5 Bike Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid – Part 1
The maintenance errors of our bike are the subject of this post. We have seen specifically how to change the chain, how to change the inner tube, how to take care of the bike in general, but today we want to list a series of mistakes that we often make and that can cause problems.
As they say, prevention is better than cure.
1. Not checking the tyre after a puncture
Once, during one of my first rides several years ago, I punctured 4 times and, in the end, I had to have my father pick me up (fortunately there were already mobile phones).
Because I was simply changing the inner tube, without checking the tyre. But it can often happen that the piece of glass or wood splinter, or in any case the object causing the puncture, gets stuck in the tyre. So, once the new tyre is on, it will get punctured in no time.
The advice is always to give the punctured tube a couple of whacks, understand where the hole is and, based on that, see if there is anything stuck in the tyre.
2. Not taking care of the transmission
The chain is what transfers our power to the bike. From here you can see how important it is to take care of it.
The biggest mistake is to smear it on without first degreasing and cleaning: by doing so, you only ensure that it attracts even more dirt on top. And, in this way, it only wears out faster.
The second big mistake is to use unsuitable lubricants and, especially in the case of spray oils, to go and dirty even the derailleur, disc brakes, brake tracks, etc.
3. Not adjusting the limits of the derailleur
The derailleur limits are small screws that allow you to adjust both the front and rear derailleur. A sub-optimal fit means that the chain can fall off, both front and rear, inside and outside.
The worst thing that can happen: if the chain falls backwards and gets caught between the largest sprocket and the spokes, the wheel can lock up completely. Besides ruining all the spokes, it’s easy to fall off.
4. Tightening the screws too much or too little
The key is a torque wrench. It’s a tool that didn’t exist years ago and it’s the reason why, even today, some older cyclists think they can do without it. However, it is indispensable!
Each bolt has its own specific tightness: over-tightening or under-tightening only causes problems.
Repeat after me: torque wrench, torque wrench, torque wrench, torque wrench, torque wrench, torque wrench, torque wrench, torque wrench, torque wrench.
5. Wrong direction of rotation
Almost all screws on a bike are tightened clockwise and unscrewed counter-clockwise, and so far, so good.
The left pedal, on the other hand, works backwards, to prevent it from unscrewing while pedalling. For this reason, the pedal must be screwed counter-clockwise. Attempting to do otherwise may cause problems with the thread and damage it. The trick to remember: both pedals are screwed towards the front wheel and unscrewed towards the rear wheel.
Occasionally the bottom bracket can also be screwed counter-clockwise, but this is written on its housing and you can’t make a mistake.
The last example is the spokes: to tighten them you have to screw them counter-clockwise, because in fact you are working on the nipple, which is the female part, and not on the spoke, which is the male part.
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