Your bicycle doesn't only run on your ability to pedal. It also needs a little of your time, some lube, and a lot of maintenance. You may not know all the solutions to every problem that your bike has, but you can always learn new things as you go, which can help you extend its longevity for a couple more years.
Understanding how to properly maintain your bicycle will dramatically extend each of its parts' life in the long run. At the same time, it can also improve your riding experience and even help you save money on repairs. But for a lot of newcomers in the hobby, bicycle maintenance can be an appalling thought.
If you haven't had enough experience with maintaining a bicycle, don't worry. Like everyone else, bicycle maintenance is something that you must learn yourself, or by learning from someone with experience. We understand how it feels, that's why we have compiled a list of a few essential maintenance tips and tricks for beginners and advanced cyclists to help you with your bicycle.
As a bike rider, ensuring that your bike is in top condition is essential for both your safety and performance. One of the most crucial components to check is the brakes. Properly functioning brakes are vital to prevent accidents and maintaining control while riding. Before every ride, it's important to check the brake pads, cables, and brake lever for any signs of wear or damage. Doing so can help you identify any potential issues before they become more serious, and can allow you to make any necessary adjustments or repairs.
If you're unsure of how to check your brakes, it's always best to consult with a mechanic or bike repair expert who can help you keep your bike in top shape. Remember to always carry a bike pump with you to ensure your brakes are properly inflated and ready to go. Regular brake maintenance is a key aspect of bike maintenance that every rider, beginner or advanced, should prioritize.
Checking your tire pressure is another critical aspect of bicycle maintenance. Proper tire pressure not only ensures a smooth and comfortable ride but also helps prevent flats.
To check your tire pressure, locate the recommended pressure range on the side of your tire. Then, use a floor pump with a pressure gauge to inflate or deflate your tires to the appropriate level.
Road tires usually need to be between 80 and 130 psi, mountain bike tires should range between 25 to 35 psi, and hybrid tires with 40 to 70 psi.
Make sure to check your tire pressure regularly, especially before a long cycle. If you do get a flat, check your tire for any punctures or debris that may have caused it.
In addition to checking tire pressure, it's essential to lubricate your chain regularly to keep your bike running smoothly. Use a high-quality lubricant and a degreaser to remove any built-up grime before applying the lubricant.
If you really want a comfortable ride, it's essential to ensure that all the nuts and bolts on your bike are tight. Even if you have a new bike, these components can loosen over time and cause problems while cycling.
Before every ride, take a few minutes to inspect your bike's components and make sure everything is tight. Use a torque wrench to tighten bolts to the manufacturer's recommended specifications.
In addition to tightening nuts and bolts, your bike needs regular cleaning to maintain its performance. Use a sponge and bike-specific cleaning products to remove any dirt or grit from your bike's chainrings (chain rings) and derailleurs.
An old toothbrush can be useful for scrubbing hard-to-reach areas. After cleaning, reapply lubricant to the chain to ensure smooth shifting and prevent rust.
Your bicycle's chain is continuously put through hell whenever you take it out for a ride. For every instance that you pedal it, at least 44,000 chain pieces continually go in the same motion, creating over 320,000 distinct occurrences of gliding surface friction. Just like any part of your bicycle, your bicycle chain can also wear out over time.
Once that happens, you'll find it difficult to shift. Even worse, it can also affect the other parts of the drivetrain. The handlebar and the rim can be damaged, and you might even lose control of your bike. This is why it's important to check whether your bicycle chain needs replacing or not. If you're unsure about how to do this, ask someone who knows about bikes for help.
Also, to keep your bike rolling, maintain your bike chain regularly even though you are not using it often. This way, every time you ride your bike for a long or short distance, you can feel confident that your bike will be able to carry you through.
Invest in a bike oil to get your bike rolling. The clean and lube service will help you maintain your bike and keep it in good condition if you don't how to do it yourself. This is because cleaning and lubricating your bike will make sure that it doesn't get rusty and also, keeps it in good condition.
Included in our list of bike maintenance tips every beginner should know is to check your seat post bag and see if you have all the essentials with you before you take the road. You don't want to be left with a flat tire when you're already 50 miles away from home.
You should also bring any personal identification if you need it for emergency purposes. Also, don't forget to charge your cell phone before putting it in your bag.
Be sure to check these things the night before or at least a few hours before the ride. You also need to see if you have the proper riding gear and clothing beforehand so that you won't forget anything as soon as you hop out. Doing these things before the ride will help you save time, especially if you're planning to take on an early morning session.
Aside from preparing your repair kit and your cash for the ride, you also need to set your energy bars and electrolytes stashed in your seat post bag, too. If you're making your electrolyte, ensure that you do it the night before. Store it in a fridge to save you a good 15 minutes in the morning. Also, you need to fully charge your bike lights, you don't want to get any surprises while you're out on a ride.
You don't want to turn your bike upside down and discover you have nothing packed for a long ride. This is like trying to fix a flat on the road in pitch black.
You need to service your bike to maintain its efficiency regularly. Alternatively, it's also an excellent way to ensure that your bike doesn't have any worn or damaged parts. You can bring it to a service center so that they can thoroughly check it for you or do it yourself. Although it can be tricky at first, you'll undoubtedly get the hang of it once you see other people service their bikes themselves.
Your bicycle gets exposed to mud and grime with every use. Although it's only standard, these things can quickly get stuck in some of your bicycle gears. Once that happens, it can affect its performance and even cause some of your bicycle's components to wear down. That's why cleaning your bike regularly is crucial, especially after a rough ride. Keeping it regularly clean will prevent any of its parts to become mucky. It'll also protect it from corrosion, and other unnecessary repairs.
You can use warm soapy water and a towel to wipe off any excess mud and dirt. You can also use a cloth to wipe off any excess grime from the handlebars and frame, but don't forget to clean your bicycle's wheels as well.
For spare nuts and bolts and for your front and rear wheel, you can use a toothbrush and some soapy water and scrub it well. Then, rinse it off with clean water.
Even a casual or a simple bike rider should know the basic maintenance when it comes to bike. From having to squeeze the brake level to check if it is properly working, to cleaning the chain and gears, there are so many things that you need to do.
Make sure to follow these tips above to have a safe and comfortable ride!
If you're in the market for reliable and high-quality bike accessories and gears, we offer a wide range of options to suit your needs. Cycle Torch provides a variety of bike lights designed to keep you visible and safe on the road. From front and rear lights to versatile and easy-to-mount options, Cycle Torch delivers dependable lighting solutions for cyclists of all levels.
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