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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 May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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