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It’s a cloudy Sunday morning and you decided to kick start your day with a thirty-minute bike ride around your neighborhood. However, on your way back, you noticed that your brakes suddenly stopped working. Luckily, there’s a bike repair shop near you, but you ended up spending much more than you expected. Here are the most common bike problems you may encounter and how to repair them yourself.

Brakes pads

Brake pads are heavily used. This is why they come with wear indicators, such as circles or lines. If these indicators have disappeared from the pads due to it wearing down, it’s a sign to replace them. All you need is a 2.5 and 4 mm Allen key.

  • To remove the wheel, loosen off the brake caliper using the lever.
  • Unscrew the grub screw that stops the pad from sliding out using the 2.5 mm Allen key. You do not need to completely remove it, just enough to slide the pad out.
  • The new pad will have a directional arrow and the right/left indicator on it, so just slide it in.
  • Tighten up the grub screw back on and then repeat this process on the other one.
  • Close the caliper and adjuster to set the pad position relative to the rim once the wheels are back on. You can do this using your 4 mm Allen key.

Reattach a Slipped Chain

A slipped-off chain can turn a pleasant cruise into a nightmare. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be easily fixed. Usually, when a chain falls off, it falls out of the rear cog set and/or the front chainring.

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  • First, place the chain back in the bottom groove in the rear cog.
  • Then, drape the chain over the teeth on the top of the front chainring.
  • Reestablish the connection between the rear cog set and the front chainring.
  • Slowly turn the pedal forward, which will pull the chain around the entire chainring and back to the cog set.

Keep Getting Flat Tires

The cause of your problem would most probably be you’re underinflating your tubes, there’s foreign debris inside your tire, or you’re installing them incorrectly. Low tire pressure can cause a tube to be pinched against the rim and results in a pinch flat.

  • Look at the side of your tire to find the recommended pounds per square inch (PSI) range.
  • Inflate the tube to at least the lower number. If you’re more of a heavier rider, fill it to the maximum number.
  • When changing a tire, run your finger along the inside to check for foreign objects which could cause another flat.
  • Before inflating a new tube, make sure it isn’t caught between the rim and the tire.

Some other problems can be much more severe than these. You might want to consider getting yourself a bike stand to make the process faster and easier. It’s also recommended for those who are heavy bike users for easy maintenance and repair.

Unexpected occurrences like this can happen anytime and these are just some of them. Whether you’re a bike commuter, a mountain bike enthusiast, or just a bike owner in general, you will have to learn how to fix your own bike one way or another. Not only because it’s a skill that you should learn as a bike owner, but you may be put in an unlucky position where there are no bike repair shops anywhere nearby and you’re left to figure it all out on your own. It’s better to be ready than regret later on.

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