Cars & Vehicles

How to service a bicycle yourself

DIY seems to be the most popular trend this year. Getting your tasks done by yourself sounds fun and also helps you to save money. As the saying goes, “If you take care of something, it lasts”. This couldn’t be truer for bicycle. 

If you want to service a bicycle, you don’t have to google for “bicycle services near me”. There are free resources to guide you with bicycle repair DIY. These are easy to follow. 

We’ve compiled a list of tools, methods, and items you may need if you decide to get your hands greasy in the garage.

Why do you need to service your bike?

If you live in areas prone to heavy traffic congestions, owning a bicycle could save you a lot of time. But you might not use it for work commute often. In that case, it’s safe to bet your beloved bike is your fitness or leisure partner. So, it might be doing quite a few rides on dirt roads, through muddy puddles and rocky stretches. 

This also means your bicycle needs looking after. Regular maintenance will prevent massive damages and expensive repairs. You can easily learn how to service an old bicycle, or even newer models if you know what to look out for! 

Tools for a bike repair

Put together a toolbox you can always count on. Having the right tools makes fixing your bike easier. Not only are most of these items inexpensive but they will also save you from a lot of trouble! A few must-have items in your toolbox includes:

  1. Torque wrench – To fasten the nuts and bolts securely
  2. Pedal spanner – To change the bike’s pedals
  3. Allen keys (hex key) – To tighten/loosen bolts and screws
  4. Grease  – To help the components move smoothly
  5. Bike stand (bike rack) – To support your bike during maintenance
  6. Floor pump – To inflate the bicycle tires 
  7. Chain cleaner 
  8. Chain lubricant
  9. Bike wash 
  10. Brush set 

How to service a bicycle? 

A complete bike service includes looking out for damages, cracks, and wear and tear. You should also check the condition of the handlebar, brakes, wheels, and bike lights. Here are the most important things you need to do for complete bicycle maintenance:

Step 1: Wash your bicycle

Get rid of dirt and grime from your bicycle before you begin inspecting its parts and components. Use washing-up liquid. Avoid high-pressure water as this will get water into the bearings. Use proper wire brushes to clean the frame, sprockets, and the bicycle chain. If you have a Chain Cleaner Lubricant, you can use them, too. 

Meanwhile, use a smaller brush (or a toothbrush) as well. This is useful to clean the smaller gaps and linkages between the various components of the bike. Likewise, remove the sprockets and clean them, too if you prefer to go to that extra level of cleaning. 

Step 2: Dry the bicycle

You can use clean clothes to wipe it down thoroughly. Ensure you get rid of excess water to prevent the bolts from rusting. 

Step 3: Damage inspection

If your bicycle had met with an accident or had a hard impact recently, this is a step you can’t afford to miss. Check for dents and cracks. Similarly, ensure all the parts are in working order. If not, you can replace them from one of the bicycle spare parts shops in your area. 

Step 4: Adjust the brakes

The brakes, cables, and pads must be in excellent condition. This is crucial for your safety. You can check how well the brakes are working. Using the bicycle stand, raise the wheels, and give them a spin. Test the brakes at this point. If it locks, then it’s good to go! 

Meanwhile, remember the brake pads wear out over time. This depends on their usage. You might need to change them a few times a year. How do you know it’s time to replace them? If the pads have become too thin or have lost their patterns such as teeth or grooves, then you know it’s time to say goodbye to the old ones. 

And don’t forget about the cables – ensure they move without a fuss! 

Step 5: Tyres and suspension

If you don’t want a tyre puncture halfway through riding, make sure you take the necessary precautions. 

Check if the tyre is cosily sitting on the rim. If not, you need to deflate it and refix it. Next, use a tweezer or any other small tool to remove debris stuck on the tyres. Meanwhile, look out for cuts or splits. Avoid using cleaners on them. 

Besides this, see how worn out the tyres are. Although this is tricky to identify, it’s not impossible. (Hint: The rear tyres tend to wear out faster than the front tyres). 

Remember to plan for your next ride! This will help you adjust the speed compression and pressure to suit that. 

Step 6: Check the bolts

Knowing your bike puts you at a great advantage. This makes your touch as good as experienced bicycle service providers. It’s necessary to ensure the bolts are tightly secured in the bike. But be warned – over tightening may damage them. A torque wrench helps you do this task quite efficiently. It’s worth investing in one for this reason. 

Meanwhile, check the headset of the handlebars, too. Test it out by turning the handlebars. If they shift smoothly, then there is no need to adjust them. But if they resist, you can undo the pinch bolts on the stem and adjust the top cap bolt. 

Step 7: Check the bearings

Weird, rumbling sounds, and difficulty in moving the bike are bad signs. They indicate the bearings need a little bit of help. If that’s the case, take out the bearings and grease it. This makes them smoother. 

Step 8: Get the gears in order

If the derailleurs are not properly aligned, you will have trouble shifting gears. Lubricate your cables and check whether the gears are correctly indexed. Allen Keys will be handy for this task. 

How to buy DIY tools for bicycle maintenance?

Why outsource simple maintenance jobs when you could do it yourself? With the right set of tools and determination, you can give professional mechanics a run for their money! If you need the right supplies, buy them with ease through ikman. You can find a range of tools and components at amazing prices! If you’re thinking about buying a bicycle, then make sure you check out over 900 bicycle listings on ikman!

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