Video guide: Roadside bike repairs

Cycling UK has produced a series of easily accessible video guides on maintenance and road safety. In this guide, we cover what to do if you run into a mechanical problem while out on your ride

While out riding you might encounter problems with your bike, but many of these issues can be easily solved, with a little knowledge and a few basic tools.

This video covers some of the most common problems, including:

  • How to adjust your brakes
  • How to adjust your gears
  • How to fix a broken chain 

Brake adjustment

After some miles of riding the tension in your brake cables can slacken or the brake pads wear down.

To fix this problem, you can use the barrel adjusters to move the brake pads closer to the rim of the wheel.

Brake adjustment

But remember to check the brake pad wear lines for signs they might need replacing.

Gear adjustment

During your ride you may find your gears aren’t shifting properly.

If the shifting feels slow and unresponsive, or there’s a crunching sound, it may be your gears are badly adjusted.

Use the gear barrel adjuster to fix your gears

The gear barrel adjusters allow you to make small adjustments to the cable tension and which in most cases will solve your gear problems. The video shows you exactly how.

Broken chain

If your chain breaks on your ride, it’s not a disaster if you’re prepared and have some spares and tools with you.

You’ll need:

  • A quick link
  • A chain breaker tool
  • A pair of quick link pliers (preferably)
The tools you'll need to repair a chain

You’ll need to locate and remove the broken link using the chain breaker tool, and ensure you have two inner links at each end of the chain.

You can attach the quick link using either a pair of quick link pliers, or by applying pressure to the pedals. The video shows you exactly how.

A broken chain shouldn't mean the end of your ride

You can also check out our five handy written guides on bike maintenance. Fixing a broken chain is covered in the fifth guide, Repairing a broken chain. It will walk you through each step to help you get on your way.

Packed with instructional diagrams and handy hints, it’s been designed to download on your phone as a reference guide you can take wherever you go.