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Adventures for All

Mountain Bike Repair – It’s OK to Ask for Help

"He's weird, but the creep can fix bikes."

Running isn’t really my thing. But if I want to snag a decent time at the Midnight Sun Runin Norway, I have to train. That’s what led to me, coated in a layer of sweat, encountering a couple on mountain bikes at the end of the run.

The guy had his mountain bike upside down. I popped an earbud out and asked if everything was under control. The guy replied with the perfunctory “yes, all’s well” sort of message.

“Except he has a problem with his brake,” said his special lady friend, “and he can’t get the wheel back on.”

Less than a minute later, I had the wheel back on and the brake problem diagnosed – Hydraulic Disc Brake Rule #1 … don’t squeeze the lever when the wheel is off. It’s an easy fix for a mountain bike nerd with a pair of needle-nose pliers and a flathead screwdriver, a confounding game-killer for most others. And when you want to put your rear wheel back on, make it easier by shifting into the highest gear and lining the chain up with the smallest gear.

But that’s not even the point: If you have a bike problem and someone offers help … take it, whether you have a flat tire, a broken chain or a bent rim. You’ll be back on your way sooner, and you might learn something.

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