Whether you regularly go out on trails every week or you use your bike to go around the city, you need to keep it in good condition to avoid mishaps. Fortunately, maintaining a bicycle is not as complicated as maintaining a car or a motorcycle.
Here are bike maintenance tips you should know.
Gather cleaning materials. Make sure that you have the cleaning materials for your bike such as degreaser, brushes, bike wash cleaner, and chain lubricant. It’s also a good idea to invest in a bike stand to make it easier for working on it.
Clean the bike before making adjustments. If you use your bike daily, you need to set aside some time before or after using it for cleaning. It will be easier to make adjustments and do replacements if it is clean.
Clean and lubricate the drivetrain. If you hear squeaking noises from your bike while going to work, it’s probably from the chain and sprockets. Over time, grime and dirt can accumulate and wear off the metal. Instead of having to replace them often, you should clean it regularly (daily if you use it often) and then lubricate it before using.
Check the tires regularly. Before using your bike, make sure that the tires have enough high pressure. All you need for this is a pump with gauge to determine the pressure. Compare it with the recommended tire pressure for your bike (check the manual). You should also check the pressure even if you have not used the bike for months. You should also be able to fix flat tires in case of an emergency while you’re on the road.
Secure the screws and bolts. Check if there are any loose screws, bolts, and nuts in your bike. You will usually notice something if there are squeaks and creaks from the bike. Just make sure to not overtighten them. You should also store some spare bolts and nuts.
Adjust the brakes before using. You need to check if the brakes are working properly before using the bike. Tighten the barrel or replace the pads if they are worn out.
Index the gears. Check for signs of wear on the gears. The cable will probably need to be tightened. Moreover, you also need to check if the cables are damaged.
Replace the chain. If you use the bike regularly, you will need to change the chain if you have traveled 4,000 miles or less if you always travel on rough terrain. You can invest in a chain checker if you have doubts. When replacing a chain, you might also need a new cassette.
Lubricate. There are specific formulas made for this so avoid using just any product on your bike. Lubricate areas where metal touches metal. However, before lubricating, you need to clean the metal surfaces first.