Bicycle Maintenance: 7 Essential Tips For Every Rider
Bicycle maintenance is important for every type of rider. Whether you bike regularly to work, race, or just head out on the trails a couple times a month, you need to stay on top of basic maintenance to prevent unsafe conditions and costly surprises from popping up down the road.
Bike maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult, either. You can keep your bike rolling well into the future by following these simple bicycle maintenance tips.
1) Keep Your Bike Clean
When you clean your bike, it will help prevent dirt and grease buildup from eating through your bike’s mechanical parts. All you need is a bucket, water, biodegradable soap, a large sponge, a towel, and an old toothbrush or other small brush to get everything clean: the bike frame, chain, chain rings, pedals, brakes, seat, etc.
2) Lubricate Your Drivetrain
When using lube, add just a tiny amount and wipe off any excess. Using too much lube can attract more dirt and negatively impact shifting. Need a lube recommendation? Ask your trusted local bike shop. And if you have a lot of excess grease buildup, get yourself a chain cleaner to get rid of heavy grease.
Always wipe off and clean your chain after a ride. Doing so will allow time for the lube to sink into the chain. Some people like to lube before a ride, but this can attract dust and dirt.
3) Inspect Your Tires
Nothing is worse than having to stop and change a flat tire during your ride. Always inspect your tires and check their pressure using a floor pump. After ensuring that your tires are inflated correctly, check them for other damage or wear that may cause them to go flat during a ride.
4) Be Sure Bolts, Screws, and Nuts are Tightened
Don’t let your bike fall apart while you ride! You can keep things intact by quickly checking for any loose bolts, screws, or nuts before you head out. If you do notice that you’ve lost some nuts or bolts while on your ride, ensure you can fix things right away by carrying some spare nuts and bolts with you.
5) Check Your Brakes
As you are probably well aware, good brakes are essential. Brake pads wear down over time, so be sure to check your brake pads between bike service visits. All you need to do is take a quick ride at home and pump your brakes. If you can feel that your brakes are soft, your brake pads likely need replaced.
6) Learn How to Fix a Flat Tire (Amongst Other Things)
If you’re out riding alone and you get a flat tire, what will you do? Ensure you don’t get stranded out in the middle of nowhere by learning how to patch tubes. YouTube has some helpful videos on the subject. Plus, we offer mechanics classes every season to show you how to replace tubes, and other basics of repairing and rebuilding your ride.
7) Get Your Bike Serviced
Every season, it’s important to maintain your bicycle by taking it into a service center. Our experienced mechanics have the skills to keep you on the road and enjoying your ride for life.
Whether you need basic maintenance and some minor adjustments, or require a complete teardown and inspection, we will address your concerns and assess your bike’s needs to ensure your bicycle is safe to use.
The more you make sure your bike is in working order on a routine basis, the less you will have to spend on seasonal maintenance.
Need more help? The ReCyclist service team will be happy to give you an expert advice on keeping your bike in its best shape.