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Bike maintenance guide: wheels/tyres

PedalsChainWheelsGears and brakesSaddleCleaning up

When you spin the front wheel, it should keep on turning for quite a while and there should not be any kind of grinding or cracking noise.

If it seems to slow quite quickly or you can hear odd noises, the hub probably needs stripping down and regreasing.

If you can feel any side-to-side movement at the rim, the hub bearings need adjusting.

As the wheel turns, use the brake pads or use your thumb to check if the wheel rim moves from side to side or up and down.

If you can see that the rim is buckled then you may need a new wheel.

In addition, all the spokes in a wheel should be at roughly the same tension.

If there is a buckle, some of the spokes will probably be loose.

But if they all seem to be slack, the wheel needs completing re-tensioning or even re-building by a professional bike mechanic.

No tyre runs absolutely true but if the tread wanders from side to side a lot or the tyre bulges, try taking it off and re-fitting it more carefully.

If that doesn't improve things, the tread of the tyre may have been put on crooked during manufacture or it may have been damaged.

Whatever the explanation, the only solution is a new tyre.

When you're checking the tyre tread for flints, look also for sponginess, deep cuts and an excessive number of cuts.

If there are more than a dozen or so cuts, or you can see the individual threads in the sidewall, the tyre is coming to the end of its days.

At that stage, punctures are much more likely.

Finally, make sure your tyres are pumped up to the right pressure.

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