Common Bike Repairs and 4 solutions to help avoid a big fix.
If You're Lucky: Remove the seatpost binder bolt or seat collar, drench the seatpost and seat tube with a penetrating lube such as WD-40 (or even automatic transmission fluid). Soak it overnight and slide the post out in the morning.
What Usually Happens: After soaking overnight, it still won't budge. Using the saddle as a handle, twist the post free. (Use a steel-railed saddle for this, because your expensive ti rails will bend or break.) If that doesn't work, remove the saddle, clamp the seatpost head with locking pliers or an adjustable wrench and torque that post loose. If that doesn't work, get to a shop because it's time to cut stuff and you don't wanna be doing that unless you're advanced enough to not need this advice.
Prevention: Grease the seat tube and seatpost before installation. Regrease every three to four months. Be sure you install the right size seatpost in the first place—a shop can check.
If You're Lucky: Lube stops the skipping. If it doesn't, find the offending link by slowly backpedaling and watching for the rear derailleur to jump. Grab the chain on either side of the sticky links and flex it back and forth with your thumbs and forefingers.
When It Skips Again Tomorrow: New chain. The sideplates are probably bent or disfigured, or the whole chain is worn. Save your old links to make a bracelet for your sweetie.
If You're Lucky: The pads aren't toed-in. If they are, simply clean the braking surface of the rims with acetone or Scotch Brite.
Sometimes You Have To: Scuff the brake pad with 220-grit sandpaper and pick out any debris embedded in the pads. If that doesn't work, replace the pads. Sorry.
Prevention: Wipe the braking surface of the rim after every ride. Yay.
If You're Lucky: Grab the outside of the fastener with locking pliers and turn it loose.
When That Doesn't Work: If the bolt protrudes outward, file the edges so it has two flat sides, then turn it with locking pliers or a wrench. For a recessed fastener, use a portable rotary cutter, a drill-operated cutoff wheel, a file or hacksaw to cut a slot in its surface. Remove the thing with a flat-blade screwdriver.
Prevention: Grease all threaded fasteners before installation—especially important with ti screws and parts, which require anti-seize compound such as Finish Line Ti-Prep (www.finishlineusa.com).