Reader tips on how to maintain your own bike (or not)

Bicycle maintenance can be a daunting experience. We asked you for some tips on keeping your bike running smoothly... and when to draw the line and call in professional help

Fixing your own bike can be a very rewarding experience. It can also be incredibly frustrating when something goes wrong...

We recently asked Cycling Weekly readers what maintenance advice they would give to fellow cyclists, and we present a selection of their answers here. Here are a selection of answers, brought to you in association with Decathlon.

What tips would you give someone wanting to maintain their bike themselves? Tell us in the comments section below.

Don't do your bike maintenance on the decking in the garden, you are sure to drop something and guaranteed it will go down the gaps between the boards.

Neil Jackman

Buy the right tools for the job, and most importantly learn how to use them. Having said that I have an ex-British Cycling head mechanic working locally to me – as a time saver he gets all the work on my bike.

Tony Barnsley

>>> Bike fit and maintenance videos

Start with the little tasks first, like brake pads, bar tape, brake and gear cables, cassette swap/clean, chain removal etc, and get confident with those. Then progress slowly when you get more confident with the bike and your mechanical skills to start fussing with bearings and rebuilds.

Joshua Hocking

Just don't. I'm new to cycling and went onto YouTube to see how to change a back tyre puncture. The lady swung the wheel and it all clipped in perfectly... After 40 minutes and 30 swings, plus very oily hands, I finally got it in by using various objects to keep the chain in place. Save yourself the hassle: pay someone.

James Foley


YouTube. It's all simple stuff with the correct tools. The Poundshop tyre repair kit is as good as all the others. Teaspoons are the best tyre levers. Ignore the wife. The kitchen is a fine place to mend your bike.

Graham Rees

Get an old bike for a few quid strip, it and put it back together. Do that a few times you will soon learn by trial and error. Once you master that, move on to your proper machine starting with small things and gradually progressing to the more complicated.

Phil Stanbury

>>> Readers nominate their best ever bike rides: what’s yours?

I always forget cable end-caps and it's the most annoying thing when the cables fray just after I've put them on. Always use the local bike shop for specific tools such as bottom bracket and cassette tools, because we need to keep them alive.

Ethan Cooper

Never fiddle the night before a big event... ever. It WILL go wrong and typically when your local bike shop will be shut.

Paul Oz

Get a friend or bike club bloke to show you how to take wheels out without tipping the bike upside down. Learn how to fit a tube. Oil your chain, keep your bike clean. Everything else: LBS.

Gordon Richardson

Start small and stay away from the spoke wrench! Most of it is simple, but the shop will true your wheels better than you can.

Ken Rodriguez

It's always cheaper to buy the correct tool for the job.

David Burns

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