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If your bike is broken and you're not initially sure what's wrong, run through this checklist of common fixes:
Generally, more expensive bikes are going to be more expensive to repair, due to the increased cost of their parts. On average, you can expect to spend $60 for a full bike assembly while a total repair overhaul can cost between $120 and $250.
It's important to remember that bikes cost money to keep in top shape, and even a new bike will require some repairs within a few months. As long as your frame is not cracked, bent, or dented, it is usually worth repairing or replacing the other components.
Remember to carry all of the following items whenever you set out on a long bike trip:
Unless rust has been left unattended for long enough to cause serious structural damage, you can remove it yourself with simple household products. Baking soda, vinegar, and a rag can be enough to strip away any rust and have your bike looking new.
The main factor that affects your bike's lifespan is how much you ride it. With everyday riding, you can expect it to last about five years. If you ride it only half as often, you can expect it to last twice as long.
While many biking novices are intimidated by bicycle repair, the fact is a few simple tools and know-how can make the most common problems easy. Minor repairs can be accomplished with the right tools, but for more complicated repairs, you may need to hire a professional.
Depending on the type of bike you have, a tire replacement can cost between $50 and $100. Mountain bike tires are a little more bulky and expensive while road bike tires are more lightweight and less costly.
The two main factors that contribute to the cost of bike servicing are the cost of parts and the cost of labor. Generally, parts that are sold individually are sold at a higher rate than those sold as a completed bicycle. Because serious bike repairs take years of experience, experts can charge a high fee.
In many cases, refurbishing an old bike can cost more than simply buying a new one. However, you should consider more than the total cost when making your decision. It takes time to adapt to the feel of a new bike, and simply trading in your old one can feel like a waste.
The best thing to do with an old bike is donate it to a shop that can refurbish it and sell it as new. Otherwise, it can be taken to your nearest recycling center where the steel or aluminum components can be broken down into their raw materials.
To keep your bike in the best shape, be sure to check your old bike for signs of wear on the chain, nuts and bolts, cables, bearings, and suspension. Worn parts should be replaced regularly to ensure they are working smoothly.
Frames are the most durable part of your bike and can be expected to last anywhere between 6 and 40 years. Steel frames tend to be more durable, but aluminum ones are more lightweight and fragile. The design also plays a role too, with more expensive bikes tending to last longer.
Accurately diagnosing your bike's problem means knowing all of the common symptoms of a broken bike. The first step is to identify which part needs attention. Take a close look at the pedals, brakes, chain, wheels, tires, and frame to see what needs attention.
Once a bike has been ridden for 25,000 miles, it may start to show more serious signs of wear and cracking in the frame. However, it is not uncommon to find bikes that last for 40,000 miles or more. A quality build and regular maintenance can help a bike last longer.
Fixing a flat is one of the first things new bike owners should learn to do for themselves. Follow these steps for a simple replacement:
Repair kits are a necessary part of bike ownership but can sometimes be difficult to take on the go. If you don't want to stash yours in a backpack, consider purchasing a specialized pack that can attach directly to your bike. That way, you'll always have all your tools on hand for when you need them.
No matter how often you ride your bike, you should oil your chain at least once every month. However, if you ride it every day, once per week may be more appropriate. If you're not sure whether your chain needs oil, check to make sure your back tire spins smoothly.