Top 10 Simple bike maintenance tips

Your bicycle is more than just an implement to get you from A to B. Many place a higher value upon their self propelled steed than on their car or sometimes even their home. (Trust me, those people are out there)

 

Whilst much focus is placed upon training regimes and eating habits sometimes the most basic fundamental requirement is overlooked. If your bike isn’t right you can forget about winning that race or possibly even finishing that sportive. So what are the 10 most important things to look out for with your bicycle?

 

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  1. Safety – A very basic safety check consists of holding the front wheel between your knees and trying to twist the handlebars from side to side. Then try to push the brake lever hoods towards the ground. This checks that your stem and handlebar bolts are all tight.
  2. Next up pull both brakes as tight as you can. Try your best to snap the cables. It’s better that the cables snap whilst you are standing over a stationary bike than at 70kph on a descent. The levers should not be able to touch bar tape. Ideally there should be a 10mm gap.
  3. Check that both the front and rear skewers are tight.
  4. Try twisting the saddle and moving it up and down. There should be no movement whatsoever. Now, at least your bike is safe.
  5. Tyres – 50% of all punctures are preventable. Check your tyres weekly for small pieces of glass or flint and remove. Then fill the small hole that’s left behind with puncture repair solution as this is flexible and will stay in place linger than superglue.                                                                                                                                    Screenshot 2014-08-18 09.45.47
  6. Pump your tyres to between 100 and 120psi on a road bike.
  7. If your tyres are worn replace them. Don’t try to squeeze the last bit out of them. You could puncture or you could fall.
  8. Gears – Oil your chain, but don’t over do it. A few drops are all that are needed. Also degrease and remove the old gunk before putting on fresh lube.
  9. Only turn the cable adjusting barrell at the rear of the derailleur. A quarter or half turn anti-clockwise is often all that’s needed to realign out of sync gears. Do not touch any cross head screws no matter what youtube tells you. If a bike is assembled properly first day these never need to be touched again.
  10. Wash it – Even if it is just to feel good about yourself please do wash your bike. You wouldn’t go out wearing mucky cycling gear for weeks so why ride a mucky bike for weeks without washing it? There is also the knock on benefit of a clean bike running smoother, lasting longer and saving money and frustration in the long run.

 

Now, off you for a good, safe and enjoyable bike ride.
PS  : If your cleats are worn be sure to change them too

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Barry

www.thecyclingblog.com

www.seankellycycling.com

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