3 Most Common Bicycle Problems and How to Fix Them

Low section shot of female athlete standing with her bicycle.

Riding a bike is fun until it breaks down. If that happens, you may have to bring your wheels to the shop for immediate repair. Fortunately, you can do some of the minor repairs yourself.

Steve & Leif cites the most common situations where you do not need a mechanic.

  1. Excess Grease in the Chains

Of all the bicycle parts, the chain is the most important, next to the wheels. Usually, excess grease can cause dirt to stick to the bike’s chain. This will cause the chain to shift incorrectly.

You can clean the chain using a degreaser. If this item is not available, you can use a toothbrush and dishwashing soap. Start by putting a single drop on each roller carefully while turning the crank backward. Brush the grime off and finish the cleaning process by wiping the chain’s outer plates with a clean rag. Continue wiping off the excess grease until only those inside the chain rollers remain.

  1. Misaligned Wheels

A wheel rubbing a brake pad can mean you have a misaligned wheel. This usually happens after fixing a flat tyre. While fixing the wheels, you may have failed to put one or several skewers back properly. These parts are responsible for keeping the tyres in place.

To align the wheels, open the quick release lever of the affected skewer. Loosen the nut located on the other side, and then remove it from the dropouts. These are slots located in your bike’s frame and fork. Make sure your bicycle is on the ground whilst tightening the skewer.

  1. Frequent Flat Tyres

There are three possible causes for frequent flat tyres: improper installation, debris inside your wheels and under-inflated tubes. Determine the recommended PSI before inflating the tube. You can find that information on the side of the tyre. As a precaution, stop inflating once it reaches the lowest PSI range.

Some of the most common problems people have with their bicycles are an over-greased chain, misaligned wheels and frequent flat tyres. Before taking your ride to the shop, see if you can fix the problem yourself. Knowing how to do easy bicycle fixes can help you save money on repairs and enable you to keep your ride in good condition for many years to come.