All bikes need a little TLC and keeping up with regular maintenance will keep you and your bike safe on the road. Here are 5 easy bike maintenance tips for you to follow to keep your bike in tip-top shape. If, however, your bike has been collecting dust in the corner of your garage for a few years too long, Bike the Burg will come pick it up and service it – the pick up and drop off are free and before you know it, you’re back on the road. Just complete Bike the Burg’s Service Repair form to schedule a pick up – it’s FREE!
1. Keep it Clean
If there is one thing you can do to prolong the life of your bike, it is keeping it clean. Tedious, but true. No fancy cleaning kit required – a bucket of soapy water, a sponge and an old toothbrush is all you need, though a degreaser will help break down the oil and grit in the chain and gear sprockets.
2. Keep it Dry
Similarly, make sure you thoroughly dry your bike after that rainy ride. Water in the chain and hardware will rust more quickly than you think. A new chain isn’t too expensive, but a broken chain on tour or even just on a commute is a major inconvenience, so take care of moisture right away.
3. Keep Your Tires Inflated
Poorly inflated tires are prone to punctures. Forget flimsy hand pumps – you need a standing track pump with a pressure gauge to do the job. Don’t have one? Come on in and borrow ours at Bike the Burg. Look on the side of your tire for a number followed by the letters PSI. This will tell you how much air to put in.
4. Check Your Brakes
As you are probably well aware, good brakes are essential. Brake pads wear down over time, so be sure to check your brake pads between bike service visits. All you need to do is take a quick ride at home and pump your brakes. If you can feel that your brakes are soft, your brake pads likely need replaced.
5. Lube Your Chain
Your chain should feel sticky; never dry. To extend the life of your chain, lube it at least once a month, sometimes more in wet seasons. To lube the chain, clean the chain with a rag and apply a drop of lube to each link. Let sit for about 15 minutes, the wipe off the excess grease. Chains have a life of about 1,000 miles. It’s good to keep track of the miles you put on your bike and replace the chain accordingly.