Clunky gears? An annoying puncture? Dodgy brakes? It’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking your bike regularly yourself, and to learn some basic maintenance skills. If you need further help, you can get in touch with our qualified mechanics at the Bike Hub.
- Check the tyre pressure and inspect tyres for cracks, etc. Whilst you’re at it, check that the quick release wheel levers (if you have any) are secure and tight.
- Lubricate your chain with chain-specific lube (olive oil is not acceptable!)
- Have you got your lights? Are they working properly?
- Check that your brakes work and don’t stick or catch.
- Check your headset: apply pressure to the front brake and rock the bike back and forth. If there is any movement, do not ride your bike as your headset needs adjusting. This is serious and it could cause extensive damage to bike and limb.
- Bonus Tip: Have you got a multi-tool, a mini-pump, a spare inner tube, tyre levers and should the worst happen to your bike, money for the taxi home (or a slice of cake after your ride)?
Cycle maintenance skills
How to wash a bike:
- Watch this 5-minute bike wash tutorial on YouTube
- Watch this 30-minute bike wash tutorial on YouTube
- Watch this YouTube tutorial on how to wash your bike in a flat
How to remove a bike wheel:
- There is a useful tutorial on YouTube about how to remove a bike wheel.
How to fix a puncture:
- There is a useful tutorial on YouTube is you need to fix a puncture.
How to adjust brakes:
- Find out what kind of rim brakes you have by watching this helpful tutorial on YouTube about rim brake identification so you can learn to adjust them correctly.
- Learn how to adjust older “single-pivot” brakes with a YouTube tutorial
- Learn how to adjust newer “dual-pivot” brakes with a YouTube tutorial
Mountain bike / touring / hybrid brakes
- Learn how to adjust “Cantilever” brakes (cantis) with a YouTube tutorial
- Learn how to adjust old peg brake pads with a YouTube tutorial
- Learn how to adjust “V-brakes” with a YouTube tutorial
- Learn how to adjust rare “U-brakes” with a YouTube tutorial
- Learn how to replace brake pads with a YouTube tutorial
- Learn how to align mechanical disc brakes with a YouTube tutorial
- Learn how to align hydraulic disc brakes with a YouTube tutorial
How to adjust gears
Maintenance at the Bike Hub
The Bike Hub is entirely funded by the University, and operates on a cost neutral basis. In other words, we are not here to make money, but to help you cycle safely and enjoy it! The hub is typically very busy at the start of the academic year and is currently operating at limited capacity and by pre-booked appointment only, with maintenance appointments available on Mondays.
When you come for your appointment at the Bike Hub, we will have a look at your bike and give you a straightforward opinion to help you decide what you would like to do next.
Things we do:
- Assist you and show you the way around your bike
- Provide sincere and honest advice
- Make sure your bike is safe to ride
Things we do not do:
- Operate a drop-off system
- Store your bike
- Service suspension forks and shocks
- Bleed hydraulic brakes
- Clean your bike for you (but you are welcome to borrow our equipment!)