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Fix your bike

Experience springtime on two wheels. After a long winter in a cold storage room it's time to give your bike some love. 

04/05/2012Print article

Text Simon Grabiec Illustration Maria Gustafsson

 

CHECK THE BRAKES
 

1The brake pads
Use a chain rivet extractor when you remove the old chain. Place the chain rivet extractor on a link and tighten it. The chain rivet extractor presses out a spring clip so that the links come off. Try a different link if it doesn’t work, not all of them are detachable.
 

2 Adjusting against the rim
Check that the brake pads are located in the right position in relation to the rim. The pads should press against the middle section of the edge of the rim in order to optimize the pressure and reduce jarring.
 

3Braking effect
Grab the brake lever. The brakes should be so tight that you can’t pull the handle all the way to the handlebar, but they shouldn’t be so tight that they interfere with normal pedalling. Adjust when needed.
 

4The wire
Adjust the margin on the brake arms. Small adjustments can be done directly on the handlebars using the adjusting screw which is located where the brake wire goes into the handlebars.
 
CHANGE THE CHAIN
 

1Remove the old chain
Use a chain rivet extractor when you remove the old chain. Place the chain rivet extractor on a link and tighten it. The chain rivet extractor presses out a spring clip so that the links come off. Try a different link if it doesn’t work, not all of them are detachable.
 

2Break!
Remove the chain rivet extractor when the little spring clip is gone. “Break” the chain in the middle to loosen the links from each other. Don’t be afraid to really go for it if it’s needed.   
Slippery?
Is it hard to get a grip of the chain? Put a cloth around it to aid grip.
 
 

3Check the cogs
Once the old chain is gone you can inspect the cogs of the wreath and the rear sprocket. If they’re fine you can put on the new chain, first around the rear hub and through eventual derailleur and then around the wreath.
 

4Put on a new chain
Now the time has come to put the new chain together. If there’s a chain lock, you can put the chain together in the way that’s described in step 5. If there’s a loose sprig you can move straight to step 6.
 

5Snap the chain lock
Chains and chain locks are characterized by the special link with instantenous automatic coupling. Turn the plates and attach them to each other. Now you’re done and can oil the chain and try pedaling.
 

6Count the links
If your chain doesn’t have a chain lock, but a loose sprig, you should first double check the length. The chain might have a few extra links in order to fit several different types of bikes.
 

7Push the sprig in
If the chain is too long you can remove excess links using the chain rivet extractor. It’s the same procedure as in step 1. Make sure to remove links from the end of the chain where the loose spring clip is not located. Remember to always count the number of links instead of comparing the length to your old chain. When the length is right, place the two chain ends (the one with the loose spring clip and the one without) in your chain rivet extractor and tighten it so that the sprig is pushed into the chain. The spliced link will be a bit stiff at first, but that’s easily solved by bending it back and forth and putting some oil on it. Then oil the rest of the chain before trying the bike. Change the chain in time and save money The chain is the part of the bike that works the hardest. Rain, mud and dirt are hard on the chain bearing and every time you pedal it stretches out the chain. A worn-out chain destroys the front and rear gearwheel and the repair work could be more costly and complicated. How do I know that the chain is worn-out? Measure it with a folding rule; 24 links should be exactly 12 inches. It’s time to change the chain if it is longer as it has stretched.
 

 
HOW TO FIX A PUNCTURE
 

1Remove the wheel
Start by checking the tyre. If there’s a nail or piece of glass etc that has stuck in the rubber it has to be removed. Then remove the wheel from the bike. This is done the easiest way by using two combination spanners.
 

2Pull off the tube
Pull one side of the tyre away from the wheel rim so that it pops out and exposes the inner tube. Use a tyre iron in order not to damage the tyre or tube. Once one of the sides of the tyre is loosened, you can pull out the tube. Don’t forget to loosen the valve in the place where it crosses the rim.
 

3Find the hole
If the hole is small it might be hard to find. Ensure the tube is inflated at least partially. Place the tube into a bucket of water and try to see where the bubbles come from. Mark that spot and dry off the tube so that it’s completely dry.
 

4 Prepare the puncture area
Now it’s time to fix the tube! Roughen the rubber around the damaged area with sandpaper and blow away the dust to ensure the area is clean. If you don’t have adhesive patches, you should now put on a thin layer of vulcanizing agent.
 

5Put on the repairing patch
Put on the repairing patches just like a sticker. Usually there’s a plastic wrap on one side of the patch and aluminium foil on the other side. Remove the aluminium foil and press the patch firmly onto the tube.
 

6Blow up the tyre
After about five minutes you can put the tube back into the tyre. First check inside the tyre to ensure it is clean and clear. Inflate the tube lightly and ensure it is evenly placed around the rim. Secure the tyre back in the rim, and adjust so that the valve is straight and blow up the tube. Put the wheel back on and test the bike on a short ride.
 
 
 
 
Always bring a repair kit with you on your biking holiday. A puncture is easy to fix. A good tip for saving some money is to bring a tin of “tube fixing paste”, which is a liquid agent that is blown into the tube and fixes smaller holes from the inside. 

 
CHANGE A BIKE SADDLE

 

 

 

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