Author Archives: Andreas

About Andreas

Founder of Nibble Apps. Our team builds apps that help people eat healthy.

Maintenance beginner? Here are 8 areas for you to focus on

With the BikeDoctor app, you can confidently complete everything from simple puncture repairs, to wheel truing and replacing gear cables. However, we’re big believers in starting small and building up your skill-set. Here are 10 areas to get you started.


The M-Check is a simple way to check over your bike to ensure everything is in safe working order. The “M” is from the shape of the path you take over your bike as you check for problems.

Start at the front wheel and check that it is tight. Then, move on to the front brakes, pedals, saddle, rear brakes and rear wheel. Make sure all these parts are tight and move as they should without any rubbing or wobble.

This is a good check to complete if you’ve left your bike out for a while.

The BikeDoctor app shows you step by step how to complete the M-Check.

Tyre Pressure

Flat tyres are more likely to result in punctures and make it tougher to convert your pedal power in to forward motion. On the side of your tyre the pressure will be printed. As long as you have a pump with a pressure gauge, you’ll be able to see if your tyres are at the correct inflation levels. As a basic test, when you push hard with your thumb on the tyre, it shouldn’t give way.

Replace Bicycle Brake Pads


Bicycle brake pads wear out frequently, so it’s one of the most useful repairs to figure out as a cyclist. Using them after they are worn out will result in your scratching your wheel rims, which are expensive to replace. Scrapping sounds when you brake are a sign the pads are past worn out and should be replaced immediately. Ideally, you should check the little grooves on the pads, to make sure they are not fully worn.

These are cheap and easy to replace, so it’s a good repair to figure out. For some additional tips, checkout our how to replace your brake pads guide.

Clean Bike

A nice clean bike will get you out riding more frequently, if you need any more inspiration then these 25 cycling quotes will help!

When cleaning your bike, you can use products such as Muc-Off to help degrease things, but you can get by with just soap and water. Remember to fully wash away all the soap, as it shouldn’t stay on the bike.

Lube Bike

After you have cleaned your bike, you will need to re-lubricate it to keep it running smoothly. Any moving part needs lubrication, but pay particular attention to the chain. Make sure to spread the lube onto all the cogs by changing gears, then wipe off any excess.

Adjust Saddle Position

Small adjustments to the angle and position of the saddle in relation to the handlebars and cranks can make a huge difference to your on-bike comfort. You can adjust the reach to the bars a little, which can make it more comfortable to reach the brakes. Typically, this requires little more than an Allen key so it’s a nice easy repair with tools you likely already have.

Fix a Puncture

Punctures really suck. They suck even more if you have to spend ages at the side of the road trying to get the tyre off and back on.

One of the main mistakes people make when fixing a puncture is not checking the inside of the tyre. Whatever you get a puncture, it is because something has made its way through the outer rubber and into the tube. The sharp item will almost certainly still be there, and if you don’t remove it then you will just end up with another. You can check the tyre by carefully running your hand (if possible put a tissue or something over your finger) around the inside of the tyre.

Practice makes perfect on this, so if you really want to get quick with this, spend some time removing the wheels and tyres.

Change Stem and Handlebars

If you want to adjust your position on your bike, changing the bars and stem is the easiest way. To change the stem is fairly straight forward, you just need to make sure that the bolts are done up in the correct order.

For handlebars, you will need to remove the brakes and gear changers.

We are Salon’s app of the week!

Salon app of the week

“After a mere 15 minutes of looking through the bike repair how-to guides included in Bike Doctor 2.0, I decided that the app was worth the $5 I paid for it. Normally, I’m a tight-fisted miser disinclined to spend even 99 cents for an app, so paying five times that much represents an extraordinary leap of faith. But I happen to be a fairly obsessive cyclist who always feels guilty about not doing enough of my own bike maintenance. $5 to put me on the track to doing some of my own bike repairs? For a guy who already owns three sets of riding gloves? What was I waiting for?”

Full review is here

Why the Bike Doctor app is the easiest to follow bike maintenance guide you’ll ever find

Bike maintenance books

At home I have a big pile of bike maintenance books. I’ve got links to resources such as Sheldon Brown, bookmarks to YouTube videos and eBooks.

Whilst I’ve never been very good at anything technical, I always wanted to be good at bike maintenance.

I could picture having a bike that runs perfectly, with no squeaks. I could picture my family and neighbours coming round and helping them with their repairs.

However, every time I’d try, I’d end up getting frustrated.

The bike maintenance guides never explained things clearly.

They never seemed to have all the information I needed in one place.

They’d miss out on crucial little details.

I’d take my bike to the local bike shop and they’d say “These brakes are on back to front, they have directional indicators”

What? Why on earth wouldn’t the author include that little detail!

I felt silly,  like this is something I should just know but I didn’t. Maybe it was just me?

Eventually, it put me off maintaining my bike. As I didn’t have money for the bike shop, it fell in to disrepair.

Around about that time, the first iPhone appeared. I thought – wow, this would be the perfect little device to have a bike maintenance guide on.

Bike Doctor was created with one important difference to anything else out there: Even a complete beginner could follow the repairs inside the app.

How did I know that?

Because I was a complete beginner.

When I created Bike Doctor I knew only the basics to bike maintenance. Using all the maintenance books, videos and resources I’d collected, I would attempt repairs. Inevitably, things would go wrong and then I’d look up where I went wrong. Afterwards, I’d include those extra details inside the instructions, as if I went wrong there, someone else might too.

Instead of writing the guide as a pro bike mechanic who’s been doing this for years, I created it as a beginner.

Over time and after many revisions, this created a really easy to follow set of instructions.

Every guide I created, I ran by a local bike shop owner, who’d check through the instructions.

When we first launched, I got this feedback:

I read somewhere about truing wheels and it said don’t bother unless you are a pro, but I’ve just sorted my wheels out a treat. The app paid for itself straight away!

5,431 downloads later and after being featured by Apple, we created an Android version of the app.

We kept adding repairs and now, 14,233 downloads later, we’ve launched our iPad edition!

Bike Doctor on the iPhone, iPad and on Android devices

To get a copy of the app just seek it out in the app store or follow one of the links below:

Android app on Google Play Download Bike Doctor on the app store

Tour of the app

View of Bike Doctor being used on iPad

To find the relevant repair you can either use our bike view or you can select from one of the categories.

Choosing a repair

You flip through the guides until you find one that interests you.

Bike Doctor one of the repair steps

Then you follow the step by step instructions to complete the repair.

Bike Doctor iPad splash screen

Bike Doctor coming to an iPad near you..

The year is 2013. Lots of people own iPads and lots of people ride bikes. Those bikes needs to be maintained.

Introducing Bike Doctor iPad!

Bike Doctor iPad splash screen

Drum! Drum! Drum!

In the next week or two pending Apple’s approval, all users of Bike Doctor 2 will be receive a free copy of Bike Doctor iPad. All you need to do is download it from the app store.

Why is the new version so epic?

  • Looks sexy
  • You can search for repairs
  • The images are bigger and clearer so you can see the detail more clearly
  • We’ve added buy buttons so you can easily grab any tools you are missing
  • The app is a joy to use (you’ll see when you download it!)

Also, we’ll be giving away access to a set of bike maintenance videos we’ve filmed. For the giveaway, I filmed this little video that will be appearing inside the app. Here it is, in all its outtake glory:

I had to film this about 50 times to get it right – I’m not a big fan of talking in to a camera lens!

Many of the upgrades you see in the iPad version will eventually make their way in to the iPhone version too.