Bicycle Mechanical Problems in Cycling

Modified at: Jun 13, 2022

Posted at: Oct 6, 2020

Trouble is bound to occur when cycling long distances on a bicycle. In this issue, we have compiled a list of mechanical problems that can occur while cycling.

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Frequent Problems


The most common mechanical problem in cycling is a flat tire.

A flat tire is the lifeblood of a bicycle, and if it is not repaired, you will not be able to continue cycling or even return home.

On city bicycles and MTBs with larger tires, it is almost always possible to avoid a puncture if the tire pressure is properly adjusted and the rider is careful.

Loss of brake effectiveness

While it is almost impossible for brakes to lose effectiveness during normal driving, if the brakes are bumped when the bicycle is parked, or if the brakes are not properly installed when removing and installing the wheel, a phenomenon called “one-sided braking” can occur, where the brake shoes do not hit the correct position.

If one-sided braking occurs, it can be easily corrected with an adjusting bolt if the brake is equipped with one. If the brake does not have an adjusting bolt, it is necessary to turn the fixing bolt to adjust the brake.

Chain drop

When a bicycle has a front shifter, if the front derailleur is not adjusted properly, the chain will fall off. It may sound like a big trouble when the chain comes off, but chain drop is a common problem on bicycles with front shifting.

Even if a chain falls off, it can be easily fixed with bare hands if the chain just comes off. There is a disadvantage of getting your hands dirty, but it is not a major problem.

If the chain that fell off got stuck in the crank or wrapped around the rear derailleur and destroyed it, it is difficult to deal with on the spot, so you will either have to ask a nearby bicycle shop to repair it or push it home.

Less frequent problems

Broken chain

Once you buy a bicycle chain, you tend to leave it as it is. A bicycle chain is not a “buy it and keep it forever” kind of thing; it is a consumable item. It is said that the chain needs to be replaced after about 3,000 to 4,000 km.

Chain breakage rarely occurs if the chain is replaced properly, so it is a good idea to replace the chain before going out for cycling.

Rim dents.

If you fall into a hole or ride up on something vigorously, the rim will be deformed. When the rim is deformed, it interferes with the brake shoes just by driving, so the brakes can be opened to make up for it. Basically, you can ride at low speeds because you will only lose the use of either the front or rear brakes.

A problem that deforms the front and rear rims at the same time would be more on the level of an accident, so you would probably have to have your bicycle transported home by a road service or other means.

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Spoke breakage

This also rarely happens, but sometimes the spokes that support the wheel break. Like rim dents, this is not a problem that will make the wheel impossible to drive immediately, but it can cause the wheel to swing, so if you are knowledgeable, it is a good idea to carry a nipple turner with you and adjust it on the spot.

List of mechanical problems that can occur in cycling

Finally, here is a list of mechanical problems with bicycles that can occur in cycling.

Trouble Frequency Parts Repair Tools
Flat tire High Tire Replacement tube
Tire lever
Portable pump
Broken chain low chain replacement chain
Chain cutter
Rim dents low wheel -
Broken spoke low wheel nipple turner

In this way, we can see that the most important thing to do is to repair a flat tire. You should bring a puncture repair tool with you when you go cycling, because not only will it render your bicycle unrideable, but it can also be repaired.

On the other hand, many infrequent mechanical problems, such as a broken chain, can be avoided with daily maintenance, so you should perform thorough maintenance before cycling or have your bicycle serviced at a bicycle shop.

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