Friday, April 16, 2010

Bike Repair Common Misses (Part Two of Two)

Here are some more common misses -- watch out for these when you're fixing up your bike...

What's wrong with this picture?

Front/Rear Brakes
  1. Spring tension not balanced (one pad rubbing on rim)
  2. Pads not centered on rim (hanging off or rubbing on tire)
  3. Brake pads not toed-in (to prevent squaky brakes)
  4. Brake pads down or dried out
  5. Missing parts (especially where they come in contact with the frame)
  6. Missing cable cap
  7. Used derailleur housing, not brake housing (derailleur housing is more rigid)
  1. Dirty
  2. Dried out/corroded/not lubricated
  3. Too much lubrication (picks up dirt)
  4. Tight links (watch for a 'hop')
Front/Rear Derailleur
  1. Limit screw not set properly (not reaching gears on extremes, or overshifting and dropping the chain)
  2. Frayed/corroded cable
  3. Sharp bends in cable housing (makes it hard to shift)
  4. Cable cap missing
  5. Used brake housing rather than derailleur housing (will often cause indexed gear systems to not work properly)
  6. No metal ends on the cable housing
  7. Barrel adjuster all the way out/not present
Handlebars, Stem, Grips, and Levers
  1. Bar end plugs missing
  2. Stem loose
  3. Stem higher than maximum height mark
  4. Levers not secured
  5. Levers not positioned properly (especially for hand size -- for younger riders, often the levers need to be brought within easier reach)
Seat and Seat Post
  1. Seat post rusty/ungreased (ever encountered a stuck seatpost?)
  2. Seat post higher than safety marks
  1. Wheel reflectors not positioned close to rim/loose
  2. Front and rear reflectors broken/not angled properly

What other issues have you encountered when fixing up a bike?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bike Repair Common Misses (Part One of Two)

We see a lot of bikes come through the CBC, and after a while you start to recognize some common problems. Here's the first part of a list that we have compiled of these common issues that can make a bicycle unsafe to ride:

Sadly, this bike might be beyond hope.

Frame and Fork
  1. Bent derailleur hanger drop-out
  2. Collision damage (see above), bent frames
  3. Excessive surface/interior rust
Bottom Bracket, Cranks, and Pedals
  1. Bearing play
  2. Loose of missing lockrings
  3. Crankarms not securely fastened
  4. Bent chainrings
  5. Pedals not securely fastened
Front/Rear Hub
  1. Locknut missing
  2. Locknut not tightened against cone
  3. Hub not centered with axle
  4. Bearing play
Freewheel or Cassette
  1. Worn (sharp) teeth
  2. Dryness, corrosion
  1. Lockring not securely fastened
  2. Bearing play
Front/Rear Rim and Tire
  1. Valve stem not straight
  2. Tire underinflated
  3. Tire bean not seated in rim
  4. Wheel not centered
  5. Quick release levers closed backwards
  6. Safety catch washers missing
  7. No valve cap
  8. Bald (from skidding)/cracked or dry-rotted tires
Next Post....
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Derailleur and Cable
Rear Derailleur and Cable
Handlebars, Stem, Grips, and Levers
Seat and Seat Post

What other common problems have you noticed on bicycles you are fixing?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bike ride season kicks off this week!

After many false starts (and signs of warmer weather), April is finally here and our bike riding season is beginning. If you're looking for some opportunities to mentor, have fun, and get exercise all at the same time, you're in luck! We are planning many regular rides for which we will need volunteer chaperones.

The Bike and Walk to School program kicks off next week (on Wednesday, April 7), and will continue each Wednesday until the end of the school year providing a safe and healthy way for students at Biddeford Intermediate and Middle Schools to commute to and from school.

Here's the schedule:
For Biddeford Middle School students,

Wednesday Mornings
6:45-6:55 Gather at Emery
6:55-7:00 Briefing
7:00-7:15 Ride
7:15 Arrive at BMS

Wednesday Afternoons
2:40-2:50 Gather at the BIS bike racks
2:50-2:55 Briefing
2:55-3:10 Ride/walk
3:10 Arrive at Emery/CBC

The Biddeford Intermediate School program will have a walking component this year. Here's their schedule:

Wednesday Mornings
7:25-7:35 Gather at Emery (bikers) or CBC (walkers)
7:35-7:40 Briefing
7:40-7:55 Ride/walk
7:55 Arrive at BIS

Wednesday Afternoons
2:40-2:50 Gather at the BIS bike racks
2:50-2:55 Briefing
2:55-3:10 Ride/walk
3:10 Arrive at Emery/CBC

Dillon is coordinating this program, so if you are interested in volunteering or have any questions you can contact him at

Also starting this week, the CBC Girls' Group will begin their season of bike rides to fun destinations -- this week's ride will be an introduction to the tandems at the parking lot across the street, and it's a great opportunity for volunteers especially to learn how ride a bicycle built for two. Bronwyn is coordinating this program, so if you're interested in volunteering or have any questions you can contact her at

We hope you'll join us as a volunteer this spring!