Mountain Bike Maitnance Mountain Bike Maitnance

A mountain bike is great exercise. In order to remain as safe as possible while enjoying a ride, it is important to check and maintain a mountain bike after every ride. Methodically examining and cleaning the bike takes only about a half hour, once the steps have been practiced and perfected. Not only will performance be increased, but small problems can be located before a major issue arises.

Step 1 - Remove All Accessories from the Handlebars

Remove all bells, lights and the V brakes. Beginning with the front brake, apply pressure to the rim. Once the pressure is released, lift the brake cable out of the retaining clip. Repeat on the rear brake.

Step 2 - Remove the Wheels

To protect the saddle and handle bars lay a towel out and then flip the bike over. Use the quick release to remove the front wheel hub from the bike frame. When quick releasing the rear wheel, be sure to ease the hub, and rear cassette, away from the derailer.

Step 3 - Clean the Drive System

Using warm soapy water, brush out the rear derailer getting between all gears and moving parts. Soak a cloth and firmly grip the chain. Turn the pedals allowing the chain to spin and the cloth to wipe debris and oil off. Using the brush and plenty of water, clean the front. Soak the rag and work it into the moving parts of the front gear mechanism to clean. Rinse off and wipe down the pedals and the cranks.

Step 4 - Wash the Underside

Using soapy water and a rag, wipe down the frame, drying as you go. In the same way, wipe down the handlebars, brake levers, and gear assembly. Move on to the crossbar, slightly lifting and wiping beneath the brake cable as you go. Lastly, wipe under the seat with a damp rag being sure to to saturate any insulation which could mold with standing moisture.

Step 5 - Clean the Wheels

Using lots of soapy water, wash down the rims, axles and spokes of the wheels. Use degreaser on the rotors, if the bike has disk brakes. Replace the wheel into the quick release and tighten down. Clean the rear and front wheels using the same methods. Using the lever end of a bike brush and lots of soapy water, clean all debris, lubricant, and rocks from the rear cassette before replacing in the derailer. When replaced, spin the wheels to make sure brakes are not rubbing and tires are true.

Step 6 - Wash the Topside

Flip the bike right side up and wipe down the top side. Be sure to dry as you go. Pay special attention to the shocks, handlebar stem and headset. Wipe down the seat, seat post and saddle.

Step 7 - Final Checks

Test the brakes and derailers by taking a small, slow ride down the block. Listen closely for any clicking, knocking or grinding noises. Flip through the gears to be sure of smooth changes and fluid chain movements. Flip the pedals to make sure the bearings flow smoothly.

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