Basic repairs you can do yourself
Neglected, abused, poorly maintained and left outside in all weathers...No. We're not talking about our instructors, but your kid's bike. A little TLC is often all that's required to keep it in fine fettle. There's a wealth of information available on the internet covering all aspects of cycle maintenance and repair, but for those less inclined to reach for the toolkit when something goes wrong, the following tutorials may just provide the inspiration and know how to save you a more expensive trip to the local bike shop.
Replacing a brake cable
If left unattended, brake cables will rust, making the lever almost impossible for a child to use. . Lubricating the inner will prolong its working life but eventually the whole cable will need to be replaced. Standard inner cables are cheap and readily available. Outer cable is generally sold by the metre, so be sure to measure the old one to determine how much you will require. The whole procedure should take you less than 10 minutes!
No cable cutters? Take the old cable to your local bike shop- they'll cut it for you free of charge
Fixing a puncture. Part 1
Back in the day, my Grandad showed me how to remove a tyre with a pair of spoons. Modern bike wheels are made of light alloy and are easily damaged, so go gently if you opt for something out of the kitchen drawer! The following tutorial shows you the procedure for removing the wheel and tyre. Part 2 shows you how to locate the puncture and apply a patch.
Setting up V Brakes
This short tutorial shows you how to check and adjust a V brake. These are commonly fitted to children's bikes. They are easy to set up and straightforward to maintain. Note that the brake lever requires very little effort to operate and springs back fully once released. If the lever feels stiff, or doesn't return properly, chances are the brake cable is at fault. Fortunately, help is hand in the next video...
Fixing a puncture. Part 2
You've taken the wheel off, you removed the tube and you can see where the air is escaping...next step is to put a patch on. One thing this video fails to mention: check the inside of the tyre very carefully, to locate and remove the source of the puncture, before refitting the inner tube. Hold the tube up to the wheel and line the valve up with the hole in the rim...the offending thorn / wire / shard of glass will be close to where you stuck the patch on, assuming the tyre hasn't moved around the rim...watch your fingers!