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Repairing Bicycles – Common issues you may encounter

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If you’re lucky enough to have a reliable bike shop close by, it means you can also get help from a bike mechanic if you have specific bicycling needs.
However, even if it is, any time your ride needs to be taken in for bike repair Edinburgh will result in less riding time and a higher cost. Learning basic repairs you can do at your home can help you save both time and money.

If you are unsure if you can handle the task yourself, it is perfectly okay to transport your bike to the shop. The following are two reasons you should visit the shop first.

Go to the mechanic if you have a problem. Make sure you ask the mechanic the cause of the problem. Ask them to repeat it if they don’t explain. You will be better equipped to repair the problem the next time.
After you’ve ridden 20 to 50 miles, bring your bike back to the shop. Components can settle and shift on the first few rides. A pro will be able to correct them.

We understand that it is not fun to bring your bike to the workshop for something minor. To find out what questions bike mechanics face every day, we reached out. Here are some basic tips to help you fix your bike.

Problem: My chain isn’t shifting properly and it skips quite a bit.

What happened: Your uber-lubricant may have caused your cassette and chain to attract grime.

Your chain and cassette (the back gears) should be cleaned, rinsed, and dried. Bike-specific degreasers or chain-cleaning gizmos can be purchased, but dish soap and your toothbrush will work just as well. Apply a small amount of the lube to each roller and turn the cranks backwards for a couple of rotations. Take a clean cloth and lightly grip the outer plates of your chain while you continue to spin the cranks. Continue spinning until all lube is gone. The lube should be mostly on the chain and not on the outside.

Problem: I fixed a flat. Now the tire is rubbing on one of my brake pads.

What happened: Your wheel was reinstalled crooked.

If the skewer was pulled out of your wheel to remove it, one of the two springs (which keep your wheel centered) might have been dropped. You can either reinstall them backwards or reinstall them. Make sure you check that the narrow end of the spring is located next to the hub. This could cause an increase in the axle diameter, which can affect fit.

Tip: A wheel doesn’t necessarily need to be removed completely from the skewer. To remove a wheel, simply open the quick release lever and turn the nut on its opposite side. Then gently lift it from the dropouts. These are the slots in the frame or fork where each of the skewers rests. Keep the bike flat on the ground while tightening. This will help the wheel sit correctly.

What’s the problem? You are either underinflating your tires, causing debris in the tire, or not properly installing them.

Low tire pressure can lead to a pinched tube against the rim. This is known as a pinch-flat. The recommended PSI (pounds per sq inch) range can be found on the side or back of your tire. To inflate your tube, make sure it is at least equal to the lowest pressure. You should fill the tube to the maximum volume if you’re a heavier person (over 225 lbs including your bike). If you are changing a tire, be sure to inspect the inside for any foreign objects such as gravel or glass. This could lead to another flat. You should make sure that the new tube is not caught between the tire’s rim.

Problem: My chain keeps popping off. Do you have any suggestions for how to adjust my shifter

What happened? You didn’t adjust your pedal to shift between the chainrings.

You pedal hard when shifting gears, especially on hills. The chain is already subject to heavy resistance and has to work harder. You can ease off when you shift gears. Your momentum will not be lost, but if you avoid panicking shifts, your chain should move precisely where you want it.

If you have difficulty pedaling and still drop your chain, you will need to hire a professional to adjust your front derailleur’s limit screw (the part that moves it between rings). You can make very precise adjustments with these screws, but even a slight turn can cause damage.

Problem: My chain is making an annoying grinding sound. Can you make it quieter?

What’s the problem? Your chain is cross-chained or you aren’t cleaning it and lubricating it enough.

You’ll be paying more in the long-term if your chain is grating and rasping when you are in your big chainring and your biggest sprocket. Click down 2 or 3 gears in your back, and/or shift into your smaller chainring.

If it isn’t, it might be time to clean your chain and lubricate it. You should do it every few weeks and after any wet or muddy rides. If none of these solutions work, it’s worth consulting a mechanic. It’s possible that your chain is worn and you will need a new one.