Bike Tuneups & Repairs

Paul Dragan discusses the importance of getting bike tuneups.

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Paul Dragan discusses the importance of getting bike tuneups.
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Video transcript

Featuring Paul Dragan, Cycling Equipment Specialist

Duration: 3 minutes, 14 seconds

It's important to get your bike checked up annually by a professional bike mechanic at your local bike shop.

The mechanic will look at a number of different things on your bike, primarily the ones that relate to safety and security. The brakes are one very important thing to look at on your bike.

This is a disc brake. The mechanic will check inside and actually pull the brake apart and take the pads out to make sure they're not too worn.

When it comes to the shifters and the brake cables, the mechanic will also check to make sure that they're in good shape. Any rust or corrosion on the cables could indicate that they need to be replaced.

Along the same lines as in safety, it's important that the mechanic will look at the wheels for trueness as well as the hubs which, is in the center of the wheel. The mechanic can adjust the spoke tension which will allow your bike wheel to run smoothly and true.

When it comes to the drive train on your bike, that's the chain and the gears in the back, the mechanic will check for a number of different things.

First is cable tension, and that's the communication between the shifters and the dulator, it's important that the cable tension is right so that the chain will fit into the gears properly.

Also wear and tear on the chain will be checked, and also on the rear cassette area. It's important that the sprockets aren't too worn, if they are, this piece will need to be replaced.

When it comes to the gears on the front, they also wear down. They'll wear a lot less frequently than the gears on the back. But your mechanic will definitely check to see the condition of these front gears. Inside of this bike here, within the crank, is the bottom bracket.

The bottom bracket is the free spinning part on the bike that allows your pedals to move either forwards or backwards. If there's any clicking or ticking within the bottom bracket, it's important that the mechanic takes it out, he'll look at it, possibly regrease the bearings and place the bottom bracket back in.

During the annual tune-up, the professional mechanic will also check the tightness of all the nuts and bolts on your bike. The most important, of course, it's in the headset in the stem area.

With the headset and the stem, if they're not adjusted properly, you could actually lose control of the bike and get into an accident. It's also important that the headset is adjusted properly because if it's too loose or too tight, you could damage the internal workings of the headset, thus having to replace it. Your mechanic will also make sure that there's enough lubrication on your chain to ward away from rust.

Also important for the mechanic to look at is the thread on your tires. You want to make sure that the thread isn't too worn down and also, that the sidewalls are in good condition. Once your bike is all ready to go and the mechanic is finished with it, when you come and pick it up, have them check your seat height. Make sure it's the right height for you when you're riding.

Just remember, the annual tune-up will give you the peace of mind that your bike is safe, well adjusted, and more fun to ride.

If you have questions about bike tuneups, contact your local physiotherapist or bike fitter.

Presenter: Mr. Paul Dragan, Bracing & Equipment Specialist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Bracing & Equipment Specialist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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