Proper Bike maintenance:
Riding a bike consistently means you have to invest a little bit of time weekly and monthly to ensure your bike is in top condition. If you find yourself riding in mud and rain than this maintenance list becomes even more important.
Weekly Maintenance Check:
- Check tire pressure and pump up as necessary. On the side of your tire is stated the recommended tire pressure. My current bike tires recommend 4-7 bar
- Check to make sure brakes are working well and adjust as necessary. To adjust, take the set screws and tighten if possible. If this is extended all the way out and no longer possible then you must actually use a tool on the lower brake unit at the tire. First, loosen the set screw at the brake all the way. Next, I use an Allen wrench and pliers to pull the cable tight. Pretty simple.
Monthly Maintenance Check:
- Clean bike. Turn the bike over, remove all the dirt and grim from the bottom of the bike using a soapy washcloth and warm water.
- Inspect bike for any loose parts and tighten as appropriate. It is important that you also look for bends, cracks, and other signs of imminent failure.
- Clean the Chain, chain sprockets and gearing. I personally like to use a chain scrubber. I use a simple mixture of water and soap to remove the large grime build up. Wipe down the chain with an oil rag to remove any of the grim that was not removed using the scrubber.
- Pay particular attention to the back sprockets and wipe down the dirt that builds up on them as well.
- Lube your bike chain now that it is completely cleaned up.
- Check brake pads – if you look at the brake pads they have the little grooves for dissipating heat while braking. I check to see the wear here and when the pads have ground down then I replace the brake pads. I do this myself.
- Open the brakes- each bike is different, but you need to open them up so you have room to remove the brake pads. On my own bike, I have a cotter pin per brake pad and remove this pin and then pull out the brake pad and replace with a new one.
- Once the brake pads are replaced, and then close up the brakes again. I find that I must loosen the cable, to properly close up the brakes.
Pro tip – make sure that your brake pads grab the back portion of the wheel first- so that the brake pads are pulled from the rotational force rather than pushed.
Half year Maintenance Check:
- Rotate your bike tires. I do this to equalize the bike tread wear. I find that the rear tire wears significantly faster than the front. If you do not do this, than your replacement costs go up and I want to ensure your biking costs are as low as possible.
- Remove both tires, deflate the tires and remove the tires. Clean the tires, clean and inspect the rubber tubes. Rebuild the rotated bike tires and then remount. This applies the same logic used on car tires and greatly extends the life of the tire tread. I have extended the life of my tires by a good 2 years using this maintenance trick.
I hope this list was useful for you. Bike maintenance is pretty simple, but it does need to be done to ensure a good and safe ride.
Let me know if you have any other comments or suggestions.