How to Become A Self Reliant Cyclist

May 01, 2020

4 Ways To Be More Prepared While Cycling During COVID-19

Everyone's talking about this being the perfect time to learn a language, start baking, grow a garden – we think it's a perfect time to brush up on your bike mechanic skills and become a self-reliant cyclist.

Many bike shops are still open but find themselves overwhelmed with the influx of new customers - translation: it's harder to pop in for a quick tune-up or flat fix. But we've got good news: most of this stuff, you can do yourself.

Below are some of our favorite videos that cover basic repairs, routine maintenance, and sizing yourself up for the perfect fit:

How to Make Sure Your Helmet Actually Fits

When buying a new helmet (especially if you’re doing so online) your first step should be determining what type of helmet fits your intended cycling type. In this quick video, REI’s experts walk through three different types of helmets to consider.

 

Next up, when that helmet arrives, you need to ensure it actually fits. Global Cycling Network pulled together this two minute walk through explaining how to tell if your helmet is the right size for your head and how to adjust it to fit perfectly.

 

How to Determine Your Ideal Air Pressure

Recommended tire pressure is printed on the side of most tires but even still there’s a range offered. In the video below, Katie from REI walks through how to ensure your tires are inflated to best fit your riding style.

How to Make Sure Your Seat is the Right Height

This video features a quick and accurate method to get your saddle height right. The best part about it? It’s super easy and you can try it out almost anywhere. All it requires is something stable to hold onto like a bench or tree. It also walks through how to understand if your current saddle height is too low or too high.

 

If you’re looking for more, our friends at BikeRumor have a 5 part video series featuring everything you need to know about choosing the right saddle for your ride.

How To Fix A Flat

Unexpectedly getting a flat tire while riding is a bummer but fixing that flat is actually pretty simple requiring just a few tools and some basic education.

REI’s experts walk through the step by step process of fixing a flat. This video includes how to remove the wheel from the bike, removing the tube, patching or replacing the tube, and getting the wheel back onto the bike so you can start riding again.

 

Looking for more? This 3 minute video from Howcast details how to put a new tube and tire onto your wheel and how to ensure it’s seeded properly so there aren’t unexpected blow outs.

 

If you’re looking to really lean into your bike education, here are a few YouTube channels we found particularly helpful when researching this blog: REI’s Cycling Expert Advice Playlist, Howcast’s Bike Section, and Global Cycling Network. Each of these channels produce concise and easy to follow videos that cyclists of all levels can benefit from.

If you plan to hit the road anytime soon, here are some recommendations for staying safe while cycling during COVID-19.

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