There are so many things to consider when maintaining a bike, it can be hard to know where you should start. Luckily for you, this article does the work for you. Here is a quick recap of things do to, supplies, tools and more that will help maintain your bicycle in good working order!
- 1. Keep your bicycle clean of dirt and grime
- 2. Inspect the chain for any signs of wear or rust
- 3. Lubricate all moving parts that need it
- 4. Keep your brake pads in good condition
- 5. Tighten up bolts on your handlebars and seat post if they seem loose
- 6. Make sure there is enough air your tires before riding again (or go tubeless)
- 7. Keep an eye out for bent components, rust or cracks on the bicycle
- What tools do you need for maintaining your bike?
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Keep your bicycle clean of dirt and grime
This is the first, and most important step in maintaining your bike. A clean bicycle is a happy, healthy and safe one! Here are some quick steps on making sure this is done:
- Bring together all of your supplies. You want to make sure that you have a rag, some water and soap (or an automative style cleaner) on hand before you start.
- Spray down the bike with clean cold or warm tap-water to remove any dirt that is stuck in cracks of your frame from riding it around town all day long! This will make cleaning much easier as well because there won’t be anything for grime particles stick too when they get wet again later down below during this process…you’ll see what I mean.
- Next up just use an old toothbrush if necessary along those hard spots like under handlebars where dust likes to hang out – then scrub away at them until everything’s gone by using soapy dish detergent mixed into lukewarm/hot water.
- After everything is scrubbed down, spray it down with a hose and rinse off the soap.
- Use an old towel or rag that you don’t mind getting dirty, then dry all of your bike parts as much so they are not dripping wet – this will help prevent rusting in those areas because water can be corrosive! If there’s any stubborn spots left over from dirt/dust particles on them after drying with paper towels just give it another quick scrub down using dish detergent mixed into lukewarm running fresh tap-water before going onto next steps below…and repeat until everything looks clean again.
- Finally, try using something like this 303 UV Protectant on the painted surfaces will do wonders for keeping the paint from fading, and looking awesome!
2. Inspect the chain for any signs of wear or rust
Your chain is one of the most important parts of your bike and keeping it maintained is vital to the life of your bike. The chain is what connects all drivetrain components together and if is not in the best condition, it can leave you stranded or at least just take more energy to move than normal!
A quick check of the chain every time you ride will give you a good idea of what your chain should look like! That way when you start to notice things like rust, or wear, you will be aware of it quicker than you normally would.
If you do see rust, it probably is time to go ahead and replace! To keep the chain from rusting, you should always keep the chain lubricated.
As for wear, you will be able to tell if this is an issue if it feels like your chain is stretching! This basically means that the inside of the chain is actually wearing down from use, giving the feeling of it stretching. You can tell this is happening by utilizing a chain checking tool. However if you are doing this, you likely need to replace anyways, and its easier that way.
3. Lubricate all moving parts that need it
Keeping moving parts lubricated is extremely important. When parts are not lubricated, they tend to wear down and break more easily, and can at its worse cause an accident and a lot of pain.
Make sure to keep your chain lubricated first and foremost! However lesser known items that need this are seat posts, derailleur pulleys, cables, clipless pedals, and anything really that moves. All of these parts need this to work correctly!
Keep in mind though, don’t lubricate your brake pads! Those help you stop, and you should probably keep it that way.
4. Keep your brake pads in good condition
Speaking of which, brake pads make you stop, which is important when you are flying down a hill, or when you are in the middle of a busy intersection. Brake pads also make it possible to stop your bike quickly and efficiently, which is good for safety as well!
Brake pad wear can be checked by looking at them from behind; if they look thin then chances say that its time replace those brake pads with new ones – but don’t wait too long because worn out brakes will not work properly (or sometimes even worse: won’t function) and could lead into an accident- so take care o f this important part right away before anything bad happens while riding on two wheels!
If you are at all worried about your brake pads being worn, or not working correctly, its best just to replace and move on! Thankfully they aren’t all that expensive. You can learn more about why your brakes might not be working correctly in this article we wrote!
5. Tighten up bolts on your handlebars and seat post if they seem loose
The last thing you want, is for a bolt on your bike to fall off when you are in the air on a jump!
It is important to make sure that your bike has all the bolts tightened up and in place, so it can last a long time. It’s also good for safety reasons!
Make an effort every once-in awhile (or whenever you feel like) tighten those handlebar or seat post bolt screws back into their original spot; this will ensure they stay tight on there own without any help from anyone else – which means no more worries about them coming loose while riding around town!
From personal experience, having to bicycle uphill for 12 miles with handlebars that want to fall off is not a fun time! Because of this you should also always keep a multi-tool on hand.
6. Make sure there is enough air your tires before riding again (or go tubeless)
Air is an important aspect of your tires, and it’s important to make sure that there is enough air in both tubes before riding.
If you notice a decrease of pressure, or if the tire feels squishy when squeezed – this means its time for some more fresh air!
The best way I’ve found so far (and what most people recommend) is by using a standard ground air pump and checking with your fingers: pump until they are hard then stop pumping; now press on them lightly. Alternatively… use a pump with a gauge, and pump it to the specs on the side of the tire.
7. Keep an eye out for bent components, rust or cracks on the bicycle
Hard impacts on a bike can sometimes cause damage to the quite a few different components on a bicycle!
Wheels can be cracked, bent, and damaged regularly as they are the component touching the ground, and taking the brunt of any impacts! You should take a quick look at your wheels every couple of rides, and see if you need to “true” them, which is basically straightening them out.
Handlebars can also easily get bent in an accident, so make sure that you are keeping an eye on those. An easy way to do this is by standing over the front wheel, and lining up the handlebars
Every once in a while, it is also great practice to set your bike upside down on the ground (so it is sitting on the seat and the handlebars) and go through the complete bike to check for any cracks, or damage that you haven’t notices.
One huge thing to keep an eye one! The frame. If you see any cracks or deformities in your frame, it is best to start shopping for a replacement. This unfortunately is not something that should be fixed. In this case, cheaper bikes will likely be put out of commission, however it is generally more economical to take the old components off, and put it on a new frame if it is a more expensive bike.
What tools do you need for maintaining your bike?
Maintaining your bike does require a decent amount of tools like a chain breaker, a pedal wrench and more.
The most important tools are your tire levers which come in many shapes but all have the same function – to remove tires from wheels without damaging them or yourself! A good set of these is worth their weight as they can be used for other tasks too like removing mudguards (mud-guard removers).
You will also need an Allen key tool kit with hex keys that fit various bolts on bikes including pedals/spokes etc… It’s always best not just buy one size fits everything type because it won’t work well at times so make sure you get different sizes depending upon what needs tightening up..
Finally there should never really ever go out riding if any nuts & screws aren’t tightened so a good multi-tool or adjustable wrench will be invaluable.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to make your bicycle last longer is to always maintain the bike! This will be cleaning it regularly, storing it correctly, and even taking care of the paint. On average a person should check and clean their bicycle every couple of weeks, but major cleaning should be done every few months.
The best way to protect the paint on your bike is to always keep the bike covered when it is not in use! This will keep any rain off of it to keep all of the parts from having issues and fading, and will also keep the harsh sun from cracking or fading the paint. You can also buff and shine up bike paint just like a car!
The best way to make your bicycle shine is to utilize vehicle paint wax and buff kits! You can easily use these just like you would on a car to make it look its best.
In conclusion maintaining your bike is extremely important to both your well being, as well as the well being of your bike. Bikes are expensive and it is not worth the risk to neglect them. Take care of your bike, take a few minutes each day or week (depending on how often you ride) for maintenance!