Basic bike maintenance tips all cyclists should do regularly
Bicycle maintenance is an important part of a cyclist’ journey, whether you’re a professional or simply an enthusiast who cycles for fitness and fun. Taking care of your bicycle and keeping it in good condition ensures your safety when you use it on the road or the mountain, whatever your preference.
If you consider the fact that your bicycle gives you joy when you ride it, you’ll be more motivated to do anything that will help keep it in top shape. That way, you can continue getting joyful rides. And, the same goes for the biking accessories you use, such as a bike stand. The maintenance can be as thorough as you choose it to be. It also depends on how often you perform the maintenance and how experienced you are with it.
Each and every cyclist is capable of performing basic road bike maintenance on different types of road bikes, but not all have the ability to do in-depth maintenance. If you’re unsure about what to do beyond the basics, speak to a professional and they can either guide you through it or do it for you at a fee agreeable to the both of you.
To help you along the way, we have compiled top basic bike maintenance tips that you should do on a regular basis to keep your cycle in top shape.
Create a bike maintenance schedule
Start by creating a bike maintenance schedule. You’re probably asking yourself if this is necessary. Maybe it isn’t, but the fact is we are forgetful beings, and if you have a schedule, you’re less likely to forget doing the maintenance. It doesn’t have to be fixed, so, when you miss a maintenance activity, you can try a new date. Think about it this way, a schedule is a plan, and its purpose is to make sure things get done. Most importantly, a schedule makes your life easier; you’ll know what to do and when to do it. Now, onto what to put on the schedule.
Clean your bike
Cleaning your bike helps you remove the dirt and grime picked up on your previous rides. This means you have to go all-in, with water and soap from every angle and reach every part of the bicycle till you get a sparkly shine. Be mindful of the bike cleaning products you use; they have to be mild and friendly to your bike; otherwise, you run the risk of damaging it if you use harsh chemicals. A clean bicycle increases performance as there won’t be any dirt or grime that’s piled up and causing friction on the bike movement. What’s more is when you clean your bike, you’re likely to pick up wear and tear that you might have missed before.
Lubricate your bike
When you’re done with the above step, you should move on to the lubrication aspect of maintenance. This is where you oil up your drivetrain systems; pedals, cranks, chainrings, etc. using bike lubes. This task turns your bike into a well-oiled machine, and that’s exactly what you’re after if you still want to continue riding.
Check your bike brakes
Your brakes are important for your safety on the road. If they are not working properly, they put you and other people at risk of an accident or fall injuries. Check that they’re in optimal condition. If you use disc brakes, check that the rotors are clean and use disc brake cleaner to clean if they need cleaning.
Inflate your bike tyres
This goes without saying, your bike’s tyre pressure is critical in ensuring that you’re able to move from departure to destination point. A flat tyre decreases the performance levels of a bike and can make you work harder than you should to increase movement and overall speed of the bicycle. Check your tyres on a regular basis, and be aware of the pressure condition before you ride.
Tighten nuts and bolts
Loose nuts and bolts make for a loose bicycle, which means it will fall apart when you ride. Tightening these will ensure that the bike is secure and safe to ride. Keep in mind that you have to keep them balanced, not too tight and not too loose. If you’re unsure, consult the bike manufacturer’s manual or an expert for advice.
Index your bike gears
Unlike when a bike’s new, your gears probably don’t shift as smoothly and efficiently. To fix this, you have to index the gears. It’s a simple process that requires turning the barrel adjuster. If you’re struggling to tackle this at home, you might want to speak to a professional.
Road bike maintenance is giving your bike some tender loving care that it needs to stay in a good condition for longevity. All of the bicycle shops in Cape Town can attest to that fact. So, go ahead and give your bicycle some care. Visit online bicycle shop Chris Willemse Cycles to get your cleaning products and check out the road bikes for sale if you were thinking of getting a new ride.