a lever will make the processor that much easier, and investing in a multi-tool should be that much preferred.
Once the tyre is removed, proceed to remove the punctured tube and replace it with a new one. Before you do, give it some shape by filling the tube with some air. Now just reverse the process. If you don’t possess a spare tube, then use a patch, but remember it’s only good for the short term.
As miniscule as it sounds, you need to be aware of loose bolts. Bikes are held together by bolts, and you will only do yourself favors by investing in a torque wrench, with the torque wrench you just need to stick it to the bolts and turn them tight. Not too tight though, as they can wear out. Whenever you feel or hear rattling that’s when you should stop and tighten those bolts.
Re-aligning the Chain
Next up is the chain. The chain can either fall off the front chain ring or the rear cogset. First proceed to attach the chain to the bottom of the rear cogset, then drape the front chain over the top of the front chain ring, through the teeth. Moving the pedal toward should automatically draw the chain into the grooves. If the chain is still falling off, then the chain is too long, and a few chain links need to be removed.
If the bicycle has seen quite some action, the wrap drop on the handlebars are bound to have been worn out. Use electrical tape kits for the job. You can peel the old tape off, and cut them where the tape refuses to pull off with the aid of scissors. Start taping from the bottom end of the handlebar, with the start coming from the underside. Keep turning the tape around, trying to cover the edges and keeping things tight. Use the extra tape to fill the space between the brake apparatus and the handlebar.
For now, those are the basic things you need to worry about, admittedly there are more things that require inspection, care and maintenance. Sometimes doing these fixes alone can test your patience, if so, call in a friend who is willing to help you out.
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