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Top Tips for Maintaining Your Bike

Top Tips for Maintaining Your Bike

It's that time of year to bring out our bikes and get them ready for cruising around this summer! But it can be a bummer when we haven't maintained our bikes and we run into issues down the road. Good bike maintenance helps you avoid expensive repairs and replacements and it can extend the life of your bike, which saves money in the long run. Proper maintenance can also improve safety while riding by reducing wear and tear on components like brakes and gears. So take a little time and follow these steps for smooth riding!

Clean and Lubricate Your Chain
  • Clean the chain with a degreaser.
  • Apply lubricant to the chain.
  • Wipe off excess lubricant with a clean cloth or rag, making sure that you don't wipe it onto other parts of your bike (you can use an old t-shirt).

Check Your Brakes

  • When you're checking your brakes, it's important to look for signs of wear. If the pads are worn down too far, they won't be able to grip the rim of the wheel and stop you when you need them to.
  • You should also inspect the cables for fraying or damage, as this can lead to weak braking power and make it difficult for riders who are less experienced with bikes in general (or with their own)

Check Your Tires

  • Check the tire pressure. If it's too low, your bike will be sluggish and hard to pedal. If it's too high, you'll feel like you're riding on a pogo stick!
  • Check for punctures in the tubes or tires. Punctures can be caused by sharp objects like thorns or nails sticking out of the road surface (potholes). If you find one, make sure to fix it immediately so that no more air leaks out!
  • Inspect for signs of wear on your tires. This is especially important if you ride often in wet weather conditions as this can cause faster wear than normal due to water being trapped inside the rubber compound when wet.

Check Your Wheels

  • Check the spokes for tightness. You can do this by holding your bike up and pushing down on a pedal, then feel if it's loose or tight. If it's too loose, you may need to tighten the spoke with an allen key (the tool used for adjusting bike parts).
  • Inspect the rims for dents and cracks. If they're damaged in any way, replace them before riding again--you don't want to risk getting a flat tire!
  • Check the hubs for play: hold onto both ends of one side of your wheel while someone else spins it around; if there's any movement or noise coming from inside of it at all then you'll need professional help from an expert mechanic

Inspect Your Handlebars

Inspecting your handlebars is a simple way to ensure that they are in good working order.

  • Check for looseness, which can be done by gently twisting and pulling on each end of the handlebar. If there is any movement, you may need new bolts or washers; if not, then it's time to move on to inspection number two!
  • Check for cracks or chips in plastic components like grips (which could potentially lead them to break off), rust spots on metal parts such as brake levers or shifters (which could cause them not work properly), bent tubing from crashes or other accidents (and thusly make riding uncomfortable).

Tune Your Gears
Tuning your gears is a simple process that can be done at home.

  • The first thing you'll want to do is make sure the cable tension is correct. You can do this by checking that each gear shifts smoothly and quietly, with no grinding or popping sounds coming from the derailleurs (the mechanism that moves your chain). If there's any issue with shifting, tighten or loosen the cable accordingly until it's working properly again.

Storing Your Bike

  • Clean and lubricate your bike before storing it. This is one of the most important steps to take when storing a bike, especially if you're going to be keeping it for an extended period of time. Dirt and grime can build up on parts of your bike over time, which will make them harder to clean when you're ready to use it again.
  • Store in a cool, dry place with minimal humidity levels (50% or less). The best place for storing any kind of vehicle is in an enclosed garage where there's no direct sunlight coming through windows or skylights. This helps protect against rusting and other damage caused by sunlight exposure over time. If this isn't possible because there isn't enough room available inside your house/apartment building then try using storage containers instead.

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