How to Change Bike Tires
Cycling is a very interesting activity. Aside from being a very challenging sport, it’s also a great workout.
Cycling helps in toning the muscles, burning excess fats, improving cardiovascular health, and even making the body’s blood circulation better. These are just some of the reasons why more and more people are becoming hooked on cycling. It is considered as a moderate workout routine.
Aside from that, it is an environment-friendly means of transport. If you ride a bike to work every day (considering it’s a fair distance from where you live), you will have a lesser contribution to the harmful gasses emitted by burning fuel from car engines. More importantly, you can save money which was intended for gas.
These are just a few of the reasons why cycling is good for your health and budget. If it’s enough to convince you to get your own bike, then you need to know the basics of cycling.
Bike Safety Measures
Cycling may not be considered as an extreme sport (unless you go for a ride on the toughest terrain possible) but it can still cause you injury to some degree if you are not careful enough. That being said, you need to know about the precautions that you need to take before every ride.
- Wear appropriate clothing. The best types of clothing you can wear when you go cycling are well-fitted clothes. You don’t want to wear loose clothes as they may get stuck mid-ride and may cause some serious injuries.
- Always do stretching before riding. You need to stretch your muscles, especially if you are going on a long ride. It may not be like the regular exercise you do at home but it’s still going to wear you out. If you haven’t been working out for a while and you go on a ride, you might end up with sore muscles the day after, and you don’t want that.
- Never forget your helmet. Always wear your helmet when you go on a ride. You need to cover your head just in case an accident takes place. While you’re at it, you can try wearing elbow and knee guards for increased protection.
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Having a bike is more than just learning how to ride it. It’s also about looking after it and making sure that it’s maintained properly. If you have a bike or plan to get one, you need to know the basic things about maintaining your bike. Here are the things that you need to do.
Clean your bike as often as possible
Cleaning it constantly will help prevent corrosion on the bike’s frame and other parts. You don’t have to use a special cleaning solution to clean your bike – just soap, water, and brush will do the job.
However, some detergents may contain abrasive salts which may not be good for your bike so you can also use bike-specific degreasers – that’s if you have no issue spending extra on the product.
Usually, the part of the bike that needs most cleaning is the chain. You have to clean and lube it afterwards to ensure that it maintains its good condition. Otherwise, your bike’s chain will wear and tear easily.
Aside from your bike chains, you also need to treat the gears, brakes, and the exposed cables with a lube. You can use an all-purpose lubricant solution for these parts but you need to use a thicker lube for the chains.
Cleaning your bike is not just about making it look good and as shiny as new; it is also one way of checking if every part of the bike is working properly. It’s going to be harder to check on the tiniest nooks and crannies on your bike if it’s covered with mud and grease, right?
Inspect the major bike parts
There are three bike parts that need most of your attention. Those parts include the brakes, chains, and tires. These parts are the usual areas that need major repair or fixing.
Each component will be discussed thoroughly to give you as much information as you need to be able to do the bike repairs and maintenance on your own or without the help of any professional.
Number one on your bike checklist are the brakes. A lot of accidents happen because of loose brakes. Before going for a ride, you have to make sure that your brakes are properly adjusted. Faulty brakes are something that you certainly don’t want to have to deal with while riding.
Fortunately, it’s actually a very straightforward job. Here’s what you need to do to adjust your bike’s faulty brakes:
- Identify what exactly the issue is. If it’s your brake pads that are faulty, you need to adjust them to the correct distance from the rim. Double-check the caliper mounting bolts and see if it’s screwed in tight. Next thing to check is if the tires are placed correctly and if they’re well-aligned to the frame. If not, correct the misalignment.
- If your brake pads are too worn out, you have to replace them. Toe them in correctly by loosening the pad mount bolt while you grip the brake lever to place them onto the rim.
- Check for the adjustment barrel. Grip the brakes with your one hand and turn the barrel in a counter clockwise position in order to ring the pads closer to the rim. Turn it clockwise if you need to move it outwards.
- As soon as your barrel is turned all the way in, check if more adjustments are needed. If everything’s all good, loosen the bolt that holds the cable. Position the caliper to where you want it and then pull the cable to tighten the bolt securely.
Who wants squeaky chain and gears on their bikes, right? That’s why you need to keep your bike properly lubricated to make sure that you don’t encounter any problems when you’re on the road. Aside from that, keep your drive train in the best condition, making it last longer.
Here’s how you can make sure that your bike chains are well-maintained:
- Get a rag and a degreaser which you can use to clean the chains. Dab a significant amount of the degreaser on the rag and start removing grime and dirt from your bike. Make sure you cover the entire chain. Then let the degreaser dry up.
- Once it’s all dried up, you can start applying just a small amount of lube on each link. After making sure that you covered every single link, let the lube dry for a bit.
- As soon as it’s dried up, you can remove the excess lubricant. You don’t want your bike chains attracting more dirt now, do you?
Aside from this cleaning instruction, there are also a few things that you need to consider when cleaning your bike chains.
- Just lube your bike up when it starts squeaking or when it already looks dry
- Lube your chains whenever you go on a wet ride to keep it from rusting
- Use a cleaning device that you can use without removing the chin from the bike
- Always remember to clean the bike first before putting the lubricant
The tires are the contact patch to whatever surface you’re riding on – could be concrete, dirt road, or grass. You have to make sure they’re always in a good condition by checking for tears, cracks, embedded sharp objects, and even excessive wear and tear.
The most common practice among avid bike riders about bike tire maintenance is making sure that they inflate them regularly. That way, you can make sure that the minor air leaks are compensated for. These leaks can go as much as 8-10 psi monthly – which is a considerable amount to cause droopy wheels.
Doing tire maintenance is not as much required for casual bike riders compared to those who are considered as heavy riders. Those who do extreme cycling need to check their bike tires as often as possible because they are more exposed to early tire wear and tear.
Doing preventive measures to avoid a flat is very important. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere with a flat tire and without your tools, right? However, it still can’t be helped and sometimes you do end up with a flat tire. So, here are the bike tires basics that you need to know for fixing a flat.
How to Change Bike Tires
What you need:
- Spare Tube
- Tire levers
- Repair Kit
What you need to do:
- Take the bike wheel off
Taking the wheel off is actually a 2-step process. First, you need to release the brakes. You can do so by using the quick-release system if your bike has one. If it doesn’t, you can check if it has a knob attached to the caliper arm. You can release the cables by squeezing the brake arms together.
Next, you need to release the wheel. After releasing the brake assembly, your wheels are still going to be attached to the frame or fork by the wheel axle. Also, check if it has a quick-release lever. If not, you can manually release it by adjusting the bolt-on nut.
- Remove the tube
The next thing you need to do is remove the tube. This is necessary for you to identify the reason why you had a flat. Getting to the bottom of the reason will help you fix the problem easily. But how do you remove the tube from the tire?
Well, the first thing you need to do is release whatever air is left from the flat tire. Depress the small plunger into the center of the tire valve. Then, you need to unseat the tire bead. Once the bead is free, you can remove the tube from underneath the tire.
- Identify the reason for the flat
Once the tube has been removed, you can look for the reason of the flat. Search for any sharp object that punctured the tire like a nail, broken glass, metal shrapnel, or things like that. If you can’t seem to find the reason for the flat, you can try inflating it again so you can check for escaping air. That way, you can pinpoint where exactly the leak is.
- Replace or repair the tube
Once you identified the reason for the flat, you can decide whether to do a repair or to replace the whole thing. If you will be doing a repair, it would help if you had one of those commercial patching kits which generally have everything you can possible need to make an effective patch.
However, if the puncture is too severe for a simple patch, you definitely need to replace it. It’s basically just a matter of choosing the right size. You can find this information on the sidewall of the tire.
Technically, replacing the tubes is more expensive than repairing it with a simple patch. But, of course, replacing it means you get a more solid and longer-lasting fix.
Other Bike Parts
Aside from the brakes, tires, and chains, there are other bike parts that need checking as well. Like the bolts and nuts, for example, they may be tiny and almost unnoticeable, but they play an important role in holding the components of your bike together.
While there are only rare cases, some bike accidents happen because of loose bolts. This is why you need to examine them as well.
All bike riders are aware of the major components on a bike that needs constant maintenance checks. And while gears are considered secondary parts, they are still very important in making sure that you have a smooth and trouble-free ride.
Oftentimes, gears are overlooked and riders fail to see the difference that well-maintained gears bring to the picture. Just like any other part of your bike, the gears have to be adjusted correctly. Otherwise you are at risk of getting accidental slips on the gears, causing some serious injuries for you and damages to your bike as well.
It is recommended to choose a bike that has a solid frame. That way you can ensure stability and durability for your bike. But just because you have a solid bike frame doesn’t mean you can just exclude it when you do maintenance checks on your bike.
Other bike parts are being adjusted according to how aligned they are with the frame. Make sure that the frame is properly adjusted.
These are just some basic things that you need to know about fixing and doing minor repair and adjustments on bikes.
However, if you found the instructions above a little too technical for you to follow, it would probably be best if you watch a video that shows how to do it exactly. That way you will be more confident about what you are doing and you can check if it’s done the right way.
That being said, your first go-to place for DIY videos is YouTube. However, while it may have lots and lots of videos about fixing bike parts and repairing broken components, going through each of them just for you to find the appropriate video for whatever issue you are having with your bike can take time, and quite honestly, your patience.
But you don’t have to worry. There’s a bike repair, fix, and maintenance course that you can take with DIY videos that are specially made to cater to your needs and questions about maintaining your bike in its best condition.
DIY Bike Repair
This program consists of more than 200 videos that discuss step-by-step instruction with an easy-to-follow format so you won’t have trouble keeping up. It includes detailed specifications with clear images and photographs. This course is designed for beginners and even intermediate level riders.
It has everything you need to know about fixing your bike, repairing broken parts, and just making sure that everything is in its best working condition.
With this DIY bike repair and maintenance course, you will have your own bike mechanic for life. Aside from getting a full course on everything you need to know about looking after your bike, you will also enjoy some bonuses offered, such as the extra course on Bicycle Tune up Secrets and Upkeep Tips.
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