Cycling is undoubtedly a fun experience, but it can be a bit daunting for beginners. From prepping for a bike ride to riding safely, everything could seem intimidating to new cyclists. Nonetheless, amateur cyclists are good to go if they have some basic knowledge and skills related to bike riding and bike maintenance. Therefore, we have covered some important bike maintenance skills and riding tips that every beginner should know.
It’s impossible to always rush to a bike repair shop to get your cycle fixed. It’s best to learn a few basic maintenance skills for basic bike repairs to save time and energy. Nonetheless, in cases of major repairs or emergencies, you can consider making a Google search for bike repair shop near me to find the best bike repair services in the UK. Also, as a new cyclist, you may need to make more visits to a bike repair shop initially.
But with the below tips and skills, you can avoid unnecessary visits to a bike repair shop.
Always Keep a Toolkit Handy
It’s not unusual to face mid-ride breakdowns. Therefore, every beginner should purchase a basic bike repairing toolkit. Make sure you keep it handy whenever you plan to go out for a ride. Your toolkit should have a chain tool, lubricants, tire pump, wrenches, extra inner tubes, and other essential equipment.
Clean Your Bike Before Any Repair
From tightening the bolts to lubricating the chain of your bike, everything seems impossible on a muddy and dirty bike, and it will add to your frustration. You should always clean your bike first if something goes wrong. Although giving your bike a thorough wash is the best way to clean it, it’s not an option if your bike fails or crashes midway.
Therefore, always carry a duster or a wipe cloth in your toolkit to remove dirt from your bike before you get the wrenches out. For inexperienced bikers, repairing their bike themselves is quite challenging. There’s a possibility that you may end up without any solution, but eventually, you will get better at it.
Fixing Flat Tires
Deflated tires? Don’t worry! The tires of your bike can become flat due to a number of reasons, and one of the most common reasons is a puncture. In the case of droopy wheels, make sure to first check the pressure of tires before looking for any leakage or holes. You should check the air pressure range of your bike’s tires (usually printed on the tires) to check if the tires are inflated properly.
The next step is to look for a puncture. You can find the hole by gently inflating the inner tube and checking where the air is coming out. Once you find the hole, it’s time to remove the tire. You can use a lever to remove the tire or check if your bike has a quick-release wheel to remove the tire easily. After that, you need to open the valve to release the remaining air.
As a beginner, it could be difficult for you to work with a spare inner tube. So, you can simply fix the hole by using a tire path. However, remember that it is a temporary solution. Once you put the patch, re-inflate the tire using a pump, close the valve, and reinsert the tire.
If you fail at fixing the tire as it is your first time at it, always seek help from a professional bike repair mechanic until you master the skill yourself.
Keep the Chain Lubricated
Lubrication is extremely important for your bike’s chain or drive trail. Make sure you timely lubricate the chain to avoid friction. Besides a good lubricant, you can invest in chain cleaning kits to keep your bike working properly.
Fixing a Slipped Chain
Fixing a slipped chain is super easy, and you don’t need any tools to reattach a slipped chain. You simply have to place the chain back in its frame. Always start with the bottom groove and then move to the top. Once you place the chain back, slowly move the pedals forward to complete the process.
Keep Your Bike Clean
As a beginner, make it a habit to keep your bike clean. A clean bike not only looks good, but it also performs better. Wash your bike with water once a week thoroughly to keep it dust-free and shiny. You can also consider taking your bike to a repair shop for a professional wash and servicing once or twice a month.
Practice Riding In an Open Area
If you are a new cyclist, you should practice riding your bike often. Whenever you get time, make sure you take your bike to a wide, open area and practice as much as you can. This way, you will get more confident and better at riding your bike in congested areas.
Tighten Up Loose Nuts and Bolts
Since bikes are held together by nuts and bolts, it’s advisable to check if they are tight before going out on a bike ride. Invest in high-quality wrenches and screwdrivers to tighten loose nuts and bolts. Make sure you do not overtighten the nuts as it can damage the wearing of your bike.
Riding a bike could be overwhelming for new cyclists. As beginners, you would feel like going on a bike ride often. Although it’s good to be enthusiastic about bike riding, you need to know some basic skills to avoid getting yourself into trouble. From always keeping a bike repair toolkit handy to fixing flat tires, this article discusses everything you need to know as a starter. While learning skills like fixing a punctured tire will take time, you can master some skills like reattaching a slipped chain in no time.
Still confused? If repairing a bike seems complicated to you, don’t shy away from seeking professional help. Simply look for bike repair shops near you wherever you get stuck to find a trained mechanic to take care of your bike and get riding again.