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10 Essential Bike Maintenance Hacks

10 Essential Bike Maintenance Hacks

It’s a beautiful day. You’re enjoying a lovely bicycle ride with your friends and family, or maybe simply enjoying a pleasant ride by yourself. You wouldn’t want your beautiful ride to be hindered by some worrying squeaks or squeals, or shakes and rattles.

You might be unlucky and crash owing to some harsh or unforeseeable topography. If you find yourself unprepared, this might prevent you from moving forward. Here we have some bike maintenance hacks to get you back on track if you ever find yourself with bicycle troubles on the side of the road.

1. Bent Derailleur

When you crash your bicycle, you can get a bent derailleur.  You will have to straighten the derailleur because it won’t work unless you straighten it first. If the bulk of the bend is in the frame, then it’s relatively easy to straighten it.

You should try removing the rear wheel and then extract its quick release skewer. Unscrew the derailleur to take it off the frame. Now thread the end of the axle into the frame.

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You will have to thread it in fully and then use wheel to coax the bent piece of metal straight and then repair it. Finally reinstall the derailleur and wheel, and that should do the job.

2. Broken shift cable

If you break your shift cable in your ride, do not panic. There are different remedies, depending upon where the cable has broken. If the cable has broken at the top or in the middle, pull the cable while you pedal, using your hand to get the chain into the appropriate gear.

Now, unscrew the water bottle screw and place the cable underneath it and tighten the screw underneath to hold the cable. If there is not enough cable, then tighten the limit screw on the derailleur to make it stay in easy gear anyway. You can also use a stone or stick inside the derailleur to hold it in the required gear.

3. Flat repair

What if all of a sudden, you get a flat tire on the road? If there is grass nearby, stuff the tire with grass and then reattach it to the bike. You can also try removing the tire, locating the hole in the tube and then trapping the part that has a hole under the edge of the tire.

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4. Wheel fix

If you ever have a crash, your wheel might take on a bizarre indicating that the rim has been damaged beyond repair. Remove the wheel, hold and roll it to find the biggest bend in it.

Now after locating the damaged area, place it so that it’s at 12 o’clock position such that your right hand is at 9 o’clock and your left is at 3 o’clock. Now raise the wheel and smack it down on the ground. It should get the wheel straight; otherwise repeat the step and then find another bend and do the same. This can get the wheel straight enough to get you to your destination.

5. Chain maintenance

The bicycle chain is one of the most efficient energy transfer mechanisms. The parts of the chain are constantly moving against each other, which causes the chain to wear down, making it look elongated.

Once the wear progresses beyond a certain point, it makes moving to different gears less smooth, and also causes changes to the gear’s teeth, making it impossible to replace the chain without also replacing the gears. So, it’s advised to lubricate and clean the chain regularly.

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Spray-on lubricants should be used before every ride and after every wet ride. Apply lube at one point and then rotate the crank so that coat of lube gets spread in the entire chain. Then, stop applying the lube, but continue to rotate the crank to allow the lube to reach every portion of the chain.

6. Inner tube replacement in case of puncture

First, remove the valve of the inner tube and then pull inner tube completely out of the tire. Look on the outside and use your fingers to find the point of the puncture.  To install new inner tube, remove the dust cap, lock the ring on new inner tube and then use pump to inflate the inner tube so that it holds its shape.

Then, insert the inner tube valve into the valve hole and screw on the lock ring. Finally, place the rest of the inner tube inside the tire.

7. Brakes

Though it is true that brake pads often last for miles, it is also possible to wear through a new set in a single ride if conditions are not good. If you hear very loud scraping when you apply the brakes there is a fair chance that something has lodged into your brake pad.

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Flip open the brakes or remove the wheel and pick out the source of the issue. It’s advised to not touch disc-brake pads with your fingers.

8. Squeaks and squeals

If your bike starts to make creaking noises, it’s time to look it over. A creaky noise can be attributed to a loose spindle. To undo it, remove the crank bolts, lubricate threads, and reinstall and then tighten everything using a torque wrench.

For the saddle, a few drops of oil on the rail where it connects to the saddle will do. To silence the squealing rear-derailleur pulley wheels, light lubricant should be used.

9. Shakes, rattles and rolls

The headset, hubs and cranks should be checked periodically. Squeeze the front brake and rock the bike back and forth to check the headset. Pull the wheel and crank it side to side to check the wheel and crank bearings. Check the tightness of the crank bolt using a torque wrench.

10. Gear tuning

To tune your gears, start by putting your bike into its top gear, and then turn the pedals till the chain goes into the smallest cog. Unscrew the bolt by securing the cables to derailleur and move cable onto the appropriate cogs. Ensure that the chain sits comfortably on both lowest and highest cogs and refit the gear cable.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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