SERVICING & REPAIR
Although bicycles are relatively low maintenance, you will need to get them serviced and repaired once in a while. Fortunately, you do not need to be an engineer to know the basics. You do not need to pay a bike mechanic every time you get a puncture. Keep your bicycle dry (where possible) and clean it regularity to stop rust and mud wearing down your bike before its time.
Let’s start by answering the following questions:
What do I do if I get a flat tyre?
It is quite simple to repair, once you have the tools. You need tire levers, a small portable pump and replacement inner tube – these should be carried with you on every ride. The first time you repair a tyre, it is worth testing it out in the comfort of your own home without the pressure of nosey passers-by. Do a quick search on youtube for a how-to video (or watch the bike mechanic if you had to take it to a shop before). If you are repairing it yourself, always make sure you have got the nail/glass out of the tyre, before inflating the new inner tube.
Why is my chain making an annoying creaking noise?
Your chain is not only exposed to the elements but also gets put under regular strain. No wonder sometimes it needs some TLC. To prolong your chains life and prevent that creaking escalating into the chain snapping mid-ride, you should regularly clean and apply chain lube to your chain (once a month depending on weather and use). Relatively inexpensive, cleaning it will remove grit and using lube will keep it running smoothly without rusting.
Sometimes you will need to consult an expert. Either take your bike into your local bike shop or check online to see if you have a mobile mechanic near you. Mobile mechanics will be willing to come to your house to help get your bike back on the road.