We’ve all been there – out on the road, enjoying a ride only to be interrupted by unwanted problems with your bike. Not only are problems with your bicycle extremely frustrating but they can also prevent you from enjoying your planned route and leave you stranded waiting for assistance. In situations like these, being prepared is key.

Lucky for you, our expert team at Tru-Tension are here to help. In this blog, we go though some common bicycle problems and offer some tips on how to avoid them, helping you to ensure your ride is smooth and free of inconvenient stops.


Punctures are always a pesky problem when it comes to bicycles. The dreaded hiss of a bicycle tyre can be a one-way ticket to an untimely roadside stop…which could last a good while.

In an ideal scenario, a puncture would be avoided altogether. To maximise the chance of avoiding a puncture, ensure you select the right type of tyres for your terrain and conditions. Tyres designed for on road cycling will have different features to those designed for off road journeys. Similarly, summer tyres will be less robust than those designed for use in the harsher conditions. Winter tyres, in particular, will benefit from a balance of speed, durability, grip and puncture protection.

Another option for reducing the chance of a puncture is to opt for a tubeless solution. Tubeless tyres do away with inner tubes and remove some of the risks associated, such as tube pinching. Tubeless tyres are creating a real buzz in the cycling world right now, with benefits including a lower rolling resistance and an overall smoother ride.

Flat Tyres

Often caused by unnoticed punctures, flat tyres are another classic problem. Luckily, these can be simple to fix and avoid. Bicycle owners can prevent them by checking tyre pressures regularly, especially if you spend a lot of time out on the road.

In addition, regularly rotating and inspecting your tyres can help you keep on top of any uneven wear. Your owner’s manual may contain further maintenance tips for helping keep flat tyres at bay.

Skipping Between Gears

Chains skipping between gears is a commonly reported bicycle problem. A lot of the time, a skipping chain is caused by cable stretch, which can be resolved quickly by adjusting cable tension. Cable stretch is particularly common during a chain’s first dozen or so rides, so when riding a new bike or using a new chain, this is something to keep an eye out for.

There is also a chance that gear skipping can be caused by worn out parts. Cogs with worn out teeth prevent a chain from performing effectively. Luckily, changing a chainring is a straightforward fix – although you may require some specific equipment, such as a cassette tool and chain whip. Remember to check the relevant owner’s manual for any model specific guidance.

Further down the line, a worn chain can easily break. It’s therefore important to keep tabs on the condition of your chain after every ride to avoid any unexpected accidents. Chain wear can be reduced by using products such as chain lube.

Loose Bolts

When riding, bicycles experience vibration from road surfaces and rider motion. As you might expect – intense vibration can cause small elements such as bolts to come loose and/or be lost. Keeping your use of bolts simple can help prevent unwanted loosening. A bolt that is attached to numerous elements will become loose quicker and cause premature difficulty for a rider. Limiting the number of layers between a bolt and a surface helps keep things tight and less likely to fall off.

Squeaky Brakes

There’s nothing more annoying than having a calm countryside cycle disrupted by the sound of squeaky brakes. There’s one thing dealing with the noise, but you mustn’t forget that noisy brakes can also be an indicator of poor break performance. Oil and grease on the wheel rim, brake pad or a misalignment of braking components can cause breaks to squeak.

Keeping your brakes clean is the most effective way of avoiding this problem. If you don’t already own a brake cleaner then this is certainly something worth investing in.

Bicycle Maintenance with Tru-Tension

We hope this short guide has provided you with some useful information for avoiding common bicycle problems. Unfortunately, these issues are just part and parcel of riding a bike, but by following the aforementioned advice, you’ll definitely be reducing the likelihood of these problems effecting you.

Here at Tru-Tension, we specialise in designing and manufacturing a range of high-quality bicycle maintenance tools and products. From grime guards to chain lube and brake cleaners, we have solutions for all requirements.

View our online range and shop today >

See more: Tips for Cycling in the Rain