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.
Brakes are one of the most crucial control features in any vehicle, especially your bike. That's why it's vital to check it before you take your bike for a ride. Remember that brake pads need replacing now and then, especially during winter, as they usually pick up more grime from the dirt roads.
Once you've checked the bicycle brakes, the next part that you need to see is the tire pressure. Tires naturally leak air over time— and it's up to you to regularly check it to ensure that it has the right pressure all the time. Paying attention to inflation can help prevent any excess flats as well as serious drop-offs in comfort as well as performance.
You need to tightly twist all the screws, bolts, and nuts before you take your bike out. Any loose screws may cause some of these parts to fall out while you're on the road.
Remember that newer bicycle models have a maximum torque limit stated on them. Some also require tools designed only for a specific amount of torque. If you're planning to buy a new bike, you need to ask your bike shop to spare you a few pieces of nuts and bolts. Most bike shops give it out for free, so it's best to ask the nearest ones in your area about it.
Your bicycle's chain is continuously put through hell every time 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, too. That's why it's crucial to check for any signs of wear regularly to see if it's still in good working condition.
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 just when you're already 50 miles away from your 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 lights, you don't want to get any surprises while you're out on a ride.
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 it's crucial to clean your bike regularly, especially after going from 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.
These are only some of the necessary skills that you need to learn about bicycle maintenance. Learning how to maintain your bicycle correctly is an excellent way to ensure that it'll last. If you have a tight schedule, bringing it to your local bike shop is an excellent option. They have the necessary skills and experience to inspect your bike and see if there’s anything wrong.
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