By Amanda Wilks of Mountain Bike Reviewed
You know how important having a good bike is. This is why maintaining your bicycle should be your top priority after taking care of yourself. But even when you’re thorough about it, something can still go wrong. This happens especially if you go on a long ride. The key is to not be disarmed too easily when faced with a problem when in the middle of an outing.
Mending your bicycle in the middle of a long ride seems tricky, but with the right tools and a steady dose of determination, you will pull through in no time. What is essential here is that you know what you need to do in each situation that might arise. Thus, here are the five most important on-the-road repairs that every cyclist needs to know.
1. Inflating Your Tyres
Getting flat tyres has become a habit for you? Then there’s a high chance that you generally underinflate your tires. To avoid this mistake, check the side of the tire for the recommended pounds per square inch ratio, or PSI. If you’re a light rider, you can inflate them to the lower number, but depending on your weight you might have to go towards the upper limit.
Another factor that influences your tyres’ deflation rate is the distance you usually cycle. If you’re planning on extending your routes to more miles per day, a durable and portable bike pump is perfect for mid-ride adjustments to your tyres. This will keep your bike in shape, and it will keep you safe as well.
2. Tighten the Crankarm
Getting a loose crankarm happens to more riders than you’d think. In fact, most bikes encounter this problem after just a few rides. Because this can happen so easily, it’s very common to be confronted with a loose crankarm while on a long ride. But it’s as easy to fix as it is common, so don’t be scared.
All you need to do when faced with this situation is tighten the crankarm yourself. To do this, get the correct hex wrench for the bolt on it and use it to tighten it. Having some wrenches on hand is part of an essential toolkit that any dedicated cyclist should put together. Therefore, make sure that you gather all the necessary tools before going out on a ride.
Here’s a good value multitool you can take on your ride with you.
3. Fix a Cut or Split Tyre
In the hierarchy of worst possible biking accidents and roadside issues, a hole in your tyre is pretty high up there. And while you can easily replace the exploded tube, what about the damage to the tyre? Fortunately, there’s an easy temporary fix for a cut tire that will help you make it to the nearest repair shop, or home if you’re savvy enough to fix this yourself.
You can reinforce the tyre using wrappers such as those from nutrition bars, paper money and even duct tape. This will carry you through one ride, but make sure to replace the tyre once you get home.
4. True Your Wheels
The wheels on your bicycle sometimes go out of true because. As you know, the spokes stretch, which then causes the nipples to bed into the rim. To true your wheels, you need to feel around for loose spokes and tighten those that you find.
If this complication persists, you might want to consider changing your wheels altogether. There are plenty of sturdy wheels that stand the test of time out there. Investing in some new ones might be a good idea, especially since you’ve most likely had your current ones for a while now.
5. Adjust Your Shifter
Perhaps the easiest fix of them all is adjusting your shifter. To allow the shifting between chainrings to happen smoothly and prevent your chain from popping off, you need to pedal softly. This issue is encountered most often when pedaling through rough terrain such as hills, so make sure to do it softly, not hard.
Your chain pops off for many reasons, and for some of them you will need professional help. But adjusting your shifter is something that you can easily do yourself while cycling. You don’t even have to stop for it. However, if you still have trouble with your chain popping off after taking these precautions, your bike needs professional assistance in limiting the screws on its front derailleur.
Having your bicycle malfunction on the road can be scary, but the important thing is not to panic. Assess what has happened with calm and caution, and always make sure to bring a portable pump and toolkit with you. If your problem is too serious for you to handle, call someone to assist you. Safety should be your top priority, so don’t push your limits.