13 Bike Maintenance Tips

Aug, 2020
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Bicycle maintenance is the most important thing to learn to keep your bike rolling efficiently. Whether you are a regular rider or just head out on the trails twice a month, It is vital to know how to treat your bike. Stay on top of basic maintenance to avoid any dangerous situation. Follow the 13 Bike maintenance tips to keep your bike in top-notch quality.

Every rider should know that biking does not need only leg power but there are so many other necessary steps to ensure that your bike has a long and fit life. Bike maintenance is not as difficult as it sounds. There are a variety of tips for keeping your bike in good condition. To avoid any unsafe and costly surprises during riding on the road lets learn about the simplest 13 Bike Maintenance Tips.

4 key Areas to Know for Bike Maintenance:

The key aspects of bike maintenance are to stay safe and keeping the bike in the best condition. There are 4 fundamental areas of the bike you should know when maintaining your bike.

1. Chain:

The chain is the most crucial part of the bike and every rider must know how to take care of their bike’s chain. It should be kept well cleaned and lubed to ensure that the bike performs to the maximum of its limit.

bike brakes

2. Brakes:

Brakes are the most important part of the bike. It is a life-saver because as much as we like to ride the fast, eventually, we have to slow down.  Therefore, it is mandatory to keep them well maintained at all times.

3. Wheels:

Wheels are the ones keeping us on the road and hence these are essential parts. The bike maintenance tip for wheels is that we should look out for their proper maintenance and 100% performance.

bike wheel
quick release skewers

4. Quick Release Skewers:

Riders often forget to check the quick release skewers during bike maintenance. They protect the wheels so if they are not maintained well then it will directly expose the wheels to the external damages

7 General Bike Assessment Tests:

Here is a general bike inspection checklist to keep it moving and most importantly to avoid any unsafe condition which may arise due to any faulty component of the bike.

  1. Inspect the torque on nuts and bolts. Make sure they are properly secured.
  2. Check if the tires have the required amount of air to maintain the pressure. Road tires typically require 80 to 130 psi.
  3. Verify the bike functions by checking the assembly as per the user manual.
  4. Effectively inspect the bike by a ride test to make sure all the components are working properly.
  5. While on test ride check for any abnormal noises or squeaks that signal a problem exists in the bike.
  6. Expose the bike to normal stress and check if the bike passes the fatigue test.
  7. Inspect the legal labels. Make sure they are not peeled off of have become unreadable.

13 Bike Maintenance Tips

1. Clean and Degrease: 

To keep your bike maintained the foremost thing to start with its cleanliness. Because if the dirt and grease stay on the bike too long, it will initiate the process of rusting… eventually eating up the essential mechanical parts of your bike. So just grab a bucket of water, a bit of soap, and a big sponge to wash away the filth. 

Similarly, degreasing the drivetrain is another vital tip for keeping your bike in perfect condition. Apply any commercial degreaser with the help of a small brush to degrease all the corners of the chain, cassette, and derailleurs. Finally, use a good amount of water to rinse off the degreaser. 

2. Lubricate: 

The second tip to keep your bike in rolling is to always lubricate the main mechanical components of your bike, which is the drivetrain. The pro tip is to always wipe and clean the chain after the ride to allow the lube to go inside the chain.  

Remember to use a tiny amount because the extra lube will attract more dirt. When you apply the lube, pedal backward to allow the lubricant to roll inside the links and wipe off the excess lube. 

3. Wash the frame and wheels: 

Keep the frame and wheels clean by washing and using nylon brushes to take out any accumulated grease and dirt from the corners.

4. Check the tires: 

Make a habit of checking your tires before every ride. Inspect for their pressure and any other wear or damage that may cause the tire to go flat during a ride. Also, check the tires for tread and sidewall damage. There must be no litter in the tread. 

Determine the right pressure for your tires according to your body weight and riding style. In the case of tubeless tires inspect the sealant levels. 

5. Learn how to change a flat tire: 

We know that nothing is worse than having a flat tire during the ride but somehow it happens for every rider where they have to stop and change the tire. Therefore, every rider must be prepared in advance and learn how to properly fix a flat tire. 

Do your research and study, there are numerous videos and articles on the internet on how to fix a flat tire. Train yourself by the practice of replacing tubes and other basic bike repairings as well to make sure you don’t get stranded out in the middle of nowhere if there is a blowout.

6. Check the brakes: 

To ensure safety you must have a good brake system. The brake pads can wear down with time so always inspect them before starting your ride. It is an easy test, all you have to do is take a short ride and pump your brakes. If you feel that the brakes have become soft then replace the brake pads immediately. 

7. Inspect the frame: 

Check the frame carefully to ensure there are no crack, dents, or damage. Mostly the damages that occurred in previous seasons go unnoticed in winters. So look under the most hidden parts such as downtube, bottom bracket, and seat stays.  

Also, examine the cable rub at the headtube and always use protector stickers on the frame to ensure they work efficiently for a longer period. 

8. Scrutinize the Wheels: 

Wheels should be inspected for roundness and trueness. This can be done by using a truing stand or by eyeing the wheel relative to the brake pads. 

In addition to this, check the spoke tension. This can be carried out by carefully looking and listening to spokes. Different squeaks indicate under-tensioned spokes, adjust the spoke tension by hand. 

9. Adjust the suspension: 

This can be done by setting the air pressure in the fork and shock and by checking pre-load, compression, and rebound settings. Ensure that all settings are according to your body weight and riding style.  

Carefully examine the seals and ensure that there is no oil leakage. There is a possibility of crash damage to the seals if you have a dropper seat post so pay extra attention if you are running a dropper seat post. 

10. Handlebar grip/tape: 

There is nothing more dangerous than losing grips on the handlebar. Make a habit of replacing the handlebar tapes from time to time especially in spring because the fresh tape or grips can bring the wintered bike back to life.  

11. Check Bolts: 

This key bike maintenance tip is to keep things intact by looking for any loose bolts, screws, or nuts before the ride. All bolts should be securely tightened. Use a torque wrench to secure all the bolts including seat post and saddle clamp and especially the most overlooked chainring bolts. 

First, ensure that your bike does not fall apart during a ride but if somehow you lose some nuts or bolts while riding. Then you should be prepared to fix things on the spot by keeping some spare nuts and bolts along with you. 

12. Run through shifting: 

According to this bike maintenance tip, always check the shifters pre-ride. Make sure the gear shifts are crisp and accurate. If you feel the built-in adjusters are not sufficient to fine-tune the shifting then inspect the chain and cassette for any wear or damage. 

In the case of electronic shifting ensure that the battery is fully charged and the software is updated. 

13. Take your bike for regular service: 

The most important tip to maintain your bike is to take it for complete service every season. Visit Foster’s Sports Center and experience the most amazing service. Our skilled and experienced mechanics ensure that your bike stays in perfect condition to let you enjoy your ride to the fullest. 

Be it basic maintenance or some major adjustments, we are here to address all your concerns, assess your bike thoroughly, and provide you with the best bike service in Ottawa. You can even learn everything you need to know about bike tune-ups here. Our service team will be happy to give you expert advice on how to keep your bike in top-notch condition.

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