Cycle Publishing/
Van der Plas Publications


1282 7th Avenue
San Francisco
CA 94122, USA

Tel.: (415) 665-8214

Bicycle Repair Step by Step

How to Maintain and Repair Your Bicycle
by Rob van der Plas


Format: 7½ x 9¼ inch trade paperback
Description: 144 pages with 450 full-color photographs and other illustrations
ISBN: 1-892495-39-2
Price: US$18.95
  • Up to date for the latest equipment
  • Covers all types of mountain and road bikes and their components
  • Selecting the right tools and equipment
  • Optimize the performance of gears and brakes
  • Preventive maintenance and adjustments

About the book

Yes, you can do it yourself: With the instructions in this book, you’ll find it easy to maintain and repair whatever kind of bicycle you ride. It will help you maximize riding pleasure and performance.

From fixing a flat to overhauling the gears and adjusting the brakes, it’s all here. The systematic approach, with step-by-step instructions and clear color illustrations, will guide you through every conceivable maintenance and repair situation. Your bike will last longer and give you more riding pleasure.

About the author

Rob van der Plas is a mechanical engineer with a lifelong passion for cycling. His writings have appeared in bicycling magazines as well as in book form on both sides of the Atlantic. A native of the Netherlands who has also lived in England and Germany for many years, he is a long-time resident of the US, living in San Francisco, California.

Critical reviews of the author’s earlier books

“…a wealth of well-organised and clearly illustrated descriptions…” — Bicycle Rider Magazine (England) about his Bicycle Repair Book

“Van der Plas’ explanations are accurate and clear and a pleasure to read.” — Bicycle USA about his The Mountain Bike Book

Table of Contents


1. Know Your Bicycle

Parts of the Bicycle

The Frame

The Wheels

The Brakes

The Drivetrain

The Gearing System

The Steering System

Saddle and Seatpost



2. Know Your Tools

Basic Tool Set

General Tools

Bicycle-Specific Tools

Other Tools

Lubricants and Cleaners

3. Basic Maintenance Procedures

Equipping Your Workshop

Spares and Replacement Parts

General Overhauling Procedures

Dealing With Instructions

Screw-Threaded Connections

Quick-Release Mechanisms

Cable Controls

Ball Bearings

4. Preventive Maintenance

Pre-Ride Inspection

Monthly Inspection

Annual Inspection

Cleaning the Bike

5. Wheel Removal and Installation

Replace Front Wheel with Quick-Release

Replace Front Wheel with Axle Nuts

Replace Rear Wheel with Quick-Release

Replace Rear Wheel with Axle Nuts

Spacers, Washers, and Keyed Plates

6. Wheel Hub Maintenance

Hub Bearings

7. Rim and Spoke Maintenance

Special Wheels

The Rim

Wheel Truing Check

Wheel Truing

Emergency Buckled Wheel Repair

The Spokes

Individual Spoke Replacement

Wheel Spoking / Rim Replacement

8. Tire Maintenance

Tire Inflation

Inner Tube Replacement

Puncture Repair

Tire Cover Repair

Tire Cover Replacement

9. Rim Brake Maintenance

The V-Brake

The Sidepull Brake

The Cantilever Brake

The Centerpull Brake

Common Rim Brake Features

Brake Test

Brake Adjustments

Adjust Brake Application

Adjust Brake Pads

Brake Centering

Brake Squeal Compensation

Brake Rumble Compensation

Replace Brake Cable

Replace Brake Levers

Overhaul Brake

Hydraulic Brakes and Their Controls

10. Hub Brake Maintenance

Principle of Operation

Brake Test

Brake Adjustment

Brake Cable and Lever Maintenance

Counter Lever Problems

Single-Speed Gearing Adaptations

11. Disk Brake Maintenance

Disk Brake Test

Disk Check and Maintenance

Disk Brake Caliper Maintenance

Hydraulic System Maintenance

12. Crankset Maintenance

The Cranks
Tighten Crank

Remove and Install Crank

Cottered Cranks

The Bottom Bracket

Adjust, Lubricate, or Overhaul BSA Bottom Bracket

One-Piece Crankset

Thompson-Type Bottom Bracket

The Chainrings

Tighten Chainrings

Replace Chainrings

Straighten Chainring and Chainring Teeth

13. Pedal Maintenance

Replace Pedals

Adjust Release Force of Clipless Pedal

Adjust Conventional Pedal Bearings

Lubricate and Overhaul Conventional Pedal

Maintenance of Cartridge-Bearing Pedal

Adjusting Shoe Plates

Convertible Pedals


14. Chain Maintenance

Chain Sizes and Types

Chain Line

General Chain Maintenance

Chain Replacement

Chain Length

Chains With Master Link

15. Derailleur Gearing Maintenance

The Rear Derailleur

Adjust Rear Derailleur

Rear Derailleur Over- and Undershift Adjustment

Rear Derailleur Maintenance

Replace Rear Derailleur

Adjust Front Derailleur

Front Derailleur Over- and Undershift Adjustment

Replace Derailleur Cable

Replace Front Derailleur

Shifter Maintenance

Freewheel and Cogs

Adapt Gear Range

16. Hub Gearing Maintenance

Hub Gearing Components

Hub Gear Maintenance

Hub Gear Adjustment

Additional Maintenance Suggestions

Adjust Gear Range

17. Handlebar Maintenance

Adjust Handlebar Height

Adjust Handlebar Angle

Replace Handlebars

Replace Stem

Replace Handgrips on Flat Handlebars

Install Bar Ends on Flat Handlebars

Replace Handlebar Tape on Drop Handlebars

18. Headset Maintenance

Adjust Threaded Headset

Adjust Threadless Headset

Overhaul or Replace Threaded Headset

Overhaul or Replace Threadless Headset

19. Saddle Maintenance

Adjust Saddle Height

Adjust Saddle Angle and Forward Position

Replace Saddle

Replace Seatpost

Maintenance of Leather Saddle

20. Frame and Fork Maintenance

Frame Inspection

Frame Alignment Check

Dropout Alignment Check

Fork Inspection

Front Fork Installation

Paint Touch-Up

Repainting Frame and Fork

21. Front Suspension Maintenance

Suspension Terminology

Suspension Stems

Suspension Forks

Suspension Fork Check

Suspension Fork Maintenance

Travel and Preload Check

Active Travel and Preload Adjustment

22. Rear Suspension Maintenance

Suspension Seatposts

Shock Unit Maintenance

Suspension Troubleshooting

23. Accessory Maintenance

General Accessory Comments



Bicycle Computer

Luggage Rack


Kick Stand

Warning Devices


24. Lighting Equipment Maintenance

Lights With Built-In Batteries

Lights with Central Battery

Generator Lights

Systematic Trouble-Shooting

Back Matter



From the contents

Overview of bicycle components


Pre-ride brake application test.


Adjusting rear derailleur.


Cleaning front suspension stanchions and seals