Repairing your bike when something is broken. REPAIR is not the same as MAINTENANCE, a separate tag. Repair is what one does only when something is broken. Maintenance is what one does on a regular basis.

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14
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13answers
2k views

What are the most important things to bring on a ride?

On one of my recent ride, my bike broke down. My rear derailleur got pushed into the rims and broke. Since I have never gotten stuck like that before, I've never bothered to take anything with me ...
29
votes
9answers
93k views

How to get a very tight tire back on the rim?

I needed to change the tube as a consequence of a flat tire and I am in the situation that it's just impossible to put the tire back on the rim. In almost ten years of experience with road bikes and ...
21
votes
27answers
28k views

What is a simple mnemonic for remembering the thread direction when removing pedals?

Given that pedal threads are different on the left and right pedals: the right side pedal has a right-hand thread (removes counterclockwise, installs clockwise); the left side pedal has a left-hand ...
5
votes
3answers
32k views

How do I determine my wheel size

Would someone explain wheel sizes. If I am not mistaken, the wheels on my Trek 520 touring bike are 700C. There are no markings, and of course, no documentation of any kind. I assume 700 means 700mm, ...
3
votes
5answers
17k views

How to straighten a bent derailleur hanger?

I've bent (again) my derailleur hanger. It's a replaceable hanger but for this summer I can't get an original one and I know that the non-original one I can get is made in a harder material and could ...
1
vote
0answers
227 views

Shimano STX rear shifter, broken spring

I have to repair a Shimano STX shifter 7 speed (from a Raleigh MT200 bike from 1995). It has a broken spring, and I am almost sure that is the only thing to be repaired. It is similar to that ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Where is the proper location to measure the tube size?

I need to replace a tube in my bike. I know there are many tire sizes. I bought 26', assuming that my bike was that size, and realized when I got home that I didn't even know where to measure from. ...
9
votes
2answers
676 views

What should I do to get an older bike into good condition

I recently bought a hybrid human/electric bicycle at a garage sale, and I've been working on getting it into usable shape again. It is about 10 years old, and needs some work. The battery was quite ...
17
votes
11answers
17k views

Patch or replace tube?

Is it worth patching a tube on a mountain bike, or just replace it with a new one? There are a lot of 1/2" - 3/4" thorns here in Texas, and I use 26 x 1.95 tubes. Any particular patch type/brand ...
14
votes
6answers
24k views

Removing a stuck pedal

I'm sure this question must have already been answered somewhere here, but it doesn't show up in any search results I make... I'm changing the pedals on a 40 year old bike. Pretty sure the pedals are ...
3
votes
1answer
294 views

How to replace a tube with only one quick stick?

So what is the correct number of quick sticks to swiftly change the tube? I had always thought that the answer is of course 2, but : I can do it twice as fast with one Quik Stick as you can with a ...
14
votes
7answers
23k views

How to remove a crank arm with stripped threads?

A friend called me up yesterday after a mis-adventure during his attempt at a bottom bracket overhaul. He stripped out the threads on the (left) crank arm while using a Park crank puller. In a pinch, ...
12
votes
2answers
9k views

Is it possible to repair a dent on an aluminium frame?

I have Centurion Cyclo Cross 4000 bike. Recently I got into an accident with a car door. As a result I have a significant dent on my frame(see the photos below). I have two questions: Is it ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I learn to take care of an old (70s era) road bike/get it back to working condition?

I found my mom's old road bike from the 70s tucked away in a corner of our attic. It's not in great condition and is pretty rusty. I don't know a lot about bikes from a mechanical or upkeep point of ...
5
votes
3answers
825 views

What are the most common causes for hysteresis in the rear derailler?

I have often seen derailleurs on cheap MTBs to degrade in performance by showing hysteresis. By that I mean that to switch to a certain cog, one needs to shift one cog further and then immediately one ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is my derailleur hanger too bent?

I bent the (steel) derailleur hanger on my 9spd cassetted (steel) Bianchi Volpe about 1.5 yrs ago, and I just did it again, but worse. This time the derailleur got sucked into the wheel and really did ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

Fix a wobbly Shimano freehub?

I have a brand new Shimano Ultegra WH-6800 rear wheel. The freehub has about 2mm of play in it. I can feel the play without the cassette installed by grabbing the freehub body and moving it. It moves ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Reoccurring Bent Axles, any reasons or upgrades?

Earlier this month I had a issue with a broken axle. It was the original that was sold with the bike and lasted around 5,000 miles. I went to my LBS and bought a new axle (unbranded, labeled, etc, ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What does a “dished” wheel mean? How to tighten spokes on such a wheel, without a spoke tension meter?

Should all the rear wheel spokes have equal tension? Or should the spokes from the side of the cassette be tighter, in order to skew to wheel in that direction, and the wheel to be centered in the ...
2
votes
1answer
304 views

Yet another stuck BB. Help me save my frame!

So I have two bikes and a year ago I went through the challenge of unscrewing a stuck BB. The solution was to put the tool in a vice and twist the frame around it. Today I have an even more difficult ...
2
votes
3answers
997 views

Failing to unscrew BB - what now?

I have an external bearing BB, that I need replaced (It is quite badly rusted). I opt to do the repair myself. The bike is a Specialized Hardrock, the crank arms are SR Suntour. Having removed the ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is torque relevant for steel/aluminium? Where do I find torque specs?

When you are not dealing with carbon, is torque relevant? I've never seen it mentioned on the hundreds of answers here, or the hundreds of how-tos I've read elsewhere. Should I just tighten ...
16
votes
7answers
373 views

Riding Repair Kit

As most of my riding is limited to intra-city commuting (on bus routes) or on bike paths, I have not really faced a dire need for a repair kit while riding. I am looking into pulling off a three hour ...
12
votes
2answers
14k views

Chain slipping off derailleur jockey

Last week, I had to abandon a training ride due to my chain slipping off my rear derailleur jockey wheel. This would only happen when shifting, and most often when either shifting chainrings or ...
33
votes
14answers
6k views

Alternatives to buying a repair stand?

I'd like to buy a repair stand, but I can never seem to convince myself to drop the $100 minimum it seems I'd need to spend. Has anybody had any success building a stand themselves, or is it worth it ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

What tools on a multi-tool do I actually need?

I feel like there are almost as many bike multi-tools out there as there are bikers. In a single trip to REI, I found nine different bike tools each ranging from only four to over thirty individual ...
16
votes
5answers
604 views

How do I align a wheel?

I broke a couple of spokes on my wheel, now it's all bent, how can I align it back again? What kind of tools do I need to do a good job?
23
votes
10answers
10k views

Do glueless tube patches work as well as glue ones?

Quite a few years ago I tried some glueless patches for repairing my punctured tubes while out on the road, and found that they rarely stayed on for very long. I know that technology has advanced a ...
15
votes
13answers
580 views

What tips do you have for making temporary “get me home” repairs?

I do some mountain biking in remote parts of wales. I usually carry a minimal tool kit: pump, spare inner tube, and multi tool. I'm wondering if you have any temporary 'get me home' repair tips I ...
10
votes
3answers
9k views

How many years an aluminium frame lasts in a touring bike?

How long does an aluminium frame lasts in a touring bike? [Removed extra questions to be clear.] Background So far I preferred aluminium vs. steel for many reasons, but if steel lasts ...
7
votes
5answers
644 views

What is the necessary equipment on longer bike rides?

Let me provide some context to the question. I mostly cycle alone and cover distances in the range from 45 km to 65 km; depending on the route, these rides last from less than 2 hours to well over 4 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Electra Shifter (Revoshift) is hard to turn

My wife has a hard time turning the Revoshift grip on her Electra Townie 7D due to arthritis issues in her hands. Is there a way to help with this issue?
15
votes
2answers
5k views

Sequence for a complete road bike overhaul

I have a road bike that I plan to completely overhaul soon. Over the years, and with several bikes, I have overhauled most every component, but have never managed to do this for an entire bike, start ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the maximum number of pucture repairs an inner tube can take?

Any thoughts - my spare tube that I carry in my bag currently has a dozen or so patches on it, but still works fine. I'm tempted to keep going to see how many I can get on there until it get ...
12
votes
7answers
29k views

brake lever will not return

My friend has a mountain bike that survived last years Queensland's floods (Australia, that is), but is all battered and bruised after not being ridden for a year. With my beginner's repair skills, I ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Are bicycle helmets repairable or disposable?

Suppose I wear a bicycle helmet, and I fall hard and my helmet cracks. Do I buy a new helmet or can I try repair the old one with some glue?
9
votes
5answers
639 views

Is a tire patch kit really necessary for urban commute?

I'm cycling for urban commute, on well-maintained roads and bike paths, Vittoria Randonneur "puncture resistant" tires, and at no point on my ride am I more than 1/2 mile (usually within 1/4, I bet) ...
8
votes
3answers
732 views

What am I supposed to do when my chain falls off?

It happened when I "stepped on it" (on an empty residential street). It left the chain on the road. What tool(s) and parts should I have had with me, to fix it? It was replaced (new) two months ago, ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

If the chain/cog no longer drives the wheel, can this be fixed?

Suddenly (without anything sounding like it was broken) the chain no longer turns the back wheel. The cogged part of the wheel is turned by the chain but this doesn't turn the wheel. Is this ...
7
votes
5answers
612 views

Patching waterproof panniers

I've managed to tear a couple holes in my panniers. Nothing enormous; they can still hold their contents, but they definitely need patching. What would be a good way to patch them, keeping them ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I get rid of this clicking sound in the back wheel?

Difficult to diagnose, I know. Basically, I bought a single speed Schwinn a few months ago, and after riding it for a couple of weeks it started clicking in the back wheel somewhere. I've taken it ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Upgrade/Replacement options for Cannondale Headshok DD50?

I have an older Cannondale that I love. It's an F600 comp (the special edition one in pumpkin orange), with a DD50 front shock. The problem is that the DD50 is WORN as all heck. Even when locked ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

What caused this seat clamp / frame failure?

Here's my "long distance" ride, which is an old steel MTB without suspension. I picked it up by the saddle to move it and felt some play, I thought the saddle rails might have been loose, but as per ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

How to take apart this rear BMX hub?

As shown in the photo, what tool do I need to take this rear hub apart? I assume I need a tool which will fit in the 4 notches. The problem I am trying to fix is that if you pedal, the rear cog spins ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Best practice for patching snakebite pinch flats on skinny tubes

So, I tend to run 700x23c or 700x25c tires on my commuter bike. Sometimes I'm lazy and forget to check the air pressure and inevitably get a pinch flat when I hit some stationary object, pothole, or ...
3
votes
5answers
248 views

How long will this alum frame last?

I picked up this very cool 96-97 GT rage from Craigslist with the intention of restoration- a few rusty pinch bolts, spider eggs in the brake hoods, grinding bearings and pitted races, and all the ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Vibrations in frame when pedaling

Recently, when I pedal sufficiently hard, I begin to feel vibrations through the whole frame of the bike. They are not so strong as to make the bike un-ridable, but neither are they road chatter. I ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

Slipping gears on new Electra Townie 8i

I just got an Electra Townie 8i bike and the gears are acting weird. I hear clicking noises when pedaling and sometimes it slips down to a lower gear. This is especially true for 4th gear. Is this ...
3
votes
3answers
20k views

When do bearings need to be replaced?

How do I know when bearings need to be replaced? Should I go by time? Or is there a symptom to guide me?
3
votes
4answers
5k views

Which size spoke tool. Currently size 14

I have this spoke tool. The number I use on this tool is 14. I use it on a hybrid mountain bike. . I want to get one which is easier to use but I do not know which size. Here are the available ...