Hot answers tagged

78 votes

What is the difference between brake cables and derailleur cables?

Cables: The main difference that I am aware of is the diameter of the cable. Most brake cables are 1.5 or 1.6mm in diameter. Most shift cables are 1.1 or 1.2mm, galvanized shifter cables are 1.3mm. I'...
  • 9,061
42 votes

Rear tire gets flat every month for unknown reasons

First, learn to change your own tubes. It's not hard, and you really should be able to do it. Because, frankly, if you're taking this same bicycle to the same shop every few weeks for them to change ...
  • 9,026
38 votes
Accepted

Is rubber cement in stationery stores the same as in tire patch kits?

The "cement" used in tire tube patch kits (de)vulcanizes the rubber in the patch and of the tube. Which is a chemical process, usually using sulfur, where the rubbers bond and form a stronger bond ...
27 votes
Accepted

Putting pin(s) back into chain

It's safer and way easier just to buy another MissingLink (KMC's name for their master link design) of the same type (pin length) the chain came with, leaving you with an inner link that has one on ...
27 votes
Accepted

As an enthusiast, how can I make a bicycle more reliable/less maintenance-intensive for use by a casual cyclist?

I think you are probably worried about nothing, the bike probably needs much less maintenance than you think. Like you, i'm an enthusiast, i ride quite a lot of miles/km, however unlike you I dislike ...
  • 17k
26 votes
Accepted

Can’t seem to put the wheels back on the frame

That's not the correct skewer for the wheel. I think you likely are using the rear skewer in the font wheel. Front hubs are typically 100mm between the drop-outs, rear are 130 or 135mm (or even 145mm ...
26 votes
Accepted

What are the risks associated with truing wheels without the aid of a truing stand?

A truing stand is a tool to speed-up the process. Using one does not stop the operator from doing it wrong. A good technique can work well enough using a finger pressing lightly on the rim and ...
  • 103k
22 votes
Accepted

Should I replace my bicycle tires if they have not been inflated in multiple years

If the bike has been hanging rather than sitting with weight on the tyres (and hence damaging the sidewalls), there is a good chance the tyres are still ok. You can check the tyres by going around ...
  • 17k
21 votes

Unable to get a tube replacement to last

There is a mark in the middle of the valve stem as if something has pressed against it: Given that it was a fresh new tube, it likely means that it had been installed with the valve protruding at a ...
21 votes

Unable to get a tube replacement to last

Check that the rim tape (tape or liner that sits in rim bed) is not loose or spinning. I had an identical issue where a brand new tube would be ruined after a 10 minute ride. The rim tape spins on ...
21 votes

Does anyone patch inner tubes anymore?

Yes, some people still patch their tubes I've worked sales at a bike shop for three years, and patch kits are still one of the most common small items for us to sell. It still makes sense from an ...
21 votes

Worth repairing?

To start off, the crank arm isn't breaking, it's quite definitely already broken. As to repairs - this bike seems to be what would commonly be called a 'BSO' (Bicycle shaped object). I definitely ...
  • 17k
20 votes
Accepted

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

It's doable although it doesn't make sense from a cost perspective. Only do it if you have an emotional investment in the bike or want a fun project that will teach you a lot about bike mechanics. To ...
  • 28.6k
20 votes

Is rubber cement in stationery stores the same as in tire patch kits?

They are both types of rubber cement but not the same MSDS will tell you a lot One difference is tire uses a mainly naphtha as a solvent and the elmers does not. Park MSDS Elmers MSDS Looked ...
  • 15.5k
20 votes

How to transport an unusable bike AND a set of wheels without a car?

"Ghost ride": Borrow a good bike (if needed). Ride on the good bike, while pulling the incomplete one alongside you by holding its stem. Your secondary hand sits on the second bike's stem ...
  • 2,032
19 votes

Did I pay too much for repairs on road bike? Should I have bought new?

Bicycles cost money to maintain. Even if you do all your own mechanic work, you still need to purchase parts. That being said, more expensive bikes are generally more expensive to maintain at the ...
  • 9,878
19 votes
Accepted

How do I rebuild Shimano XTR brake levers?

This answer must be prefaced with the obvious: brake-related work is high-consequence and could be genuinely injurious if performed incorrectly. Please exercise your own judgement regarding your ...
  • 11.8k
19 votes

Rear tire gets flat every month for unknown reasons

Additional to Andrew's excellent answer, there's a trick of aligning a label on the sidewall of the tyre to the valve hole. That way you can remove the tube, identify the hole, and lay the tube on the ...
  • 103k
17 votes

If a derailleur cable snaps on a long ride, how can I keep going?

"Nothing is so broken you cannot make it worse" - breaking a perfectly good chain in the field, miles from nowhere, with a light weight emergency tool, would be my very last resort. This will only ...
  • 42.3k
17 votes

Bicycle's inner-tube got puncture right next to the valve, How to patch it there?

That's a very hard area to patch properly (if its even possible), and I'd recommend putting a new tube in instead of trying to patch it. . I'd also check that the rim tape on the rim is intact and ...
  • 45.6k
17 votes
Accepted

Remove rounded nuts/bolts from wheel on old bike

If the nuts are rounded they're stuffed. You want to remove the nuts but not damage other things, like axles. I'll assume you're talking about axle nuts, but the same ideas apply to all nuts, bolts, ...
  • 103k
17 votes
Accepted

What is this blue mesh tube thing in the Rema TT 06 patch kit used for?

Looking at manufacturers site I found repair kit with 'mysterious' blue mesh listed as "Cartridge freeze protector". It is supposed to be put over the cartridge (like in this picture) to prevent ...
17 votes
Accepted

How to mount tires without tire levers?

That video is of a relatively supple tire going on easy. It's pretty blasé about the difficulties that can be encountered. He does end at the valve, which is good because advice to do the contrary is ...
17 votes

two grooves in wheel rim

These are wear indicators. After years of braking, the surface of the rim will grind down to a point that these grooves will no longer be discernable. At that point, you should replace the rim.
  • 2,018
17 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to ride the carbon bike with a small crack on the bottom of the chain stay? Looks cosmetic but fails the tap test

Only the manufacturer or a competent frame repair person can tell you of it is safe. It does not look just cosmetic to me, but I have no qualification whatsoever. However, this small damage is very ...
16 votes
Accepted

How do I remove the wheels from my bike (not a typical nut)?

That's a pinhead security fastener. You should have got a key to match with the bike. Without the matching key number you can't get a replacement key either. Here's a picture of a pinhead key fom ...
  • 48k
16 votes
Accepted

Technique for self-adhesive puncture repair patches

This kind of failure is basically the reason sticker-type patches have a reputation for not being reliable. Scrupulously sanding the area and getting it as clean as possible (ie, with alcohol or ...
16 votes

How to transport an unusable bike AND a set of wheels without a car?

This is how I did it once: Needed three straps. Two of them where used to improvise shoulder straps so I carried the bike simulating a backpack. The third strap was to stabilize the handlebar so it ...
  • 10.9k
16 votes

What do I do when I am unsure if a carbon fiber component is safe to use or needs replacing or repairing?

Carbon fiber composites are made up of sheets of carbon fiber filaments. These are usually impregnated with resin. To make CF structures, manufacturers will cut up the sheets, then lay them up onto a ...
  • 21.6k
16 votes

As an enthusiast, how can I make a bicycle more reliable/less maintenance-intensive for use by a casual cyclist?

In addition to all the other good advice here, there is one change you can do that will turn the gearing into a virtually maintenance free, rock solidly durable solution: Replace the chain-shift with ...

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