When out cycling, cyclists are often confronted with a variety of problems. And although they are not obstacles to having fun, they tend to happen very often. But what can these problems be due to? And how can we solve them? This is a series of inconveniences that we can have when we go out cycling:
Punctures, chain breakage, spoke gap, loose steering, out-of-sync sprockets, worn brakes, broken derailleur cable, battered hubs, among others are all common issues you can have on your bicycle.
Let’s dig more into each, and how you might be able to repair it!
1. Bicycle tire puncture
One of the most common inconveniences when cycling is the classic flat tire. This happens when cyclists pass through a place (street, sidewalk, among others) that has sharp objects.
But not only that is a reason for punctures, but it can also be generated when the tube hits the edges of a sidewalk.
To solve this common problem, the tire must be removed as soon as possible, then the tube must be tubed and the tire must be mounted again.
As the tube tends to get damaged, it must be replaced, so it is very important to have a spare.
In case of a puncture in the rubber caused by a sharp object, a patch should be placed, it is important to always have patches on top, make sure that there is no longer a leak by filling the rubber with air and if there is no leak, you can continue with your trip.
Alternatively, if you are a little more confident in your bicycle work, you can also go tubeless. This removes the tubes from the tire completely, and is then filled with a fluid to stop any leaks as they happen.
Going tubeless also allows you to run your tires with less pressure.
However beware, its more difficult to do than with tubes, and not all tires can handle it, and you need to do your research to make sure yours can.
2. Wheel Spoke Gap
It is a very common problem, it usually occurs while driving, sometimes it can not be perceived before leaving, which causes many to stop on the road.
What commonly causes damage to the spoke gap is an empty or bent tire, also any impact on one of the sides, or a wheel that has a lot of use.
It is very important to maintain the spokes. It is essential to avoid further damage. It must be constant, and they must not be too thin to be able to resist. It is important, as it is so common that it happens while we are riding, it should be prevented before it is too late.
3. Chain Breaking
As we know, the chain of a bicycle is an essential element for its operation. When it breaks, the tires can’t work properly.
The main cause of chain breakage is the mistreatment of the chain links. So when they are too loose, it is easier for the chain to break.
This can be repaired by cutting a link very carefully, you can use a tool known as a chain cutter, then you must rivet it back together to have a ready chain.
4. Chain keeps falling off
Your chain falling off is one of the most annoying things that can happen when riding your bike, and if your bike isn’t set up correctly, it can happen a lot!
We did a complete write up on all of the reasons your chain will fall off in this article here that you should check out.
However I would say the primary way is when the rear or front derailleur is a little bit off. It can easily be solved by making some quick adjustments to your derailleur with your tool kit.
5. Loose steering
Loose steering is another common inconvenience when riding a bicycle. It happens very often forcing the rider to stop. And it happens because of wear in the bearings which causes problems like this to happen.
To adjust the steering, it is important to be able to adjust the stem bolts, so that we can get the bike back on course with the best steering.
6. Sprocket desynchronization
The wear of the controls can quickly cause the sprockets to go out of control. These must function properly for the rear wheel to move forward correctly.
Likewise, an undesired bad shock can cause the sprockets to get out of sync.
The solution to this problem is to adjust the tensioners properly, and it is appropriate for them to get help, as two people are required to do it without any problem.
Once the tensioners are adjusted, the sprocket synchronization will be correct again.
7. Broken gear cable
The case of a broken shift cable can be generated when there is a lack of lubricant. Many people tend to neglect this aspect without knowing the number of inconveniences that may arise in the future.
Therefore, it is necessary to keep in mind which are the common problems that exist when riding a bicycle.
For this the ideal thing is to have spare cables, this will make you can give a turn to this big problem. There is no better way to solve this problem than to have a spare cable.
It is not very difficult, just replace the cable and, you will be able to continue riding without problems on your bike.
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8. Worn brakes
Just like the shift cable, worn brakes are another common inconvenience when cycling.
It can happen when we are riding quietly, which makes it very dangerous because if we don’t notice it, and we are going downhill, and the brakes don’t work, we can face a serious accident.
So the cables need constantly need lubricants to prevent any wear and tear and further problems, and the pads should be replaced when they get too low.
Checking your brake cables is important as well. If your brake cables are too far gone, I would just recommend replacing them with a new set!
9. Abused bushings
The hubs are also a very important aspect of the proper functioning of the bicycle. If they are not checked in time, they will most likely become worn and damaged. This can happen at any time, but there is a way to repair them.
The best way is to use the right tools to recover the bicycle’s hubs. You have to tighten them very well so that they do not come loose, and you can continue without any problem with the route.
It is very important to change and maintain them constantly to avoid further damage.
The Tools You Need
Now that we have talked about the things that could go wrong, we quickly need to talk about what equipment you are going to need to take care of your bike, to make sure either these things don’t happen, or that you can fix it when it does happen.
The main tool you will need is a good bicycle multi-tool like this one. I actually just used one like this the other day, as my brakes were rubbing slightly. A quick adjustment and I was on my way! These multi-tools give you all of the basic things you need to get back on the road or trail.
Finally, to take care of your chain and to remove it, you are going to need a chain tool like this one, as you will find you will be replacing your chain regularly as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Like everything you buy, even under the most perfect circumstances, bicycles wear down and brake, no matter how hard you are on them. Because there are moving parts, impacts from the road or trail and more, things just slowly wear out, especially wear items like brakes and chains. Even if you are easy on your bike, you are just extending out the time it takes until your next maintenance.
On the lower end of bikes, you probably will only get a couple years out of it, however if you take care of it, you can make it last a lifetime. More expensive bikes will of course last longer, and are something you probably could pass down to your kids, kids.
Everything is replaceable on a bicycle, however the main thing that if broken will retire a bike is going to be the frame. Because of this, make sure to keep an eye on welds and quality of the frame when you are buying to make sure it will last. Of course, if the frame brakes, you can re-use the other parts from the bike on your next build, or keep them for spare parts, so not all is lost.
These are the most common problems that can occur when riding a bicycle. It is impossible to avoid that at some point you can face a situation of this type, those who are constantly moving by bicycle, for example, cyclists athletes, usually go through them countless times. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to solve and prevent them.
Only then you will be able to ride your bicycle comfortably, as these problems can generate a lot of stress. So by being aware of the prevention and solution of these problems you will feel more relaxed while riding.
Of course, it is important to give constant maintenance to your bike and have a bag with useful tools such as a set of wrenches, screwdrivers, patches, spare parts for cameras and cables, a portable pump.
Without these tools, it will be almost impossible to repair your bike, so it is best to always carry them with you, making your trip safer without worrying about the most common problems when cycling.