… or “How to keep yourself running smoothly …”
Many bicycle repairs are that type you could do yourself. Very often this smaller works keep extend the life of your bicycle and keep you rolling.
So this is why we call it “the ABC” of the bike mechanic:
A like Air: Nothing compares to a dash of freshness – some air refreshes the rider and the wheels. After a while – mostly in some dark rooms or basements – your wheels get tired and loose some pressure (one bar per month). Very often the wheels are flat.
Take your pump and give them some refreshment. At first just add a smaller amount – approx. 1 bar. Turn your wheels a little, give them a chance to get back in optimal position and after that fill to the right amount. The right pressure for most of the wheels is printed on its walls.
B like Breaks: Now – as we have fresh air and our wheels look good again, we most probably will be able to ride. Considering we need to stop as well, it is essential to check the breaks. Pull your levers – or whatever you have ie. coaster brake – and give it a good, courageous try. This will save you any troubles you might have later. Very often the brakes are dirty or dusty. So try more than once, maybe remove any dirt from your brakes or rims. If your brakes do not work, take your bike to a classified mechanic. If you feel comfortable changing or repairing the brake pads yourself make use of all relevant sources with regards of what replacement parts you need.
Only good brakes – and we mean at a minimum two independent brake systems – make sure you have a great experience.
And finally: C like Chain: By the way – bicycles are the most effective human powered transport machines. To make the best out of your bicycle you need to check if the power gets from your pedals to the tires. A clean rustfree chain is key to reduce wear of the mechanical parts: chain and cogs and surrounding parts. Take a dry towel and wipe away any oily dirt and use a brush to clean any tough mud. Many stores offer you brush and cleaning sets for optimal results.
After that use special chain oil or chain sprays for reapplying a protection film on the chain only. Regularly check the chain for wear.
Some recommendations: Keep away from carwash or high pressure cleaners – they wash away everything, even oil we might need to keep the bicycle in good shape. Take your bike from time to time to the professional for a check. And keep your bicycle clean – in best case keep it in a dry place and if you have to store it for a longer time try to hang it.
This might result in a longer life of your bicycle and its parts and extends your fun.