The standard maintenance of a scooter is exactly the same as that of a bicycle. Every so often tyres must be replaced, brakes and handlebar adjusted, brake pads and cables replaced.
You just need 5-mm (number 5 allen key), 6-mm and possibly 2-mm allen keys to adjust the brakes.
If the tyre shows cuts, cracks or swellings of considerable size, it must be replaced.
Every time you brake, the rim wall wears thin at the contact point with the brake pad, thanks to the significant force transmitted from the tyre bead onto the rim. The maximum wear limit, indicated on the rim, is 0.35 mm. You will realise that the rim is misshapen when it touches the brake pads or you find polished surfaces at various points on the rim. In the case of rim breakage, the inner tube and tyre will burst. At that point, you need to replace the wheel and have it repaired.
You can lightly adjust the brake pads’ position directly on the brake lever. After a certain amount of time, the brake pads will no longer be usable—being made of a metallic body with a vulcanised rubber surface, they must maintain a minimum thickness. If the pad is worn down to the metallic body, it becomes dangerous and can quickly damage the rim.
It is difficult to check the deterioration of the Bowden cables. The first signal may be resistance in cable movement. Usually, the malfunction occurs without warning. But we know one can brake in many other ways. 😉
HANDLEBAR AND HANDLEBAR STEM
The most frequent problem is incorrect screw tightening. If you use the handlebar and the original stem, you will not find it difficult to work out when they are worn out. Visible deformation (not just after an accident) requires replacement of the component. If the material is duralumin, it is very difficult to find component wear with the untrained eye.
FRAME AND FORKS
After an accident, but also if you frequently use the scooter to go over obstacles, the frame can weaken. Untreated corrosion at points of abrasion can cause reduction in the frame’s load-bearing capacity.
REPLACEMENT OF WHEEL BEARINGS
You usually realise wheel bearings are loose before they become dangerous. Bearings have a limited lifespan and should be replaced after around 3,000 km. It is preferable to leave this to an expert. Without special tools, you may damage the wheel hub. If you do decide to replace the bearings, you must also replace the axle nut.
REPAIRING A PUNCTURED TYRE
Depending on the size of the puncture, you can decide to replace the tyre and the inner tube, or try to repair it.
Loosen the screws on the wheel’s axle with a number six allen key. With the help of a small rod (or a number 5 allen key), push the screws and make them come out from the other side. In order to remove the wheel without also taking off the break pads, the tyre must be completely deflated.
With the help of two levers, remove one side of the tyre. Push the opposite bead of the tyre towards the centre of the rim.
FINDING A PUNCTURE
Inflate the inner tube up to a volume equal to 1.5x its width. Touch the inner tube with your hand until you find where the air is escaping. To look for small punctures you can use your lips, ears or eyes. Remove the cause of the puncture (glass, pin, nail etc.).
Mark the puncture. Make a patch-sized circle around the puncture with a biro. Clean the puncture area with abrasive paper and apply glue. Apply glue to the patch also. Let the glue set and then press the patch against the rubber. Don’t forget to remove the patch’s protective covering.
INSERTING THE TYRE
Insert the inner tube between the rim and the tyre. Insert the valve. If there is a nut as well, only tighten it partially. Push the tyre bead onto the rim starting from the valve. At the end, push the valve and the air chamber slightly towards the inside to prevent damage.
REPLACING THE WHEEL
Insert the deflated wheel in the fork and inflate the tyre. Check the position of the tyre on the rim and refer to the concentric circles on the tyre. If everything is correct, insert the screws in the axle nut and tighten. When tightening, leave the wheel turning slowly. Tighten the wheel until just before it starts to spin more slowly.
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