Monday, 28 September 2009

Looking after a bicycle - the bare minimum

A thousand years ago when I got my first bike  l learned from a book how to fix punctures and replace tyres.  The bike I had back then had a basic three speed Sturmey Archer hub and removing a wheel was pretty easy.  But as  I said that was a thousand years ago. The only flat tyre I have had on the Brompton was when I damaged the valve recently.  If I do any real damage to this bike I can just fold it up and take it where I need to get to and put it into the boot of the car and take it to Compton Cycles for any repair. 
I am now more lazy.  I keep putting off booking a place on the cycle maintenance class that runs on a Tuesday evening in my area.  I now have the Trek and it will be easier to learn to change the tyre and do a repair myself than walk around London with a flat. 
In the meantime I keep up, when I remember, with the bare minimum for bike maintenance.  Keep the tyres at the optimum pressure.  This stops unnecessary tyre wear as well as keeps you speeding along.  I learned the hard way that you work twice as hard with a poorly inflated tyre.  I also learned that I don't have the strength to pump a tyre with a hand pump and I think they are only designed to re inflate a tyre to get you home after a puncture repair. The one I got with Brompton got twisted up in the spokes when it slipped off and I haven’t bothered to replace it.
My new standing pump does the job but is more effort than my foot pump. I feel as if I’ve been working out in the gym every time I use it.


Mike A said...

Here's a site that I've found very useful in learning some basic bike maintenance -

The videos are really well presented, to the point and clear - and its free.

It's certainly helped me.

Suede Shoe said...

Thank you for the link! I've just had a look at site and learned the best way of switching gears on a 21 speed bike, like my Trek. Much better than learning from a book.

Anonymous said...

I have the luxury my Brompton-dealer is in my street !
But at what 'bars'do I have to pump up the tires ?