If you’ve been following us on social media you will have seen our Workshop Wednesday posts where each week we share some of our expert mechanics knowledge to help you to learn how to fix your bike.
While we’re always happy to help with any mechanical issues you have, a lot of the common ones are very easily dealt with if you have a little knowhow. For this blog we’ve decided to round up our best pieces of mechanical advice so far into one place so you can start on the journey of learning how to fix and maintain your own bike.
- Check your tyres regularly for cuts and use something sharp to dig out any glass or flint – being careful not to make any holes bigger as these can eventually cause punctures!
- Make sure you keep your tyres inflated to the right pressure. If they are too hard you will suffer from poor ride quality, too soft and you are much more likely to get a puncture. Find the pressure that’s right for you and check your tyres regularly. Tyre pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) and the recommended range is always written on the side of your tyre. We sell a great range of pumps that will help you measure this. You can find them online and in all of our stores.
- If the tread is wearing thin on your tyres you will have less grip on the road and are more likely to get a puncture. If you’ve got off road tyres then you want to replace them when the tread (aka the knobbly bits!) are worn down. Road tyres often have tread wear indicators marked on them (look for TWI marked on the tyre) if you can no longer see the indicator it’s time to replace them.
- Keep your chain in top condition by cleaning it regularly with a degreaser. Don’t forget to re-lubricate with a good quality oil afterwards, this will keep dirt and grime from building up and keep your bike feeling like new.
- If you haven’t kept on top of your chain maintenance and it’s gone rusty then you can cover the chain with some lubricating spray (we use Weldtite TF2 which you can find here). Wait for 10 minutes then scrub the chain with a wire brush. Finally use a rag to wipe it down. However, if it’s too rusty, we would highly recommend replacing it for your safety. Pop in to your local Cycle King or Hawk Cycles store and our trusty mechanics will be able to help!
- To keep your bike in good working order, make sure you give it a good clean after dirty outings with warm soapy water and a sponge / brush. Don’t be tempted to use a pressure washer or strong hose. The high water pressure can force grit into your bearings and force out all the grease and lube.
- If you have rim brakes, use a rag with some isopropyl alcohol to clean any grime and build-up from the braking surface. This will help improve braking performance by giving the pads better grip on the braking surface. You should also use something sharp to remove any slithers of metal or grit from the pads, this will help reduce wear on your rims. It’s important to remember brake pads do have a limited life, you’ll be surprised how much a new set of pads can improve your braking experience. Find them here or in store.
- If you’ve got disc brakes that are squealing then they are probably contaminated with oil. Remove the wheel then wearing rubber gloves, wash the disc rotors with mild soapy water or a disc brake cleaner. You can also try using sandpaper to gently remove contaminants from the brake pads but if the squealing continues you may need to replace them.
- Wheels can be very difficult ones to fix, we think it’s something best left to the experts. But it’s still important to know when something isn’t as it should be. Check your wheels regularly for any loose spokes. If you are able to move any spokes without using much force then your wheel is not as strong and safe as it could be.
- Likewise if your rim brakes are rubbing and your wheel is wobbly it might be because your wheels are not running true. Lift up the wheel off the ground and give it a spin. If you can see that it’s moving from side to side then it’s probably untrued. Pop into your local Cycle King & Hawk Cycles store and one of our friendly workshop staff will be able to sort it!
Follow us on social media for more tips!
We share new pieces of advice every Wednesday so be sure to keep checking our social media channels for even more great tips and don’t forget to tag us in your photos #CycleKingUK!