As I mentioned last week it’s pretty easy for someone to bring a neglected bike back to life. Making it squeak free, trouble free and fast. Best of all you’ll actually be proud to ride your bike again knowing you’ve done the repairs yourself.
In part 1 of the series I’ll be covering the parts that most commonly need replacing. The chain and the brake pads. Next week I’ll talk about replacing jockey wheels.
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Giving your bike a good clean
The first stage in fixing up an old bike is to give it a good scrub. For some good tips checkout my post on bike cleaning. Remember to thoroughly wash away any degreaser you use as it can damage the bike, if left on there for too long.
Overhauling an old bike
The basic premise of a bike overhaul is to take apart the different components, clean them, re-grease them and then re-install them. You also need to identify any components that need replacing.
The first video shows you how to replace your chain.
The second video is about overhauling v brakes.
Essentials for overhauling an old bike
New chain (£10) – I have a 9 speed bike (9 rear sprockets on the cassette). Therefore, I need a 9 speed chain (9sp). I tend to opt for SRAM with a quick release link. This is because SRAM is a trusted brand and the quick release means I can easily take the chain on and off. I recently paid £22.99 for an SRAM PC951 then subsequently found it online for half the price. Chain Reaction Cycles is a good place to check for bike components.
- Chain tool (£11.99) – This is used to shorten the length of a chain. Or, to release a chain, if you don’t have a quick release link.
- New brake pads – Aim to buy something similar to what you already have. If you are cycling in the winter, then it generally isn’t worth you spending more money on a more expensive set of pads as they are likely to also wear out quickly. In the summer months you can spend a little more if you wish.
- Allen key – absolutely essential tool!
- Grease – On any unexposed components grease helps keep the water out and keep things moving.
Also in this series:
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.