Once you purchase a bike you want to make sure you maintain it. You have made an investment and you want it to last. Bike maintenance can often be done yourself and if you do these five things, then you will save yourself from much more costly repairs down the road.
How to Keep Your Bike in Tip-Top Shape
1. Keep it clean – Not only will it look much nicer, but it will also last longer. Over time the dirt from the road or wherever you ride your bike the most can eat away at the bike’s frame and its operating mechanisms. As soon as you finish your ride, brush off dried on dirt with a stiff brush. Then using a brush and warm water get the rest of the dirt off of your bike. Don’t hose it down though as this can cause rust.
2. Do a safety check – Before and after every ride it’s good to give the bike a quick once-over. Spin the wheels to make sure they are not wobbly. Check the tires for cuts or holes. Give the brake pads and driving mechanism a once-over. If anything seems even slightly out of whack, tend to it right away before it becomes a major problem. If you can, fix it yourself; if not, bring it into the shop.
3. Check the chain – Keep the chain and other moving mechanisms on the bike nice and lubed up. It’s such a simple thing to do and it will keep your bike running smoothly. If the chain feels dry then apply a little lubricant.
4. Check the pressure – You need to have the right amount of tire pressure on your bike. Low tire pressure will make the bike slow and sloppy in turns. It’s really a safety concern. But tires with low pressure can also lead to rim, tube, and tire damage.
It’s simple to check with a quick squeeze of the tires. Gauge what you like best for your tire pressure and pump it up with a simple floor pump if it needs it. If you discover that you are having to pump your tires frequently though, then you’ll want to check your tire’s inner tube to see if it has a hole in it.
5. Storage – Properly storing your bike will help to keep it in good working order. You don’t want to leave it outdoors since this will cause rust. If you will not be using it for a while, say because of the winter, it’s extra important to make sure you get it up off the floor and from putting weight on the tires. But you really should get in the habit of storing your bike in a certain way after every use.
You’ll want to keep your bike somewhere that does not have a lot of sun, dust, or a good chance of getting doused with water. There are many great bike storage racks which you can use to get your bike up off the floor, freeing up space.
Taking good care of your bike is very important. Not just for your safety, but also to ensure the longevity of your bike and to keep you from having to make costly repairs. So take that extra time to maintain your bike; you will be happy you did.