Why is maintenance so important for your bike?
Whether you’re a mountain biker, a mountain bike, a racing bike or a city bike… no matter what kind of rider you are, getting the right equipment will help you get the most out of your rides, hikes or commutes. However, neglecting the maintenance of your equipment will quickly affect your sport.
Besides the practice in velodrome, cycling inevitably requires outdoor conditions sometimes consequent for the state of your equipment. Here are some examples:
– The projections made by the movement of the wheels
– The acidity of the rain
– Deposits of dust or other particles
– Shocks and vibrations
Moreover, cycling evokes physical and mechanical principles. Thus, while pedaling, several elements will be put at contribution, and this, whatever the speed of the cyclist:
– Braking will cause progressive deterioration of the pads
– The mechanical drive of the chain will reduce the rate of lubrication over the weeks
– The use of the brakes may, after a long period of time, loosen the stressed cables
Considering these phenomena and situations encountered by every cyclist, it would be unthinkable to neglect the maintenance of your equipment. Otherwise, apart from the aesthetic aspect of your bike, you may notice abnormal noises or a perfectible braking system. Finally, this progressive deterioration will require the replacement of parts, which will cost more than your regular maintenance.
Maintain your bike, yes… But how often?
Should you maintain your bike every week, every month or every quarter? The answer to this question will depend on several factors:
– How often do you ride your bike?
– Do you live in an area where rain is “part of the landscape”?
– Are you a fan of dirt roads?
Of course, road trips will be less messy for your equipment. However, such conditions will not totally protect you from splashes or deposits. Ideally, you should check the general condition of your equipment after each ride in order to plan maintenance (at least, if it is necessary).
How to proceed step by step?
The explanations that follow this article will refer to a complete maintenance of your bike. Of course, if you simply want to clean your equipment after a ride, you can skip the first and third steps of this guide.
First, let’s start by degreasing your equipment. This step will allow you to properly prepare each part or piece of your bike for an effective cleaning. To do this, you need to:
1. Install your bike on a stand.
2. Spray a degreasing solution on the transmission (i.e. chain, derailleur and chainrings). Don’t hesitate to move the crankset to diffuse your product properly.
3. Take a brush and vigorously clean the areas loaded with deposits and particles.
Did you know that neglecting cleaning can cause your bike’s transmission to go haywire? Take a simple cloth and, if possible, a dedicated solution and rub each part that needs cleaning. Frame, handlebars, saddle, grips… No part should be forgotten.
For your comfort, it is strongly advised to use a foot designed for bicycle maintenance. Avoid putting your equipment against a wall during your cleaning; the shaking and other manipulations could deteriorate certain parts of your bike.
3rd step: greasing the chain. Here is how to do it simply and cleanly:
1. Take a suitable oil and a cloth (in case of bad handling).
2. Put a few drops of lubricant on the inside of the chain.
3. Slowly move your pedals in a counterclockwise direction.
4. If necessary, apply a few more drops of lubricant.
To complete the maintenance of your bike, take a few moments to adjust your saddle, handlebars and brakes. Also, don’t hesitate to “check out” your bike, as changing a part could keep you safe!