Essential Tips for Maintaining your Bike

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Tips for Maintaining your Bike

This service is a tuning up of the brakes and gears as they loosen up a little due to cable stretch. This is an essential service which is not to be left for more than 6 weeks. After the 6 weeks it is NOT a free of charge service.

Do you get annoyed when someone rides past you with loud rattling and squeaking sound coming from the chain and sprockets? Maybe the sound is coming from your bike? That is the not-so-sweet sound of metal rubbing against metal and grime and mud, because all lubrication has long since worn off. That is a really good way to go, if you want to shorten the life expectancy of your chain and sprockets.

It is not cheap to replace them, so save yourself some money by regularly cleaning and lubricating the drivetrain.

The most important thing, or at least in the top three, that have an effect on the quality of your bike ride is tire pressure. If the pressure is too low you have to work a lot more to keep the same speed than with proper high pressure. And you will get flats more easily, especially when hitting a curb hard. One of the most essential must-have tools you should own is a quality floor pump with pressure gauge. Check the suggested pressure from the side of your tires. The rear tire should have more pressure as it is taking more of the riders weight than the front. Make sure you check your tire pressure at least once every two weeks.

If you’re not going to ride your bike for a long time, like six months or a couple of years, try to remember to keep the tires inflated even during the pause. If this is not possible, take the tires off completely. By doing this you prevent cracks on the sides of the tires.

Keep all the screws, bolts and nuts in your bike where they belong by checking regularly if they are loose. It is annoying if you loose the screw holding your mudguards in place and having to listen that rattling and banging sound all the way home. Note that with some of the newer bikes the parts have the maximum torque limit written on them and you can buy tools that apply only a specified amount of torque.

If you like to drive fast , you’d better make sure you stop effectively when needed. If you have to pull the brake lever until it touches the handlebar and still almost nothing happens, you have to adjust the brake pads closer to the rim (or your disc).

You can do this by tightening the adjusting barrel (if your brakes have one) in the brake lever or the brake arm end. Tightening the screw moves the pads closer to the rim (or disc). You may also need to unscrew the bolt holding the wire, tighten the wire and then screw the bolt back on. Before tightening the bolt again, twist the adjuster holding the wire and the wire housing to the loosest setting. This way you have more room to adjust the brakes.

It is also important to keep both the pads and the braking surface clean from dirt and oil. Dirty pads wear out themselves and the braking surface substantially faster.

 

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