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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Troubleshooting Bicycles Nuts

I cannot believe I have to spell this out, but sometimes it is necessary. (While writing this I have made an effort to not make any puns... But if you want you can read some of the sentences below and then just add the words "in bed" or "That's what she said!" after certain phrases...)

Here is a list of common issues that can occur with nuts on a bicycle and some troubleshooting steps to help you fix them:

  1. Loose Nuts:

    • Problem: Nuts can become loose due to vibrations or insufficient tightening, which can cause components to shift or detach.
    • Troubleshooting and Fix:
      • Regularly check and tighten nuts using the appropriate tools (e.g., wrenches).
      • Use a torque wrench to ensure that nuts are tightened to the manufacturer's recommended torque specifications.
      • Consider using thread-locking compounds or self-locking nuts for critical components like axles or handlebar stems to prevent them from coming loose.
  2. Stripped Nuts:

    • Problem: Over-tightening or using incorrect tools can strip the threads on nuts, making them difficult to remove or causing them to lose grip.
    • Troubleshooting and Fix:
      • Attempt to use a larger-sized wrench or pliers to get a better grip on the nut and carefully turn it counterclockwise to remove it.
      • If the nut is severely stripped, you may need to use specialized tools like nut splitters or grips designed for removing damaged nuts.
      • Replace the stripped nut with a new one of the appropriate size and thread type.
  3. Rusty Nuts:

    • Problem: Exposure to moisture and lack of proper maintenance can cause nuts to rust, leading to difficulty in turning or loosening them.
    • Troubleshooting and Fix:
      • Apply a penetrating lubricant (such as WD-40) to the rusted nuts and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen the rust.
      • Use a wire brush or abrasive material to gently scrub away rust from the surface of the nut.
      • If the rust is severe and the nut is not salvageable, replace it with a new one.
  4. Cross-threaded Nuts:

    • Problem: Cross-threading occurs when a nut is improperly aligned with the corresponding bolt or stud, resulting in damaged threads and difficulty in turning or tightening.
    • Troubleshooting and Fix:
      • If you suspect cross-threading, stop turning the nut immediately to avoid further damage.
      • Back out the nut carefully, realign it with the threads, and try rethreading it by hand before using tools.
      • If the threads are damaged or the nut still won't properly engage, replace the nut and, if necessary, seek professional help to repair any damaged threads.
  5. Missing or Incorrect Nuts:

    • Problem: Nuts can sometimes get lost or be replaced with incorrect ones during maintenance or repairs.
    • Troubleshooting and Fix:
      • Identify the correct size and type of nut needed by referring to the bike's user manual or consulting a professional bike shop.
      • Obtain the appropriate replacement nut and ensure it matches the thread pitch and size of the original.
      • Carefully thread the new nut onto the bolt or stud and tighten it securely.

Remember, if you are unsure about troubleshooting or fixing issues with nuts on your bicycle, it is recommended to seek assistance from a professional bicycle mechanic to ensure the proper resolution of the problem and to maintain the safety and functionality of your bike... in bed.

That's what she said!

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About the Author

Charles Moffat is equal parts bicycle mechanic, cyclist, painter, sculptor, fantasy writer, poet, website designer and pun maker. For more details see



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