The Maya Pedal Beginners
Guide To Fixing Up A Bike
Bikes come to Maya Pedal in all
kinds of condition. In theory, we can give them a quick check
over and sell them on. There are two problems with this, the
bike will quickly deteriorate and you will learn very little
about bike mechanics. Here's a quick guide to turning out
a smooth riding, long lasting, safe bike.
Check The Bike Over
Are there any cracks in the frame
or forks? Are there any damaged parts? Do the wheels rattle?
Are they true or buckled? Does the headset move when the front
brake is applied? Does the bottom bracket rattle? Does the
crankset spin freely? If not, is there resistance the bottom
bracket or the freewheel? Do the pedals spin freely? Check
that the seat post is not seized in the frame. Check tires
for wear and splits.
Do the brakes work easily? Rear
brakes are often stiff and can benefit from a new inner cable.
Fit a new outer too, if it's visibly kinked or rusty. Oil
the inner as you feed it through. You can oil the front one
now while youre in the mood. Make sure the blocks are
in good condition and do not rub on the rims.
Brake levers should be the correct
type for the type of brake canti, V or caliper. Otherwise
they wont be efficient. On the handlebars, they should
point down at 45 degrees-ish from horizontal, in line with
your arms as you sit on the seat.
Note: BMX bikes often have complicated
split brakes cables for stunt riding as well as complex front
cable routing. You can scrap all this clutter and give it
simple, direct brake lines.
If they rattle (even a little),
youll need to tighten the cones. First loosen them and
feed in some grease to both bearing sets. As you tighten,
try to hit the sweet spot, (wheel moving freely, but with
no rattle). Check the condition of the rims because worn rims
are very dangerous. If the wheels are buckled they can be
straightened by adjusting the spokes. This is tricky and takes
patience and practice. Read the manual or Google some advice.
This may need tightening. If so,
loosen, check the condition of the bearings, if ok, feed in
some grease both ends and tighten. Make sure it moves freely,
but does not rattle.
Do they shift ok? Do they select
each sprocket? Gears sometimes need careful adjustment. See
the manual for more details. Theres no point in having
gears if they dont work. Stiff gear levers mean a new
inner cable is needed. Oil it as you insert it. You may want
to replace the cable outer that feeds into the rear deraliuer
because it collects muck and is often a cause of stiff gears.
Handlegrip shifters are difficult
to repair as well as uncomfortable to ride. If they get broken,
replace with good old thumb shifters. Thumb shifters real
Some are cup and cone,
some are a sealed unit. When the sealed type get loose or
stiff, they get thrown away. The cup and cone type can be
dismantled, bearings checked, re-greased and put back together.
Try to hit the sweet spot moving freely with no rattle.
A fraction overtight is better than loose.
The Essential Test Ride
Now you can really see how well
it works. Do the gears select? Does the chain skip? Are the
crank arms bent? Would you be happy to bomb it down the big
hill to Antigua? If all is well, put it upstairs.
And, if you dont know how
to mend something, ask the crew, look it up in the manual,
or Google it.