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Questionnaire: Basic Bike Maintenance

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 1 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
Bike Maintenance Tools Tyres Chain

By taking a little time to perform basic maintenance, it is easy to keep a bike in tip-top condition. That way you can enjoy a faster, more comfortable ride and even save money, because if a bike is kept in good condition it will be more reliable and need fewer replacement parts. But how much do you know about basic bike maintenance? Take our test to find out.

  • Question 1: Just a few tools are needed to perform basic bike maintenance, but can you name five items that should be in your toolkit?
  • Question 2: The amount of bike maintenance you do will depend on how much riding you do, but assuming you ride every day, how often should you pump up tyres and clean, oil and wipe down the chain?
  • Question 3: And how often should you check that lights are working and bright and that brakes are working and don’t need tightened?
  • Question 4: If brake pads have worn down, they will need to be adjusted or replaced. How far from the wheel rim should brake pads be when not in use?
  • Question 5: When do brake and gear cables need to be replaced?
  • Question 6: Why is it important to lubricate a bolt with a touch of grease when putting it back on the bike?
  • Question 7: Why is it important to keep tyres pumped up?
  • Question 8: If you have a puncture, how do you find the hole in the inner tube?
  • Question 9: When replacing pedals, why is it important to establish which pedal is the right one and which is the left one?
  • Question 10: After repairing a puncture, it makes sense to pump a little air into the inner tube before putting it back on the wheel. Why is this?


Question 1 – A basic toolkit for bike maintenance should include a bicycle pump, spare inner tube, puncture repair kit, set of tyre levers, light oil and grease, cleaning rags, set of Allen keys, flat head and a Philips head screwdriver, set of spanners, plastic gloves or hand cleaner.
Question 2 – Pump up tyres and clean the chain on a weekly basis.
Question 3 – Check lights and brakes on a daily basis.
Question 4 – Brake pads should be no more than three millimetres from the rim when not in use.
Question 5 – Replace brake and gear cables if they are damaged, frayed or sticking.
Question 6 – Lubrication will help prevent the bolt from getting seized or rusted in place.
Question 7 – Pumped-up tyres are less vulnerable to punctures, will protect the wheel rim when you go over bumps and helps you cycle more efficiently.
Question 8 - Pump the tube up and either feel/listen for air coming out or hold the tube under water and watch for bubbles appearing.
Question 9: Left-hand pedals have a reverse thread, while right-hand pedals have a normal thread. If forced on to the wrong crank the thread will be damaged.
Question 10: It prevents the tube getting pinched when you replace the tyre.

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