There are four fundamental areas you need to know about when maintaining your bike
Chain maintenance and lubrication
CLEAN THE CHAIN
Firstly, you must ensure the chain is clean; lubricating a dirty chain will mean the dirt becomes sticky and clogged in your jockey wheels, cassette, and chain rings, which will wear them down and make a big mess.
LUBE THE CHAIN
Brake alignment and condition
As much as we love to go fast, we need to slow down sometimes too! The brakes are absolutely fundamental to your safety, and so keeping an eye on them during your bike maintenance is essential. Here’s how to maintain your rim brakes:
CHECK BRAKE ALIGNMENT
You need to ensure that your brake pads are not rubbing on the rim of your wheel as you ride – if this is happening, you are not only wearing them down, but you’re also slowing yourself down!
CHECK BRAKE PAD WEAR
You should keep an eye on how worn your pads are. If you wear your pads too far, you risk increasing the stopping distance of your bike and damaging the rim of your wheels, as the brake shoe itself may start rubbing on the wheel rim.
CHECK BRAKE ENGAGEMENT
If the cables on your brakes are in poor condition the brake pads may not tighten against the rim correctly, or they may not release properly once they have engaged on the rim.
Wheel and tIre checks
It’s easy to forget about your tires and wheels. However, these are what keep you on the road, and so are pretty important really! Here are the key things to look out for.
CHECK FOR TiRE WEAR
Your tires wear down the more you ride them. If you ride on tires that are overly-worn, the grip that you achieve on the road will be compromised as there is less tread, and a punctured tire is more prone to puncturing as the material is thinner.
What’s more, when you ride, there’s always the risk that your tires pick up nasty things like bits of glass and flint that could puncture your inner tube.
CHECK YOUR TiRE PRESSURE
Every time you pull your bike out to go for a ride, you should check the tire pressure. This is a key part of your bike maintenance! Riding on under-inflated tires will be uncomfortable, and will increase the risk of you getting a pinch flat.
Mini-Road Pump with gauge
CHECK YOUR QUICK RELEASES
Just like the condition of your tires, people often overlook to check their quick release skewers during their bike maintenance. Your quick releases should be tight enough to prevent play in your wheel axle, which will damage the bearings, but not so tight that it could damage your wheel.