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Bike Repairs

Old 09-06-19, 05:03 AM
  #1  
itsollyg
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Bike Repairs

I am a student who is currently doing their tech NEA GCSE. If you could answer some questions it would help me greatly :
What is the main thing that you have to repair on your bike?
Any ideas for a tool that would make this easier / Prevent the problem from happening in the first place?
Thanks
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Old 09-06-19, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by itsollyg View Post
I am a student who is currently doing their tech NEA GCSE. If you could answer some questions it would help me greatly :
What is the main thing that you have to repair on your bike?
Any ideas for a tool that would make this easier / Prevent the problem from happening in the first place?
Thanks
Someone beat you to this: https://www.bikeforums.net/general-c...ke-delays.html
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Old 09-06-19, 05:26 AM
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Well, there are normal maintenance issues to attend to, like tire inflation, chain lube, etc. but those aren't really repairs. Other than tire flats, the only actual repairs I've had to do is replace brake cables that snapped. This happens every 5,000 miles +, so it's not that frequent. The repair takes about 10 minutes so not a big deal. Not much to make it easier. Of course, one could argue that cables are a maintenance issue and that I should have replaced them before they broke.

Oh, another one: My saddle cover on my commuting bike started to crack and tear. To be expected after 5 years of daily use. I recovered it and all is good.

Others here have reported problems with spoke breaking.

Good luck on your project.
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Old 09-06-19, 06:31 AM
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Using a definition of 'repair' as being about anything that requires the use of some kind of tool ...

In order of how often I have encountered them (roughly)

1) Flat tires partially mitigated by riding tougher tires (less comfort/other negatives), care with tire pressures, care in choosing where you ride

2) Tire replacement - some tires wear faster than others (typically a life, speed, comfort, handling trade-off)

3) Chain replacement partially mitigated by regular cleaning and lubing

4) Adjustment of shifters and brakes - seems inevitable to me

5) Broken spokes - not frequent and I am not sure how or why they happened

6) worn rear cassettes partially mitigated by proper chain replacement. Worn chains get longer and dramatically affect the life of a cassette

7) Wheel truing

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Old 09-06-19, 06:39 AM
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Probably repairing flats, but there's no need for any advanced tools, and the methods to prevent them are well known and work well - tires with puncture protection or going tubeless.
Other than that, it's mostly replacing the wearing parts - tires, chain, cassette, brake pads, cables.
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Old 09-06-19, 06:41 AM
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just out of curiosity, does your professor encourage you to go out and spam forums instead of figuring these things out for yourself?
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Old 09-06-19, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
just out of curiosity, does your professor encourage you to go out and spam forums instead of figuring these things out for yourself?
I don't get it. This to me would seem to be one way to investigate this question - kind of the 21st century version of 'calling up some experts and asking them'.

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Old 09-06-19, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
just out of curiosity, does your professor encourage you to go out and spam forums instead of figuring these things out for yourself?
Harsh.
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Old 09-06-19, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by itsollyg View Post
I am a student who is currently doing their tech NEA GCSE. If you could answer some questions it would help me greatly :
What is the main thing that you have to repair on your bike?
Any ideas for a tool that would make this easier / Prevent the problem from happening in the first place?
Thanks
Not me, but what i see most often is rubbing brakes. This is due either to an out of true wheel, brakes that arent centered/dont retract properly, or both.

Go fix that.
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Old 09-06-19, 08:34 AM
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as someone who has taught a design course at a university, I find it incredibly lazy on the part of the student. If they instructor encourages it, I am very disappointed.

It's also against the rules on bikeforums. I usually ban as spammer and they never appeal

Rules for surveys: https://www.bikeforums.net/manufactu...g-surveys.html
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Old 09-06-19, 03:08 PM
  #11  
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The most common repair I've had to deal with are, of course, flat tires. There is no tool to make repairs easier, all you need are tire levers, a patch kit, or a spare tube. I suppose if I wanted to prevent the problem in the first place I'd put liners in my tires, but it's been so long since I've had a flat I don't know that it's really necessary. Now having said that I hope I didn't jinx myself with a flat tire on my rides this weekend.
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Old 09-06-19, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by itsollyg View Post
I am a student who is currently doing their tech NEA GCSE. If you could answer some questions it would help me greatly :
What is the main thing that you have to repair on your bike?
Any ideas for a tool that would make this easier / Prevent the problem from happening in the first place?
Thanks
On about 90% of the bikes I see at my local co-op, the problem is derailer cables. Nearly every conversation starts with "my bike is shifting funny", which is followed by "I turned those screws and it didn't get better". The way to prevent to former is to learn how the cables and shifters work together to move the chain and the way to prevent the latter is to put down the damned screwdriver!

Most every shifting problem I've run across is solved simply by taking up the slack in the derailer cables.

Other common problems are broken spokes. Use the right spokes to begin with and that problem goes away as well.
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Old 09-06-19, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
just out of curiosity, does your professor encourage you to go out and spam forums instead of figuring these things out for yourself?
I'll admit I was thinking this, too. The OPs question (field of research?) seems pretty simplistic for a graduate degree research project. There seem to be a lot of these types of threads, and it makes me wonder whether the OPs who post them even ride bicycles on any sort of a regular basis.
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Old 09-06-19, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
as someone who has taught a design course at a university, I find it incredibly lazy on the part of the student. If they instructor encourages it, I am very disappointed.

It's also against the rules on bikeforums. I usually ban as spammer and they never appeal

Rules for surveys: https://www.bikeforums.net/manufactu...g-surveys.html
Just so you know, the OP is probably a 16 year old. Not sure whether that makes a difference.
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Old 09-06-19, 03:31 PM
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Other than replacing consumable wear items such as chains (yes, there's a specialized tool for that), cassettes (same), and tires (same), 90% of the repairs I do can be accomplished with standard tools like hex wrenches and screwdrivers.
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Old 09-06-19, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
I'll admit I was thinking this, too. The OPs question (field of research?) seems pretty simplistic for a graduate degree research project. There seem to be a lot of these types of threads, and it makes me wonder whether the OPs who post them even ride bicycles on any sort of a regular basis.
Unless the “idea” is just the first step. Taking that idea to fruition, successfully and at profit whether monetarily or to society in general, can easily be a semester project with lots of research and thought put in, hopefully by the student or their team.

That said, as someone who sat their butt in a classroom through undergraduate and graduate school while working full time, I absolutely find this the same as asking someone else to do your school work while you get the credit. I’m guessing the professor expected the student to assess for themselves what type of problems a cyclist might encounter and then develop, create, produce, and supply a device to either prevent it or fix it if it can’t be prevented and occurs...reporting at each step along the way while identifying your sources. Not sure how “Bike forums - user xxxx” goes over as a citation. Then again, I finished graduate school in 1999 at the age of 41, so it may be the norm now!
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Old 09-06-19, 05:53 PM
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Not necessarily a repair problem, but the biggest pain I face is adjusting my seat to a desired fore-aft and pitch-up/pitch-down setting. That's because there are two-bolt posts that (are said to) make this easier but those are out of my price range. This leaves me with one-bolt posts and the cheap posts you find on department store bikes. Both of those suffer from the problem that while you're tightening down from a good position, the seat can/does shift and your adjustment is lost. Also sometimes that the amount you can adjust pitch by is limited to a large number of degrees (maybe 6 degrees) and I want greater precision than that, like 2 degrees or even 1 degree.

If there were something I could buy that sat on top of a cheap seat post (which is a simple tube with a separate clamping head that sits on top of it) that allowed for precise and easy adjustment of the seat, even if it added ounces, I'd be interested. In other words, a better clamping head.

Also, registration marks, so it's repeatable.
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Old 09-06-19, 05:55 PM
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Just like everyone else, most of my repairs involve replacing wear items (tubes, tires, derailleur and brake cables, brake pads, chains) and truing wheels.

All of these items require only cheap tools and/or tools all people should probably own, along with a decent bike pump.

In the spirit of trying to be helpful, I do know people who will fix flats and change tires, but are paranoid about replacing cables and chains and adjusting derailleurs/brakes on their own. I'm not sure what kind of tool might make that intuitive for more people; some people are just convinced that they are not mechanically inclined.
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Old 09-06-19, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
just out of curiosity, does your professor encourage you to go out and spam forums instead of figuring these things out for yourself?
and then they get a participation reward. And then they get hired by SRAM. and then the front derailleur won't work, so they make it a 1x system.
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Old 09-06-19, 07:05 PM
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The ops question is fine, unterhausen. He or she is doing the most straightforward and useful thing they can do: Posing a question to a forum of users. This is exactly how you find out what to ask and who to ask. Though I would suggest they post to the bike mechanic forum instead.
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Old 09-06-19, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
I'll admit I was thinking this, too. The OPs question (field of research?) seems pretty simplistic for a graduate degree research project. There seem to be a lot of these types of threads, and it makes me wonder whether the OPs who post them even ride bicycles on any sort of a regular basis.
The NEA GCSE is a certification program mainly for 16 year olds.
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Old 09-06-19, 09:26 PM
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The best tools for bike repair are google & Youtube
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Old 09-06-19, 09:33 PM
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Some of these answers are ridiculous. We don't know what level of experience the OP has with bikes. The OP is simply doing research and asking experts for their opinions based on experience which is valid research. Asking questions to form baseline knowledge which leads to in depth research is certainly recognized as appropriate.

Perhaps someone who wants to write about the effects of combat on soldiers post combat psyches shouldn't interview soldiers but should enlist, volunteer for combat and then write. Reporters shouldn't ask sources for information nor should they interview witnesses and victims. If they want to know about conditions in jail they should get arrested. If they want to know about criminal assault, they should get beaten up. Maybe the OP should buy a bike and ride until it needs a repair (perhaps years later) and then report. Again...RIDICULOUS!

The REAL SPAM ON THIS SITE is the non-responsive posts that merely criticize but ADD NOTHING to the discussion.

BTW...I'm a university professor who has done and sponsored research so I write from fact based experience, not opinionated supposition.

+1 on the suggestion that the OP post to the bike mechanic forum instead.

Last edited by MAK; 09-07-19 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 09-07-19, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Some of these answers are ridiculous. We don't know what level of experience the OP has with bikes. The OP is simply doing research and asking experts for their opinions based on experience which is valid research. Asking questions to form baseline knowledge which leads to in depth research is certainly recognized as appropriate.

Perhaps someone who wants to write about the effects of combat on soldiers post combat psyches shouldn't interview soldiers but should enlist, volunteer for combat and then write. Reporters shouldn't ask sources for information nor should they interview witnesses and victims. if they want to know about conditions in jail they should get arrested. If they want to know about criminal assault, they should get beaten up. Maybe the OP should buy a bike and ride until it needs a repair (perhaps years later) and then report. Again...RIDICULOUS!

The REAL SPAM ON THIS SITE is the non-responsive posts that merely criticize but ADD NOTHING to the discussion.

BTW...I'm a university professor who has done and sponsored research so I write from fact based experience, not opinionated supposition.

+1 on the suggestion that the OP post to the bike mechanic forum instead.
We actually don't have to engage in too much supposition because OP clearly identified what he's doing this for. This is basically a high school level project that British schools use to certify students. So this is a kid asking questions to get informed on a subject we presumably know something about. I don't get what is supposed to be wrong with that. I did find it funny that this is the second kid to start a thread on this assignment, but otherwise I don't see why people can't just choose whether or not to respond to the question without getting huffy about it.

Silly responses, however, are always welcome.
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Old 09-07-19, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Some of these answers are ridiculous. We don't know what level of experience the OP has with bikes. The OP is simply doing research and asking experts for their opinions based on experience which is valid research. Asking questions to form baseline knowledge which leads to in depth research is certainly recognized as appropriate.

Perhaps someone who wants to write about the effects of combat on soldiers post combat psyches shouldn't interview soldiers but should enlist, volunteer for combat and then write. Reporters shouldn't ask sources for information nor should they interview witnesses and victims. if they want to know about conditions in jail they should get arrested. If they want to know about criminal assault, they should get beaten up. Maybe the OP should buy a bike and ride until it needs a repair (perhaps years later) and then report. Again...RIDICULOUS!

The REAL SPAM ON THIS SITE is the non-responsive posts that merely criticize but ADD NOTHING to the discussion.

BTW...I'm a university professor who has done and sponsored research so I write from fact based experience, not opinionated supposition.

+1 on the suggestion that the OP post to the bike mechanic forum instead.
True for the most part, but I'm looking at it from the perspective of having to occasionally teach firefighters and cops (both being pretty insular groups of folks) about hazardous materials and industrial chemical processes. I don't use 'lingo' and acronyms to describe things, and I stress to them not to do it either or they'll just confuse the listener and could confuse other groups who are present at an emergency incident. I didn't know what the NEA GCSE was, so looked it up; its somewhat like the GED programs here in the USA. I'm not sure how much the OP looked around the Bikeforums website, but maybe he/she might have seen its primarily a USA-centric site, so could have included a link in his/her post to what the NEA GCSE is. And there's a regular stream of posts that seek (what seems like) some pretty basic information for college-level research, almost appearing like the poster just found out what a bicycle is.
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