Basic Bike Maintenance

Basic Bike Maintenance

Cycling is a great hobby, especially if you live in or near the suburbs. Not only does it help you de-stress after a long week at work by letting you enjoy the outdoors, but it also helps you become healthier.

Numerous studies have been conducted about the health benefits cycling. Research at Stanford University has proven how helpful regular cycling is in terms of cardiovascular health.

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Cycling is a well-rounded exercise that can provide a full body workout. It increases the circulation of blood in the body and aids in the efficient distribution of oxygen and nutrients to the skin while getting rid of the harmful toxins through perspiration. It can improve your mood, your sleep, and your overall health.

While you can get a stationary bike that you can use indoors is one way to enjoy the benefits of cycling, nothing beats getting outside on a road bike or a mountain bike.

Cycling not only provides a healthy and environment-friendly means of alternative transportation, it also allows you to explore places that are too far to reach when you’re jogging or walking.

Bike Maintenance 101

Getting a bike is definitely a great investment. And if you intend to get the most value for your money, it is best to invest in a durable, high-quality bike, and keep it well maintained.

Buying a cheap bike may save some money in the short term, but in the long run, it will end up costing you more in terms of maintenance and repairs. That’s why most bike enthusiasts would advise you budget a little more to purchase a bike with a high-quality frame, as well as durable components like brakes, shifters, and wheels.

Getting an expensive bike does not necessarily mean that you can neglect maintenance, though. No matter what type of bike you may have, you still have to do safety checks and periodic maintenance just to make sure that everything is still working properly.

Also, making sure that your bike is in a good condition is a matter of safety. You wouldn’t ride your bike if you know there’s a problem with it. If you own a bike or plan to get one, you have to learn the bike maintenance basics to ensure that your bike is safe and reliable on your rides.

Bike Inspection

Doing a routine periodic inspection on your bike is the best way to prevent bike issues, and. It will help you discover and fix small issues before they develop into major problems or, even worse, safety hazards. Here are the three main things that you need to check before every ride.

  • Tires

Make sure that your bike tires are properly inflated. The proper range of inflation pressure is usually shown on the tire sidewall. Invest in a quality floor pump to inflate the tires, and a pressure gauge to measure tire pressure accurately. Check and check it before each ride. Next check that the wheels are secure. Most bikes have a quick release lever or thru axel. Make sure the axel is tight, or the quick release is securely closed. It is also a good idea to bring a patch and pump kit with you whenever you go for a ride, in case you get a flat out on the road. Don’t forget an extra tube!

  • Brakes

Loose or worn brakes can be a major safety hazard. Check your rear and front brake levers to see if they are engaged properly. You can do this by simply squeezing the levers and making sure they are applying moderately firm pressure to the wheel. Also, check the brake pads for excessive wear and replace if the are worn down beyond the recommended amount.

  • Chain

Another important component that you need to check before going on a ride is your bike chains. Make sure that it’s well lubricated. By doing this you can ensure that your bike shifts easily and you can avoid trouble when you’re riding. Keeping your bike chains lubricated also helps make your drivetrain last longer.

These three are the major bike parts that should be checked frequently. And while you’re in the habit of checking on the main bike components, don’t forget to periodically check all bolts on the bike as well. In particular, check the bolts on the stem and handlebars as well as the seat post for proper tightness. A loose bolt, especially on the handlebars, for example, can be a major safety hazard.

As you can see, it is very important to do frequent maintenance check-ups on your bike. This will help you identify and fix problems before they become major issues. It can even save you a trip to the bike shop for repairs.

There are many simple bike repairs and maintenance that you can do on your own. Learn more with the DIY bike repair and maintenance videos at DIY Bike Repair.

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