There are a lot of myths surrounding bike maintenance! Can you believe that? Read on and let’s try to dig deeper onto some misconceptions and misleading fallacies behind bike maintenance and repair.
When you can take care of your own bike, you are sure that it’s getting the best treatment it deserves. Hey, your bike is your BFF so might as well maintain and treat it best! Save yourself time and keep your money for other important things by following these bike maintenance tips instead of your usual bike maintenance myths:
Bike Maintenance Myth #1: Bikes sold online are ready for riding
It’s true that e-Commerce has really changed the lives of many. However, just like the fact that biking is still manually powered by your legs and not by some robotic magic, bikes sold online are “not assembled” when they arrive at your doorsteps. It will also depend on the brand, but you must always expect to still do some little work.
You might need to regulate the brakes, adjust the handlebar, attach and assemble the wheels, and fix the seat. It is also true that bikes are cheaper online but there can always be some factory defects or problems that happened during shipment. It is advised to still have your bike checked by a trusted mechanic before riding it.
Bike Maintenance Myth #2: Do not clean your bike with a power washer
When cleaning bikes, many think that using a power washer makes the process faster and better. It’s true because the water pressure can ease up the wiping of dirt for you. In reality, however, it can actually remove the lube out of the bearing seals and other components making your bike creaky over a short span of time. To avoid this, make sure to put the pressure above or below the bike and not sideways. This will help control the water to force itself into the wheel hubs or bottom bracket.
Bike Maintenance Myth #3: Washing your bicycle after every ride
They say humans should sometimes take a day off from taking a bath to not remove natural oils from the body. And bikes? Well, they are thought to need a wash after every ride but no, no, no! This advice is not only a bad one — it’s totally unpractical. We know you want to keep your bike clean and attractive, but if it’s just a fair-weather and pavement kind of ride, wiping the dirt will do it.
Riding wet roads will also mean tough cleaning, but if there is not much mud or grease buildup, just wipe it down and lubricate the chains to keep it clean. It is also recommended to clean your road bikes monthly, clean your mountain bikes more often, and all kinds of bikes if it was a muddled ride.
Bike Maintenance Myth #4: The need to always use the torque wrench
Even if all mechanics advise you to use a torque wrench to tighten a bolt, this is not always the case in reality. If you are working on carbon fiber components and other lightweight parts of your bike, a torque wrench is highly advisable. But, what if you have aluminum or steel parts? Mechanics still use other standard wrenches so might as well utilize them, too. It is indeed advisable to have a torque wrench amongst other bike tools but keep the hex wrenches.
Bike Maintenance Myth #5: It’s not yet broken, so leave it be!
This belief exists for how long we know but, this should not be the case for your bikes! Even if there is just one small thing that appears wrong about your bike, have it checked and fixed it immediately. Especially if you’re using a bike on your daily routine like going to school or work. Making sure it’s A-okay is a must.
Huge problems start from small ones and once you hit the road, there is zero tolerance for unsafe biking. Making sure it’s working well can definitely keep you safe. Or even save your life.
Bike Maintenance Myth #6: Irregular bike check
As mentioned above, your life depends on your bike when hitting the roads. And while you should not wash your bike too often, having it maintained is the total opposite. Even before riding your bike, you must always check it for maintenance issues to avoid serious problems.
It is suggested to have it checked yearly by a mechanic but, having it checked by you before every ride can be highly efficient. Always check your tires, pressures, lubes, and other bike parts that may need attention and fixing. If you love your bike, do not neglect it!
Bike Maintenance Myth #7: A cycling-specific degreaser is a must
There is a wide variety of cycling-specific degreasers to clean your bike chains but just like in many things such as food or other products, there is always a cheaper yet cooler option! Visit your kitchen sink and discover that Good old Dawn dishwashing liquid mixed with warm water cleans the grease like the degreasing products you are used to! A good deal, right?
Bike Hint: Avoid automotive degreasers as they can damage your bike’s paint and rubber seals.
There are tips and tricks that are true, while there are some that are just blatant lies! We all know that learning to fix your own things is advantageous for many reasons such as time-saving, cost-cutting, and quality assurance. Bike maintenance is a skill that you’ll learn over time. And you can start by staying away from these bike maintenance myths.
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