Six Bike Maintenance Tips Every Cyclist Should Know

Early spring is perfect bike-riding weather — it's not too hot, not too cold and there's an abundance of vibrant flora/scantily-clad joggers to admire along the way. Unfortunately, all that extra riding usually translates to added wear-and-tear in your bike. Here are six simple bike maintenance tips that anyone can master.

The following tips come from The Rolling Fix, a mobile bicycle shop that provides home servicing in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. While some bike repairs require a professional fix, you can usually keep minor issues at bay with a little T.L.C — the key is to do it regularly. Here are six basic upkeep rules that every cyclist should get into the habit of following:

Air

"Ensure that your tyres are pumped up to the recommended air pressure. This should be written on the side of the tyre. Also check that the tread is in good condition and has no splits in the rubber."

Lubrication

"Having a clean and well lubricated drive-train is one of the simplest ways to make your ride smoother and more enjoyable!"

Brakes

"Good brakes are often the difference between a safe journey and a nasty accident. Check for wear on your brake pads and make sure the cable is the correct length so that the lever doesn't come back too close to the handlebar."

Gears

"Shift through the gears one at a time, while pedalling slowly and consistently to make sure your gears are all in good order. Without a bike stand, this is most easily checked by riding slowly on flat ground."

Steering

"Make sure there is no movement where the handlebars attach to the frame. Check that all of the bolts are tight, then hold the front brake on and rock the bike backwards and forward, there should no movement."

Lights

"By law you’re required to have a light on the back and front of your bike if you ride at night. Make sure you’ve got a fresh set of batteries in all of your lights and double check they are securely fastened to the bike’s frame."


Got some cycling maintenance tips of your own to contribute? Roll 'em out in the comments section below.

See also: How I Learned To Love Cycling (And How You Can Too) | Why A Softer Bicycle Seat Won't Help Your Sore Butt


Comments

    Can anyone recommend a good product to lubricate the drive train with? Ta.

      Depends on your type of riding, but as I go off road a fair bit things can get mucky. For years now I've used chainsaw "chain and bar" oil. It's designed to stick to a very fast spinning chain, so won't be thrown off easily and it still penetrates the links really well. Use it sparingly and clean your chain regularly (or whenever you remember; not very often in my case).

      It has the added advantage of being very cheap too.

      Go to Super Cheap or Repco and buy some motorbike chain oil. And a can of de-greaser to help clean and maintain the chain. Should only cost 20$ max.

      I use dirtbike chain lubricant. It's got a decent adhesive property to it.

      We use the WD-40 dry bike lube, works great. However any bike specific lube from you local bike will suffice. The Rolling Fix

    What do you do if your gears are not in good order?

      Depends if you're handy with bike mechanics or not. Based on you asking this question I'm going to assume not. With that said it's not too hard to do your own work, but you might have a mate who's handy with bikes or if now a bike mechanic would be a good option.

      I'm no expert but the problem could be from any number of drivetrain components, most obviously the cassette/freewheel/whatever you're running is knackered. But then I'd also suggest that your chain needs to be replaced and depending how bad could also have wear on the crankset and rear derailleur.

        Thanks Matto, I suppose my comment cane from the fact that the article is called "Six Bike Maintenance Tips Every Cyclist Should Know" yet besides suggesting to check stuff, it was a bit light on actual tips, or links to where tips might be found. Check your brakes work, check your lights work, etc. Like, really?

    Never oil a dirty chain. The oil carrier the grit inside the chain and dramatically shortens its useful life and wears out your gears too.

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