Tips on Maintaining Your Bike
Whether or not you are a bicycle hobbyist, knowing how to maintain a bike is an essential skill. If you own a bike that you seldom use, letting the rust take over the once shiny frame will prevent you from using the bike ever again.
While you can repair it and replace the parts anytime, it is always better to keep the wheels and the frame in a good condition all the time. You do not have to spend too much time taking care of your bike.
Just set a regular interval and your bike will be at its top performance in every season of the year. Without further ado, here are the top 5 helpful tips on how to maintain a bike.
Keep your bike and every part of it clean
A bucket of soapy water and an old toothbrush or sponge would be enough to clean your bike. There is no fancy cleaning kit to buy so you don’t have any excuse why the wheels are so dirty and the handlebars are greasy.
However, if you are worried about harsh detergents and cleaning agents, there are bike specific cleaners you can purchase online or at a local shop.
Aside from this, you also need a proper degreaser for removing the oil and grit in the chain and gear sprockets. Wash it, scrub some parts that need scrubbing, rinse with fresh water, and you are done. Do it regularly to prevent salt corrosion.
Inflate your tires properly at all times
When the time comes that your riding becomes slower and your legs feel heavy while pedaling, do not blame your body for the lack of exercise. At least not yet because the tires may need to be inflated. Avoid using your bike that has poorly inflated tires or they will get punctured easily.
In that case, you would have to replace it entirely. Sure, you have hand pumps readily available, but this tool is not enough to properly inflate the tires. Choose a standing track pump that has a pressure gauge instead. Also, make sure that your pump is compatible with the valve type of your bike.
If you don’t have any idea on what type of pump to buy or how to pump your tire, you may borrow from a bike shop if you like. Here you can ask the right pump and the proper steps on pumping a tire. One more tip: look for the number followed by PSI labeled on your tire. It indicates how much air you should put in.
Lubricate the bike chains
Lubricating your bike chains once every month can help prevent easy wearing. This part of the bike is always under tension and in motion, which is why it can get damaged at any time during the ride. Aside from this, it is also exposed to water and dirt.
When you lubricate your chain, make sure that it is clean and free of dirt or you’ll just make the matter worse. Proper lubrication of the bike chains also protects the other parts such as the derailleurs.
Always check your bike brakes or brake pads
Riding for miles in a very long time causes rim brakes and disc brakes to wear down. That is why your brake pads need replacing from time to time. If the brakes are not as sharp as before and become a little responsive, then it is time to buy a new one. The assembly is quite easier than you imagine. You only need Allen keys.
However, if you have disc brakes, the wheel has to be removed first. Then pull the brake pad from the caliper to see if the brakes are already worn. If there is 1mm of compound left on the pad, you need to replace it.
Bring your bike to bike shops that offer professional service
If you don’t want to guess if your bike is in a good condition, you have to let an expert check it. This is really important if you are a frequent rider who likes to venture on thrilling bike tours on the mountains or dangerous roads. For those who are not, getting a professional service once a year should be enough.
Knowing how to maintain a bike is not just a job of bike hobbyist but of everyone who owns a bike. Whatever type of wheels you have, this knowledge and skill can ensure a smooth and worry-free ride. It can save you money from buying another bike, too.