You have spent a pretty amount on the bike and you should, therefore, squeeze all the pure blissful joy you can get from it. With regular maintenance, you will be able to keep your bike in top shape and will keep it moving smoothly and seamlessly. You can save a lot in terms of labor costs when it comes to doing your bike maintenance yourself. It is also an invaluable skill and can come in handy when you are in need of it. It is not much difficult to do your bike maintenance yourself. All it needs is some techniques and knowledge about the steps to take and you will have a well-maintained bike in no time.
Without further ado, let us move to the tips, techniques, and steps needed to maintain your bike and keep it in top shape.
Step # 1 – Clean Your Bike
The first step in the bike maintenance process is cleaning your bike thoroughly. Cleaning the bike regularly will extend its life and will keep it working seamlessly. For cleaning the bike, you need a biodegradable cleaner, a sponge, an old toothbrush and a towel. This will clean everything from seats, brakes, pedals, derailleurs, cassette, chainrings, chain and the frame. There is no need to use a lot of water too as simple mist or a gentle rain-like spray will do the job because all you need is to rinse away the soap residue left after cleaning the bike. You should also remove the seat post to clean it thoroughly and before installing it again, add a little amount of bike grease.
Step # 2 – Inspect Your Brakes
One of the most important parts of your bike is the brakes. It is important to make sure they are in good working condition and are also properly adjusted. Adjustments of the brakes make all the difference between a properly controlled bike and losing control over it, which can lead to some serious injuries. it is important to check the brakes often and keep them running smoothly so that the bike keeps running smoothly.
Begin with checking the brake pads, the small rubberized rectangular metallic surface that rubs against the wheel rim or the disk. Brake pads tend to wear over time because of their overuse and need replacement. You can use a flashlight to check the condition of the brake pads and if they are showing signs of excessive wear and tear, it is better to replace them. The brake pads can be adjusted by tightening the adjusting barrel. If you want to move the brake pads close to the disc, tighten the screws and vice versa.
It is important to keep the braking surface and braking pads clean from oil and dirt. Dirty brake pads tend to wear the braking surface as well as themselves faster.
Step # 3 – Check the Wheels
Wheels and rims provide smoothness and stability to the bike and hold your tires in place while you are riding the bike. Having properly trued and tuned wheels allow consistent contact between dirt and the tires.
To check the wheels, spin the wheels after elevating the bike. Both the wheels should spin without being wobbly. If there is a wobbly rim, you can adjust it using a spoke wrench. If there is excessive damage to the wheels, you can also consider replacing them with new ones.
Step # 4 – Tighten the Nuts and Bolts
Check all the nuts and bolts of the bike when you are conducting your bike maintenance. Make sure none of them are loose. However, when tightening the screws, make sure you do not overdo them as it can lead to damage to the bike and will also affect your riding experience.
Step # 5 – Inspect the Drivetrain
The drivetrain of a bike includes the chain, pedals, derailleur and the rear wheel cassette. The drive train transfers power that is generated by your legs to the rear wheel of the bike. This is what moves the bike. It is necessary to keep the drivetrain well-maintained to have seamless riding experience.
You will need a hand when inspecting the drivetrain to help with this step of the tune-up. Raise the rear wheel and make it spin as you did in step 3 while checking the wheels. Shift through all the gears this time and check if it is easy to perform and smooth. Now inspect the chainrings, chain, cassette and the derailleur for excessive wear, dents, missing teeth, scrapes, etc. If the chain seems too worn out, it is better to replace it as it can cause damage to other parts of the drivetrain as well.
Step # 6 – Lubricate the Bike Well with a Corrosion Inhibitor Spray
This is the final and the most important step in bike maintenance. Lubrication is the key to smooth and seamless riding experience but it is also important to use a lubricant that not only lubricates parts of the bike but also provides resistance against corrosion. Lubricating the bike, especially the drivetrain is essential to keep the working smoothly without any troubles. It also helps prevent the accumulation of grime and dirt on the bike which affects its movement. The great corrosion inhibitor lubricant/spray is WD-40.
Apply WD-40 lubricant to the chain while rotating the pedals anti-clockwise direction, WD-40 will work as a corrosion inhibitor. Also lubricate the derailleur, the exposed cable wire, and the brake levers. Do not keep any excess lubricant and wipe off the extra. Before you spray the bike with the WD-40 corrosion inhibitor spray, make sure you get rid of the rust already present there. You can rub it off using steel wool. If there are some parts that are too corroded to be cleaned, you can also consider replacing them.
Your bike is now ready to be taken outside and the tips mentioned above will make sure you have a seamless riding experience.
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