Though not as expensive as a car or a house, a bike is still a big investment. And that’s why you need to take good care of it. Repairs are expensive. By following these bike maintenance tips, you can limit the trips you make to the bike mechanic.
7 Bike Maintenance Tips
Riding your bike frequently is a great start, but keeping your tires is another. You have to regularly check its pressure before going for a ride. Safety concerns aside, having the right air pressure in your tires greatly improves your biking experience.
Use a quality pressure gauge to determine your tires’ pressure. Remember, your tires’ condition will affect the friction and brakes of your bike — which are the basics you need in having a smooth, safe, and awesome ride.
- Chain Tension
Do you still remember all the hassle you had to go through as a kid when reattaching your bike’s loose chains? The grease that goes on your hands, which eventually goes to your clothes. And of course, mom’s scornful look when you go home with grease all over?
What if the same thing happens to you on your way to work? What a hassle, right? Proper bike maintenance involves checking your bike chain’s tension regularly. It can be such a lifesaver! Regularly lubricate your chains to keep it from rusting, which can affect your pedaling and your overall biking experience.
Do you want your bike to squeak every time you pedal? Bet not!
Applying the proper amount of grease can help maintain the functionality of your bike. The grease helps your chain, wheels, and pedals roll smoothly. Be careful not to put too much though. You don’t want grease migrating to your bike’s frame, much more to your clothes when you are riding.
- Brakes, quick release hubs, and handlebar
Checking your brakes, quick release hubs, and the handlebar is very important when maintaining your bike. Riding with broken brakes spell disaster.
Aside from brakes, make sure your quick release hubs are in tune as well — the quality of your ride depends on it.
Your handlebar is the main balancer and controller of your bike. It’s like your car’s steering wheel! Make sure your handlebar is sturdy and the brake cables are properly connected when going through your bike maintenance routine.
Having these three regularly checked and managed will save you from a lot of trouble during a ride, and will definitely keep your bike and yourself in perfect condition!
We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your bicycle clean. Taking a few minutes to clean your bike after a ride can greatly prolong its lifespan especially if you have been on a muddy track. Trapped dirt can be detrimental to your bike if not cleaned immediately. It attracts rust and damages your bike’s finish.
Cleaning your bike on a regular basis can also give it a fresh, new look — giving you that sense of pride every time you roll on the street. In addition, keeping your bike clean will also make it easier for you to check for anything loose or mechanically amiss, and give it immediate attention to avoid future damages or accidents.
- Develop a Routine Bike Maintenance Schedule
Knowing how often you use your bike can help you develop a bike maintenance schedule. Depending on your biking activity, you can have it checked after a certain span of time.
If you are a heavy biker, you should check it weekly or if feasible, after every ride. Check your tires for shards of glass, loose cables or brakes, uneven seat pad, or too much dirt that can negatively affect your chain’s or tires’ performance.
You can also do it monthly if you do not use your bike on a daily basis.
Every 6 months, check your bike for any missing bearings in the pedal, headset, hubs and bottom bracket adjustment and overall inspection. Some bearings cannot be adjusted and need to be replaced. Doing it every 6 months will save you a lot of time and money.
Lastly, overhauling your bike annually for major changes or repairs in brakes, tires, cables, and bearings is highly recommended. This will also give you a chance to think about changing the look of your bike or installing awesome upgrades!
- Develop a biking habit
Things tend to get rusty when not used often. To keep your bike in proper condition, use it regularly by developing a biking habit. Using your bike on a regular basis will help keep its functionality and efficiency.
Developing a biking habit can also contribute a lot to your personal well-being as it provides lots of health and environmental benefits.
Bike Maintenance Tools that are Worth Owning
How will you maintain your bike without the proper tools? Here are some must-have bike maintenance tools that’ll make your routine maintenance easy and fast!
This tool is a must-have for bike rim correction. Made from stainless steel, this 6 in 1 spoke wrench will make repairing or aligning your bicycle wheels a breeze!
Need to change a flat tire? Pedro’s Tire Levers can save your day. Made of composite plastic for strength and durability, these multi-awarded tire levers have been a boon to thousands of bikers around the country.
Built to last, this pedal wrench is designed to fit into skinniest pedal axles you can find.
Another quality product from Park Tool. This cable cutter is useful in snipping cables, cutting housings, and crimping caps.
Made from quality materials, Oumers Universal Bike Chain tool is a must-have for popping in or pushing out a peg when repairing or removing your bike chain. Its integrated chain hook holds the links during assembly.
Proper bike maintenance is crucial to you and your bike’s safety. With the right tools and skills, you can keep your bike running well for years. Only you can give the quality service your bike deserves.
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