How-to-fix-a-flat-tire-biking

As a frequent rider, you should make improvements to your bike every year! Unfortunately, if you don’t know how to make those changes yourself, upgrades can be challenging and costly.

The guide below will help you make your used bike look like new again.

1. Wheels and Tires
When riding regularly, changing a tire or fixing a flat is common. Changing your tires when needed will help keep you safe during your rides.
Note: When purchasing new tires and wheels, always double check the size of your old equipment to make sure that your new gear will fit your frame properly.

2. Grips
To increase comfort and control of your bike, one of the easiest and least expensive improvements you can do is replace your handlebar grips. Grips are available in a wide range of styles, colors and surface textures.

3. Pedals
Don't let pedal issues slow you down! Replace your worn out pedals in a blink of an eye. Pedals can be replaced individually or together. Experts recommend pedals made of aluminum as they are lightweight, low maintenance and last longer.

4. Saddle
An effective saddle achieves the ideal blend of firm support and flex to enhance pedaling efficiency. Depending on your type of riding, you may choose between a cushioned saddle (for recreational riding), a performance saddle (for racing or significant road miles), a mountain-specific saddle, a touring saddle (for long-distance rides) or a women-specific saddle. You can also choose different types of cushioning such as gel, foam or a saddle pad. For more information, please click here.
Bike experts state that saddles have a lifespan of 400 to 600 hours. Riders will notice that comfort begins to diminish after 400 hours. That doesn’t mean that you should throw away your saddle after 400 hours, just keep in mind that sweat will break down the leather and give your saddle a rough surface.

5. Stem and Bars
Improve your bike handling by replacing your stem and bars. For better control, use wider handlebars and a shorter stem. According to Betterride.net, “wider bars will allow you to keep your arms bent and chest down permitting to ride in a more athletic, neutral position.”

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Courtesy photo of Betterride.net.

6. Get a Tune Up
Regular tune ups save time and money. To keep your bike in good condition, clean your chain, adjust your brakes, and smooth out your gears every month. Those small steps will help to prevent or delay major repairs in the long run.

7. Get a new bell
Let pedestrians know that you’re approaching with a tinny, but audible double ring. The usage of bells also increases traffic safety.

8. Bar Tape
To keep your handlebars slip-free, you can tape them. In addition, it will also help in preventing hand/wrist pain. Handlebar wrapping is a skill that takes practice and patience, so if you need assistance, visit your local bike shop or the UCLA Bike Shop.

9. Taillight
Stay safe by making yourself visible while riding. Taillights are easy-to-install, and allow riders to be seen up to a mile away.

10. Fenders
If you are a serious cyclist, you should have a bicycle with fenders. Fenders make a big difference when you are riding wet roads. In addition, they are a great way to protect your body and bicycle from kicked up mud and sand while riding.

If you need help with any of the suggestions listed above, please visit the UCLA Bike Shop.