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Looking for a success story at the Repair Café? Then come and visit us with your bicycle. Bicycles are number two in the top ten of most brought in products. The success rate is also very high: 86 percent of the bicycles brought in are successfully repaired, according to the RepairMonitor in which repairers register their repair data.

Maintenance extends your bicycle’s life
Bicycles are easy to repair, and parts are readily available. Bicycles that could not be repaired were generally too worn or rusty. A tip from the Repair Café is: properly service your bicycle. It will make it last longer.

Visitors mainly come to the Repair Café with problems with tires, chains, lights, brakes, wheels, and gears. For repairers such as Paul Swartjes of Repair Café Nieuwegein these kinds of issues are a piece of cake. When repairs take a long time, he refers visitors to the bicycle repair shop. He does the same when expensive parts need to be replaced.

According to Paul, proper bicycle service is essential. He sees people dropping in for the simplest things: a bent wheel, a rigid kickstand. At the Repair Café, you can learn how to solve these simple problems yourself. But often you can also prevent them by cleaning your bicycle.

You can clean them with hot, soapy water and a garden hose. When mud and rust are removed between the parts, a bicycle often runs a lot smoother. By cleaning regularly, you will also discover early when something is loose. The loose part can then be tightened with a wrench.

You can spray WD40 on moving parts. This water repellent spray makes a bicycle run smoother. Do not spray WD40 on the chain! For this, you have special chain grease. Paul advises you to clean your bicycle every six months.

Top brands
Gazelle, Batavus, Giant, Union, and Sparta are Repair Café’s most common bicycle brands. There is no apparent difference in reparability between these brands. The difference between bicycles is in the type of parts. When replacing a part, make sure you buy the right one to match your bicycle.

For example, harder blocks often seem the best option as they wear more slowly than softer ones. However, if your bicycle has a fragile rim, it may wear out faster. For sound advice, you can contact all kinds of bicycle specialists.

Almost a third of all bicycle repairs in the Repair Café regard the tires. They are often punctured or flat. Nearly half of them had to be patched. In the Repair Café, you can learn how to do this. Repairer Paul thinks that everyone with a bicycle should have a tire repair kit.

According to the information in the RepairMonitor, many bicycle tires had to be replaced. Only a few needed to be inflated. A mere 10 percent had to have a valve repaired or replaced.

Repairer tips
The RepairMonitor provides the following five tips to repair a bicycle:
1. Chain problems can almost always be solved by adequately adjusting the chain;
2. Lights often work again after you have cleaned the contacts;
3. Brakes can be repaired by replacing or modifying the brake cable;
4. Wheels are often difficult to repair, but easy to replace or secure;
5. Gears often work again after adjustment, cleaning, and lubrication.

Want to learn how to do this? Come to the Repair Café!

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