Bicycle repair should not be that hard, especially when you regularly perform bicycle tune ups and maintenance measures. So here are some 10-minute fix you need to learn.
#1 Problem: Loose cassette
Loose cassettes can damage the freehub body, slop up shifting, and cause irritating noises as you ride.
Get a cassette lockring remover specially made to fit your cassette. Remove your rear wheel from the frame. Then remove the quick-release from your hub. Fit the cassette tool into the grooves of the lockring.
Some tools are made with a skewer which can fit inside the axle to secure the tool on the lockring. Take note, if it backs out while you are applying pressure, the tool can strip the cassette lockring. If your tool does not have a skewer, slide the QR through the axle and through the tool. Then hand-tighten the cone nut onto the QR’s threaded end.
Using a box or adjustable wrench, cinch the cassette lockring tightly by turning the tool clockwise or to the right. If the cassette lockring makes more than half a rotation, take your bicycle to a shop for inspection. Have your chain, cassette, freehub, or dropout checked as it may have been damaged as you rode.
For less maintenance and repair, consider internal gear hub bikes.
#2 Problem: Creaky Handlebar
A creaky handlebar during climbs, hard efforts, or sprints can be irritating. However, this gives you a hint that there’s something wrong with you handlebar which needs attention.
Loosen your bar clamp bolt or bolts. If your stem has a removable faceplate, just take the bar out of the clamp. If it doesn’t have a removable faceplate, slide the bar over enough to reveal the whole clamping surface. Sometimes, you can do so by simply peeling off a couple of rotations of bar tape on the opposite side. If you need to remove more tape, and the shift levers and brake, you are looking at a 15- to 20-minute bicycle repair.
With a degreaser and a clean dry rag. Wipe off the surface area on your handlebar and the clamping surface of the stem. If your stem does not have a removable faceplate, spray a penetrant into a small gap between the bar and the clamp. Put mild grease on the clamp portion of the stem and bar, and the clamp bolts.
Put the bar back in position and adjust it so the levers are in their original spots. Double-check the bolt tension. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s recommended torque. Note also that grease might be recommended for some bar and stem combos, like carbon. Check the manufacturer’s spec sheet.
# 3. Squeaky Saddle
This is even more irritating than a noisy handlebar, because the noise from a squeaking saddle is almost constant.
Note the fore-aft position and slant your bike seat (to make reinstallation easier) and then remove it by loosening the bolt or the bolts on the seatpost clamp. With a degreaser and a clean dry rag, wipe down the seat rails and the clamping surface of the seatpost. Put a light layer of waterproof grease on the clamping surface. Reinstall the saddle.