Bike repair/parts


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Is there anyone familiar with bikes and bike repairs that could point me in the right direction on how fix some kids bikes? I need to replace the tires and tubes on a bike we got for my 6 year old and there are too many videos/websites out there.

I imagine with 2 kids I'll need to learn to replace a decent number of chains too.

What tools do I need and where's a good place to buy parts for kids? I don't need top of the line tools or carbon fiber parts which all the websites seem to point you towards.

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If you have a local bike shop I’d recommend starting there for parts and tools. 

Good tools to have on hand:

Tire levers. There are some decent plastic ones out there but most are garbage. Good metal ones will not damage the rims if you use them properly.

Chain breaker. When kids drop the chain and then do all sorts of pedaling forward and backward they can get it lodged in such a way that you have to break the chain. 

Slim 15mm combination wrench or dedicated pedal wrench. Remember that left pedals have reverse thread. They will have a ridged shoulder above the threads so you know which is the left pedal.

Wrench for whatever style cranks (arm that pedals attach to) the bikes have. 

4-6mm hex keys will cover most of the  hardware on bikes, 5mm being the most common.

A good pump or air compressor.

Patch kits or spare tubes.

If you get further into the bike maintenance, a 4th hand cable tool can be handy.

Chain lube and some grease are good to have.

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Also, a word on helmets-

Don’t be fooled by bike shop helmet salespeople saying “your brain is worth more than $10, don’t buy a $10 helmet.” All helmets sold in the US pass the exact same safety regulations. Period. More expensive helmets might look cooler and might be more comfortable, but there is no direct correlation between price and safety.

Helmets have an expiration date, don’t ignore them. Helmets should also be replaced after any real crash where it strikes the ground. 

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I checked online and the local bike shop doesn't have the right size tires and tubes in stock. I have a couple of neighbors big into bikes, one fixes them up and resells them so I can get some help if I get over my head. Local places prices for tune-ups are more than a kids bike. Maybe they offer cheaper rates for kids bikes.

Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I'll have to place an order for the tires/tubes and some of the tools recommended.

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So my wife actually went to the bike shop to get a coffee and came home with a 16" tire for a 18" wheel... She also got an 18" tube. Not sure how the bike shop gave us the wrong size. Apparently 18" tires are hard to find but I managed to find a set on eBay that will be here soon.

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