Easy Bike Tune-up You Can Do in Minutes
Keeping your bike in its best shape is a bit costly if you let your local bike shop do it. While you can be sure that their experts will help transform your dirty chains into brand new, it is better if you know how to do it yourself.
This DIY bike tune-up lesson or tips will save your money and gain you important skills as bike enthusiasts. Follow these quick tips to get your wheels ready for the long and winding ride on whatever road you choose.
Cleaning the bike chain
First things first – remove the chain of the bike using the necessary tool. Soak it overnight so that the grease and dirt will loosen.
Using a cotton swab, clean each roller of the chain from dirt. You can also add pipe cleaners and a toxic solvent to your cleaner. Cover your face with a mask if necessary. Keep on scrubbing until you see the chain sparkling. Wipe it clean with a dry rag and lubricate after.
Checking the bike chain regularly help prevent potential problems while riding. A poor bike chain can break and wear out anytime, endangering the rider’s safety.
Always see to it that there are no dirt and grease building up on your chains. Should there be such issues that affect your riding, you need to clean or replace the bike chain.
Cleaning the cassette
The best way to clean the cassette is to take it off and scrub it with a degreaser solution. This way, you can floss between the cogs using a towel to remove the grease. However, you can have quicker results if you do not remove it. Your cassette will still look clean and shiny like you wanted it.
You need an old toothbrush, shop rag or a shoelace and, of course, a degreaser of your choice. Soak the rag or the shoelace with the degreaser. With the bike laying flat, start at the biggest sprocket down to the smallest by working the shoelace or rag all the way in.
Pull the rag or shoelace left to collect the grime and right to move to a new section. Repeat this until you are satisfied with the result.
Checking and adjusting the brakes
When the brakes are losing the grooves that you like when you first bought the bike, either your brake pads are starting to wear out or the cables are stretched. That is why it is important to check the brakes before going on a bike trip to ensure safety and do the necessary repairs.
If your pads have worn out, then you need to replace it. But if there is just an issue with the cables, here is what you need to do. Turn the adjuster on the brake caliper clockwise. Test the brakes after each adjustment or one click at a time.
When you reach the right setting and get the right amount of tension, reposition the caliper. This way, the brake pads are on the either side of the rim. Retighten the bolt to secure everything.
Adjusting the rear derailleur cable tension
A clean chain won’t give you a smooth ride unless your derailleur cable tension is in a good condition. To adjust this part, you have to shift the chain to the smallest and hardest cog.
Turn the adjuster on the rear half clockwise. Shift once while rotating the pedals. Check if the chain jumped to the second cog. If the first attempt fails, make another half turn clockwise. Do it until the chain shifts to the second cog.
Checking the bolts
Bolts may look tough and secure but they can loosen themselves over time. One factor that affects it is the weather. And since the weather always changes, it is important to make sure that they are tightened. The only tool you need is torque wrench. Pay attention to every bolt on the bike, particularly the stem bolts.
There are more DIY bike tune-up tips that will keep your bike at its peak condition all the time. But for beginners, this would be the basic things you should know for now. It is a good idea to follow these tips before and after your ride so you can ensure to have a smooth and fun riding adventure all the time.