Avoid Pulling a DIY Bike Maintenance Booboo with These Tips

| January 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

Not too confident about your DIY bike maintenance skills? Are you a bit worried that your DIY bike maintenance might just end up into a big disaster? To avoid pulling a DIY bike maintenance booboo, here are some of the things you should keep in mind.

Avoid Pulling a DIY Bike Maintenance Booboo with These Tips

Before anything else, you should have the tools in hand. The usual bike maintenance requires the following tools:

  • Spoke key
  • Grease or bike oil
  • 3, 4, 5 mm Allen keys
  • Chain tool and measuring tool
  • Pressure gauge and pump
  • Torque wrench
  • Pedal spanner

DIY Bike Maintenance Tips

Here are some important things to remember when pulling a Do-It-Yourself bike maintenance.

  • Tighten with a Light Touch
    Over time, your bike’s bolts would need some tightening. However you should be very careful when tightening these bolts. Many bicycles today have components made of lightweight components and very tiny 5mm titanium Allen bolts so you should be very careful. It is also ideal to invest in a torque wrench complete with the right torx and Allen sockets. For seat posts, steerers and bar clamps 10Nm or even 5Nm is often the torque range recommended.

    Don’t forget to grease first both the threads and base of your bicycle’s bolts and you should also grease both sides of the washers. If your bicycle has twin-bolt setup, nip each bolt gradually while holding the tool with your fingertips. It is best to use tools with short handles. If you think a cheater bar extension or a fistful of Allen key is a good idea to do the job you are mistaken since you’ll most probably end up breaking things.
  • Get to Know Your Headset
    It is necessary for you to have a good understanding of how the headset works and how to adjust it properly. Before you give the top cap a good tightening, you should loosen the stem bolts first. It is important to remember this one little bit because if you tighten the top cap without loosening the stem bolts first, you’ll end up damaging the cap and star-washer or your bike’s expander wedge which is found inside the steerer tube. It is also likely that the wedge will pull up and become level with the top of your bike’s steerer tube which would make further adjustments impossible. If this happens, you’ll have to have the wedge repositioned a good 1.5 inches or 2 centimeters down. You also need to have the top of the stem or a space protruding about 5mm higher than the steerer’s edge. Put the cap back on top then with a gentle grip, nip the adjuster bolt up. There should only be free movement and no bearing play.
  • True Your Wheel Properly
    You should know that tightening the spokes is not equivalent to a proper wheel true. Usually for this maintenance step, the best teacher is experience itself. The most common mistake is making the spoke tension going up too much too fast. The best thing to do to prevent this from happening is to split any lateral adjustment by having one side tightened a bit while loosening the other side a bit.

Remember these tips!

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Category: Bicycle Repair Tips

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