Budget Bike Repairs
Don’t let your bike become a money pit this summer! Instead, learn to save yourself from over-priced repair shops with these easy solutions for common bicycle blunders.
Bent Bicycle Wheel?
Remove the wheel from your bike and smack it against a tree or some other hard object to bend it back into shape. Check your progress with each strike, so that you won’t bend the wheel too far the other way. Place the wheel on your bike and start pedaling. This is only a temporary fix; you’ll need to get a new wheel before the next time you use your bike.
Flat Tire and No Repair Kit?
Don’t stay stranded! Pry one edge of the tire off the wheel rim of your bike. If you don’t have a repair kit with you, you probably won’t have bike tools to do this with, so try a pocketknife, some other piece of metal, or your bare hands.
Once one edge of the tire is loose outside the rim all the way around the wheel, gather a pile of leaves and moss and pack it tightly inside the deflated tire. Squeeze the edge of the tire back in place on the rim and start biking. The tire may not be as firm as you’re accustomed to, but it will get you back home safely and without having to call a cab.
A sharp rock has left a gash in your bike tire. Being a savvy cyclist, you know that when you patch the inner tube (or use your backup inner tube), it will pop through the hole in the tire and burst when you try to ride on it.
What you need is a strong but flexible material to place inside the tire against the hole. And paper money from your wallet is just the ticket. Pry one edge of the damaged tire off its rim. Pull out the inner tube and patch or replace it. Then place a bill from your wallet against the gash inside the tire. Press the tire back onto the rim and inflate the tire. Don’t forget to take your bill out when you get home though!