Bicycle maintenance can seem so hard. It can be tricky and time consuming. And even though we all understand its importance—a smooth running bike makes good rides better—it can be downright tiresome. At least it seems that way. The truth is, the easy way to keep a harmonious machine is to build maintenance into your routine. Follow these tips and you’ll always get to enjoy pedaling a dialed ride.
Your dirty bike hates you and wants your ride to suck. Maintenance begins when your ride ends. There’s no point in tuning a gunky bike, so as soon as you’re back home, knock off dried-on dirt with a stiff brush and scrub away any muck with a brush and warm water. Resist the urge to blast your bike clean at the car wash, even if it is already conveniently on your car.
Don’t neglect the safety check. Save great pain and suffering to your body and checkbook by giving your bike a quick overview after every ride. Catching small problems before they become big ones is huge. Spin the wheels to make sure they haven’t gone wobbly. Are there cuts or holes on the tires? Look to see that your brakes aren’t dragging and make sure you have plenty of brake pad left while you are at it. Check cables for fraying and hydraulic brake hoses for kinks or deep scrapes. Are all of your chainring bolts still there? Wiggle your wheels, headset, and bottom bracket. Do they jiggle? If anything looks wrong, make it right (this might entail a visit to your local shop) before your next ride.
A lubed bike is a happy bike. Fortunately, modern bikes are remarkably low maintenance so you only really need to check your chain. Is it dry? Then lube it. Wasn’t that easy?
Give a quick squeeze of the tires. Low tire pressure can make a bike feel slow in a straight line and sketchy in the turns. Plus, underinflated tires can lead to rim, tube, and tire damage. Learn what amount of tire pressure is right for you, decide whether the gauge in your thumb is good enough, and do whatever it takes to make sure you always have enough air in your tires. A floor pump is well worth a few dollars if you don't already own one.
Give your bike a good home. Where you store your bike will have a lot to do with how much maintenance your bike needs. Try to keep it somewhere that isn’t blasted by the sun, clouded with dust, or hosed by water (or your dog).
We have two main objectives and they are to increase participation in the sport of cycling at any level and to improve our local community. If either of these objectives sound like something you would be interested in being involved with, come on out and ride with us!