If you are a regular bike rider, you know there are key features on your bicycle that ensure your ride is smooth, safe, and enjoyable. Correct maintenance can go a long way, and regular checks with a bike mechanic will make all the difference in your ride. It is important to carry out regular maintenance checks that are critical to riding safely and avoiding costly bike repairs down the line. Below we have listed some tips you can follow to make sure your bike is always in good shape.
Keep your bikes clean
If there is one thing you can do to prolong the life of your bike, it is keeping it clean. It’s extremely tedious and nobody likes to spend their time cleaning, but it’s true. You don’t need to spend extortionate amounts of money on a high quality cleaning kit– a bucket of soapy water, a sponge and an old toothbrush is all you need, though a proper degreaser will help break down the oil and grit in the chain and gear sprockets. A small, but very handy tip when it comes to making sure the elements of your bike don’t become rusty, therefore less performing.
Regularly maintenance your brakes
Listen to your bike. If your brakes are becoming screeching or simply don’t sound right, chances are they are dirty, or at least have dirt wheel rims.. Clean and dry both properly and 50% of the time, you’ve solved the problem. If that doesn’t work, they might need adjusting. Also keep an eye out for the feel of your brakes. If they become sluggish, for example if you squeeze the brake lever and it moves more than halfway towards the handlebars – you need to tighten them up. The easiest way to do this is twiddle the barrel adjuster by the brake lever. If that doesn’t do the trick, you’ll need to get your Allen keys out and free the brake cable by opening the brake nut, pulling it taut and closing the nut again. If you struggle with this don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone that does, and remember the internet is your best teacher.
Check your brake pads
Worn brake pads equal rubbish brakes. You can tell they are worn if you can hardly see the grooves any more. Fitting new brake pads is a very cheap and easy fix and any number of websites can show you how. You just need a set of Allen keys and some patience.
Keep your tyres inflated properly
Poorly inflated tyres are prone to punctures. Always keep an eye on these and make sure they are safe to go out riding.
Cover it up or keep it inside
Leaving your bike open to the elements will speed up the ageing process. The sun, water and dirt will end up causing damage to your bike and cost you in repairs. If you’re in a humid climate, rust on certain metal components can also develop quicker. If possible, keep your bike inside. However, if you live in an apartment building or do not have adequate space, you will want to at least keep it covered. Our Oliver bike covers are perfect at preventing any mud or grease getting on your bike, they also keep your floors clean!
Inspect Your Bike
Inspect the frame for cracks or serious dents that are more than just cosmetic. Specific areas to look at are the joints particularly around the head tube and bottom bracket. If there are any cracks, even if it looks like it’s just paint, take the bike to your local bike shop to be looked at by an expert. For this reason (and a lot of others) it’s a good idea to take your bike in for a yearly tune up and checkover at your local bike shop.
Remember, your bike is an investment not only of money but also of time and the care it takes to use and maintain it. These tips will be sure to help to keep your bike in tip top shape but it all comes down to how you take care of your property.