Bicycle Maintenance Tips Bicycle Maintenance Tips
Whether you have an expensive state-of-the-art bicycle, or an older model, bicycle maintenance is imperative in order for you to keep your bike in good condition. Some bicyclists consider maintenance a once-a-year responsibility, but for your bike to work properly and safely you should perform maintenance on it each time you ride it. The following are some tips for keeping your bike in good working condition.
Tip 1 – Cleaning Your Bike
A clean bike will last longer than one that is dirty. The frequency of the washing will depend on the amount of use it is getting. If it’s used daily, then once a week would be a minimum goal to set for your cleaning regimen. Bikes accumulate dirt, moisture, and other grime that when left on your bike can cause corrosion or rusting that often damages bike components.
You can clean your bike simply by using a bucket of water with dish detergent and a cloth. Clean the bike and then towel dry it to remove any excess moisture. If you discover dirt or grime in areas that are more difficult to reach, use a toothbrush.
Tip 2 – Inspecting and Inflating Your Bike Tires
Inspect your tires each time you ride your bike to make sure there are no bulges, tears or other damage. Also, examine them for nails or other sharp objects. It’s important to keep your bike tires inflated to the proper pressure. Tires that are under-inflated, or over-inflated, can wear unevenly. Any damaged tire should be replaced immediately.
Tip 3 – Checking Your Bike's Brakes
Brake pads are particularly vulnerable to grease and grime that will cause the brakes to squeak and may even scratch the rims. To clean your brake pads, you can use a rag to scrub between the brake pad and the rim to remove inbedded dirt. You can determine if your pads are beginning to wear by removing the wheel and examining the pads . If you have newer brakes, examine them closely to make sure they are still ridged. A key to making sure your handbrakes are working properly is to be sure the brake handles move about an inch between the lever and the handlebar.
Tip 4 – Examining Your Bike's Crank and Chains
Examine the bolts on your crank to make sure they are tight. You should regularly oil your chain to keep it running smoothly. This can easily be done by tipping your bike upside down and then running a cloth over the chain to remove any dirt while you are pedaling. Keeping your bicycle chain free of excess grease is important so that it doesn’t accumulate more dirt.
Take your bike for a quick spin to make sure that everything on it is running smoothly before you take it out for a long drive.