Why It’s Important to Maintain your Bike
If you are an avid bike rider, you know there are key features on your bicycle that ensure your ride is smooth, safe, and enjoyable. Correct maintenance can go a long way, and regular checks with bike mechanic will make all the difference in your ride. It is important to carry out regular maintenance checks are critical to riding safely and avoiding costly bike repairs down the line.
Besides checking your bike yourself before you ride and tighten any loose components, getting it serviced by professionals should be part of your routine and here are the reasons why:
- Safety – Bike maintenance is a preventive measure against riding an unsafe bicycle. Don’t wait for something to pop mid-ride, as this could lead to injuries and major damage to your bike. Bikes that are serviced regularly will be tightened, inspected, and lubricated, ensuring their parts are in working order and pose no risk of seizing, breaking, or corroding.
- Savings – Just like with a car, regular maintenance helps you avoid future costly repairs. You can catch problems early and make bike repairs as needed instead of getting hit with a giant bill.
- Smoother Ride – A tune up at least twice a year is recommended to keep your bike in good shape and riding smoothly. Experts will evaluate the parts of the bike that are more complex and difficult to maintain, such as the spokes and cables. You’ll also feel the difference when you ride.
Damage to Look Out For
Damage and deterioration in your bike can be subtle. You might not always be able to put your finger on precisely what is making the funny noise, or why something seems to be grinding, but you know it’s there nonetheless. Asking a professional will always get you a solution and listed below are a few things that might be threatening the condition of your bike.
Britain is prone to sudden rain and most cyclists will get caught out at least once or twice in their cycling career. This can mean more than just getting wet, however. Water can penetrate the working components of your bike with ease and if left unaddressed this moisture can soon become rust. A good preventative measure is to keep all moving parts of your bike well lubricated with water dispersant and ensuring that it is professionally served at least once a year.
Tyre pressure is something that is commonly overlooked when it comes to bike maintenance, even though it is quite important. Low-pressure tyres are more prone to deterioration and this can also cause your rims to buckle. Buckled rims can, in turn, cause damage to your brakes, which sometimes require costly repair.
Chains are another part of your bicycle that can sustain damage if not cared for properly. Probably the most common form of chain damage is rust, although there are numerous ways to safeguard against this. Most important among these is to keep your chain well lubricated in between professional services.
Maintenance Checks At Home
As much as you try to keep your beloved bike in tip-top condition, wear and tear can inevitably set in after clocking a few miles.
The not insignificant cost of replacing parts, and paying for a professional to fit them, can soon mount up too. And yet there are many maintenance tasks that, with the right tools, can be performed at home – cutting at least some of the expense, and giving you the chance to better understand how your bike works. We’ve taken a look at some of the essential maintenance fixes every cyclist should get to grips with.
- Wrapping Handlebar Tape – Fresh handlebar tape is a small fix that can make a big change to your ride, refreshing the way your bike both looks and feels.
- Replacing a Broken Spoke – Though more common in winter, with the added road salt and debris, a spoke can break at any time – but replacing one is a relatively straight-forward procedure.
- Inspecting and Replacing a Chain – At the centre of your bike’s mechanical heart, the chain faces the most stress due to riding of all the components.
- Replacing Brake Pads – The nature of brake pads mean they will naturally wear with age, brought on by the regular friction of pad on wheel.
- Replacing a Brake Cable – Prevention is better than cure when it comes to replacing the brake cable – shifting with worn or corroded cables can cause lasting damage to the shifter, while removing a cable that splits while in situ is extremely difficult.
- Adjust Derailleurs – Correct adjustment of the front derailleur means smooth shifting and none of the irritating noise of chain rub; adjusting the rear derailleur, meanwhile, is necessary to maintain fast, accurate and reliable shifting across the cassette.