bike repair

Basic Mountain Bike Maintenance

bike repair

It can be incredibly scary to start tinkering with your bike, especially if you aren’t entirely clued up on how to tackle the issue. To a large extent, being able to carry out basic mountain bike maintenance is all about having the right tools for the job – and no, a multitool won’t cut it.

We’ll cover what tools you need to have to hand in another post, here are some simple DIY MTB fixes that you can do yourself:


There are some basic tasks that as a rider you simply need to be able to do. Tasks that, without the ability to fix, can ruin your ride and end up costing you a ton of money. If you’ve only just started riding then you may not have these fixes under your belt, but here’s what they are and how to repair them:

How to replace an inner tube

This is incredibly easy fix and is probably one of the most commonly needed when out on a trail. Even if you’re set up tubeless, fitting an inner tube is something that you need to know how to do for the worst case scenario.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Tyre levers – we like Pedros 
  • A bike pump or CO2
  • New inner tube

Here’s a really simple video to follow:

How to fix a broken bike chain

If you’ve ever been caught out with a broken chain then you’ll know this can mark the end of a ride and a long, long walk home. Luckily, this is something that is very easy to repair with a little bike DIY knowhow.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Chain breaker
  • Quick links/ pins
  • New chain (worst case scenario)

How to properly oil a mountain bike chain

This may be something that you think you already know how to do, but its actually something that a lot of people get wrong. Properly oiling you chain can help to prolong the life your chain and deliver a smoother, quieter ride.

Tools you’ll need:

Changing disc brake pads

This may not be something that you will have to do, or even should do, on the trails. That said, knowing how to do it can help to save you a lot of money from taking your bike to the shop and will ensure that your brakes always work to their best ability.

Tools you’ll need:

Replacing saddle/seatpost

This is one of the most basic skills you need to know, as raising and lowering your saddle is essential for smooth riding. Knowing how to do this will save you from being the butt of many jokes from your fellow riders, which is something you should definitely try to avoid.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Alan keys/ hex keys

How to change your mountain bike bars and stem

Getting your cockpit set up just right for you is one of the best upgrades for your bike. This can completely change the feel of your bike, making it more responsive and better suited to your riding position. Despite having such a significant impact, it is incredibly easy to change out your mountain bike’s bars and stem.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Alan/ hex keys

How to replace handlebar grips

Grips get worn out relatively quickly, so knowing how to change them is pretty important. Luckily for you, it is something that is incredibly easy to do with very little bike maintenance knowledge.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Alan/ hex key if you have lock-on grips
  • Degreaser spray
  • Something thin and narrow to lift grip

Fitting and replacing bike pedals

This can be a bit tricky if you haven’t got the right tools for the job, but properly equipped it should be a doddle. Sometimes pedals can become a bit stuck, if this happens to you try to soak the thread in WD40 or GT85 and then ‘shock’ it off by hitting the pedal spanner with a hammer.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Pedal spanner – make sure you have a long armed one like the Cyclo Pro Series 
  • Pedal hex (if needed)
  • Mallet/ hammer (if needed)

How to Index Bike Gears 

Things begin to get a bit more difficult here, but indexing gears is something that everyone can do once they know how. Sure, it is a bit fiddly and take a lot of practice to get right but once you have it dialled it’s like riding a bike – you never forget how! Don’t be frustrated if it takes you a while to get it just right, gear indexing is a bit of an art.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Alan/ hex key
  • Screw driver

That’s all there is for our basic mountain bike maintenance and repairs walk through, if you have any queries or questions just give us a shout and we’ll do whatever we can to help you out!

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