Having a bike is the same as having an automobile, but in a more eco-friendly way. And similar to the way cars should be maintained, your bike should be getting some tender, loving care too. A bike owner should know how to maintain a bike to prolong its life.
Think of your bike as a prized possession and an investment. A bike that is well-maintained and taken care of will not let you down. Riding a well-maintained bike is a joy to ride, even when you are traversing rough terrain.
However, if you neglect your bike, problems may arise that can result in damage and deterioration.
Here are the best ways on how to maintain a bike and make it look good as new.
Table of Contents
1. Keep it clean.
Probably the most basic thing you can do to keep your bike in its top shape is by cleaning it thoroughly. It will not only get rid of mud and other dirt, but help prevent corrosion as well.
A bucket of soapy water, a sponge, and an old toothbrush is all you need, although investing in a proper degreaser will help break down the oil and mud in the chain and gear sprockets more efficiently.
When it comes to cleaning frequency, it is recommended by professionals to clean your bike every month. For mountain bikes, which are more subjected to dustier and muddier conditions, it is best to clean them more often.
2. Check your tires frequently.
You cannot use your bike if they are deflated. Think of it as the rubber shoes of your bike. Without its “rubber shoes”, it will not perform well.
Tires that are not inflated properly are more prone to punctures, and replacing tires frequently can be expensive and a hassle. To steer clear of this problem, invest in a bicycle floor pump with a pressure gauge. This pressure gauge will tell you if you have pumped enough air into your tires.
To know how much is enough, check your tires for engravement. It should also say how much PSI (pound per square inch) you should pump.
3. Inspect your brakes.
Without an efficient brake, you may as well be putting your life in danger. Hence, checking your brake pads before every ride is as important as wearing your helmet.
First, check the brake pads and ensure they are not worn out. Also, check the cables by making sure you can squeeze the brake handles properly. Make sure that the clamp of the brake handle is not loose. Afterward, tighten the barrel of the brake lever to adjust. We recommend that you clean the brakes regularly to avoid squeaks. Check the brake pads as well, and if they are worn, replace them with new ones.
To properly check your brakes, you have to be familiar with how a brake pad looks. It is the rubberized component that can be found in the metal shoes. You can also locate this by following the endpoint of your brake cable. Brake pads should not be worn out, and visible ridges should still be present.
Second, squeeze your brakes and see if the brake pads are responsive. It is essential to see that they are firmly clamping the tires. If they are loose, tighten it by twisting and adjusting the barrel found in the brakes.
4. Keep the chains clean.
A clean chain is guaranteed to perform smoothly at all times. Keeping your chains mud-free will not only keep it in top shape, but also prevent any destructive corrosion that can become a burden in the future.
Because there is no standard on how a chain will wear, there are no exact guidelines on when to check or change it. A general rule of thumb is that, if you can see any light passing through the chain and the teeth of the chain ring, then it’s time to replace it.
5. Keep it shiny and lubricated.
Friction is a bike’s mortal enemy. Too much friction will only bring wear, rust, and corrosion. Keeping it lubricated using bike-specific lubricant is a way to protect your bike from these issues.
Lubricate the metal parts, especially the parts that move against other parts, such as the chains, pedals, brake cables, suspensions, etc. Keep in mind not to over-lubricate, as excessive lubricant can attract dirt particles. Wipe any excess lubricant off with cloth. On the other hand, if you apply lubrication too sparingly, it will only wear off or dissipate.