Q: How often should I get my bicycle serviced?
A: A bicycle should be serviced a least once a year. However, if you use your bicycle to commute daily to work etc, or cycle more than 80 kms per week you should service your bicycle twice a year.
Q: Should I repair my bicycle, or purchase a new one?
A: If your repair is potentially going to cost more that the replacement cost of a new bicycle of similar kind, you may be better off purchasing a new bicycle. New bicycles generally come with a manufacturer’s warranty and a free first service. If you can’t bear to part with your old favourite, it may cost you a few dollars more to repair it, but in the end it will be worth it!
Q: Why do I continually get punctures?
A: There are many reasons; the main ones are listed below. Under inflation, which more often than not will cause a pinch flat (snake bite); Sharp objects in the tyre such as glass, wire or a thorn. These objects must be carefully removed from the outside and inside of the tyre. Many reoccurring punctures happen because the sharp object is still protruding through the inside of the tyre. Hitting large potholes, drain grates or curbs. Putting too much sideways pressure on the valve stem while pumping. This action cuts the tube at the valve stem interface where it comes through the rim. Bald or badly worn tyres. Damaged or torn rim tape.
Q: My bike is rusty, is it safe to ride?
A: Most rust on a bicycle is “surface” rust. This is generally not a safety issue on small components and fittings such as nuts, bolts, brake levers, handlebars and stems etc. However rusty cables can cause poor or erratic shifting or braking. A rusty chain will also cause poor shifting and a noisy drive train. Rusty spokes are potentially a safety concern and should be replaced.
Q: Can I get the rust off my bicycle?
A: Generally speaking, rust cannot be removed permanently; even if it is cleaned off and oiled it will eventually return. High quality components tend to last longer and resist rusting.
Q: Why can’t I pump my tyres at the service station?
A: More than likely you have presta valves fitted (French or high pressure). These vales require a special pump. However, you can purchase a valve adaptor for a few dollars that will enable you to pump your tyres at the servo. Keep in mind that high pressure road tyres normally need to be pumped to 100 – 140 psi, you will be lucky to get 50psi at a servo.