Bike Guide 101: How To Properly Maintain Your City Bicycle
As an avid cyclist, one of your greatest possessions is your bicycle. It may serve as your mode of transportation, a way for you to get fit, as a recreation, or even for competition or sports.
Whatever your reason for owning a bike, it's vital to take care of it and prevent its deterioration. You'll be able to enjoy riding your bike and maximize its performance if it's well-maintained, even if you're traversing on rough terrains. Likewise, neglecting it can lead to problems, which can result in damages over time.
The topic of bike maintenance is a broad one, so we'll cover the essentials. Additionally, make sure not to overlook the importance of a bicycle mechanic's regular maintenance. Bring your ride at least twice a year when you're a regular rider to ensure that bearing surfaces, cables, derailleurs, spokes, and other components that are hard to assess are frequently checked. It's crucial to service and adjust bike parts like these by a professional mechanic.
Keep Your Bike Clean
Regularly cleaning your bike is the first thing you can do. It's also the easiest way to maintain your ride. Wash it by scrubbing or using a sponge, dishwashing liquid, and water. Clean the cogs and chain using a brush. Apply a degreaser afterward.
Furthermore, it's also necessary to clean the tires of your bicycle. Start by removing the tires, and then inspect each one for any signs of wear and tear. Next, use a cloth to wipe down and get rid of mud, grass, tiny pebbles, and other debris. Lastly, dampen a cloth with a dishwashing cleaner and wipe the various parts of the tires with it.
Learn How To Fix A Flat Tire
If you love riding a bike, then learning how to fix a flat tire is a must. You can ding plenty of good video tutorials online that covers everything, from preparation to remounting your tire. Or consider having someone, like your friend or mechanic, to teach you how. If you're getting a flat tire often, check the tire itself and the inside of your rim for protruding spoke or any sharp objects.
Check Your Bike And Its Gears Before Cycling
Like most riders, you may have the habit of just hopping on your bicycle and cycling off. However, never assume that your 2-wheel ride is in the same shape as the last time you ride it. That's why before each of your rides, practice a quick safety check, especially if you often travel by your bike.
Although it's rare, even the most seasoned rider has left the quick-release loose dangerously from time to time. So when you reach 200 miles or so, do a complete once-over to help you spot minor issues and prevent them from turning into major ones.
Properly Inflate The Tires Of Your Bike
Bike tires come in various types, and each requires a particular amount of air. It's a must to check your tires routinely, especially before you ride it. Not properly pumping your tires allows them to get easily punctured. Additionally, make sure to use a pump that's compatible with the valve type of your tires.
Tighten Nuts And Bolts
Ensure that every nut, bolt, and screw of your bike is where they should be. Also, do a routine check to see if everything is tight. If a part is loose, tighten it, but do not overtighten. There's nothing more distracting than having to listen to that annoying banging and rattling sound because of the loose screw holding your bike's mudguards in place as you make your way home.
Lubricate Your Bicycle
You need to lubricate your bike frequently so that it'll function well all the time. Moreover, lubrication will protect it from extreme friction, which usually results in rust, corrosion, and damage. The parts you need to lubricate are the metal ones and those that move against other components of your bike.
Nevertheless, you still need to be careful about over lubrication as too much can draw in dirt particles. So if there is any excess lubricant, wipe it off with a cloth. Meanwhile, apply it too thinly and it will dissipate or wear off. So make sure to apply just the right amount and focus on lubricating the following parts:
- Brake and brake assemblies
- Shifter levers
- Derailleur cables and assemblies
Do Not Forget The Brake Pads
Riding with worn-out brake pads means you're putting yourself in danger since you won't have braking power. You know your brake pads require maintenance if you can merely see its grooves. There are even cases when the pad is so worn out that the bicycle's metal pad holder makes contact with the rim. This, in turn, will simply glide along the rim's smooth surface, offering a light grip and no brake power.
Fitting your bike with a new set of brake pads will not hurt your pockets. Likewise, it's also an easy fix and there are also several websites with tutorials about it. All you need is patience and your set of Allen keys.