Just like cars, bicycles require maintenance.
A well-maintained bicycle will run smoothly and provide you a lot of fun. Whilst a badly maintained bike might just give you a headache and a lot of troubles.
A bicycle which isn’t properly maintained will not run smoothly and will slowly start to wear out components.
If you never pay attention to the mechanism such as chain and gears, it could make your bike work against you by providing a certain resistance.
Bike maintenance isn’t hard, and anyone can do it with just a couple of basic tools. The hardest part is to actually know how to do it.
And if you read this post till the end, you’ll learn a lot more than to do basic maintenance.
What is Considered as a Bike Maintenance?
Before even starting to do your bike maintenance, you should understand the process first. It’s better to be prepared up-front.
If your bike was stored for a long & cold winter, it’s most likely that it requires maintenance before it can hit the road.
Bike maintenance includes:
- Checking if the bike and parts are in good condition
- Looking out for worn parts
- Cleaning, adjusting, and replacing worn parts
So long story short, you will get your bike ready for spring by cleaning it, adjusting your parts, and checking if there are any worn parts that should be replaced.
Even though it might sound simple & easy, people usually need some help. Therefore, feel free to get back to this post anytime you need it!
How To Get Your Bike Ready For Spring
In this section, I will discuss the most important things you need to check when you are getting your bike ready for your first spring ride.
By following these steps, you can be sure that your bike won’t let you down. Because nobody likes to see their bike sit around when the sun is calling you for a ride, right?
Check The Air
Riding a bike on tires which haven’t been pumped up is just a bad thing to do.
You won’t get far, and you will need to invest a lot more energy than you usually would when the tires are pumped up. Tires which aren’t pumped up won’t roll as easily and they will create resistance.
If you didn’t ride your bike during the winter, and it was sitting around, it’s most likely the tires aren’t pumped up to the necessary pressure.
The first thing you should do is take your bike pump and give your tires some fresh air. It’s not a bad idea to replace old air with a new one by completely deflating your tire and then inflating it again.
The maximum pressure that can be inflated in tire varies, and you will find the correct tire pressure for your bike by reading the numbers on the side of your tires.
Check The Spokes
It’s necessary to check the spokes on your bike wheels after you have pumped them up.
Spokes won’t get loose if the bike was just sitting around, but it’s worth checking that out before you use the bike for an upcoming spring season.
If there are a couple of untightened spokes, wheels might not be running straight. You will notice that by lifting the bike up and spinning the wheel. If it spins straight, you are good to go, but if it wobbles – then you can be sure that there are at least a few loose spokes.
The best way would be to check it than regret it. You don’t want to be stranded on the road or experience an accident during riding, right?
Check The Brake Levelers
Brake levelers won’t only tell you if your brakes work, but they will also tell you if your breaking pads could use some tightening or even replacing.
If you pull on the leveler and it’s too long, you should adjust the tension of the cable. Brakes shouldn’t stick, and they should stop the wheel in motion without a problem.
Check your brake cable. If it’s sticky or worn, I would highly recommend you to replace it.
Check The Brake Pads
In order to be absolutely sure that the brakes will stop you and the bike whenever you need them to, you will have to make sure that the brake pads aren’t worn out.
If the brake pads are worn out, they won’t be able to brake as efficiently, and it will take longer to stop your bike. And that’s not ideal if you need to stop in a case of emergency.
Brake pads should not wiggle or be loose. They should firmly press against the wheel rim, without sticking.
If the pads are too far from the wheel rim, you should adjust the tension cable.
Adjust Your Derailleurs
To check if your gears are shifting properly: either use a bike stand or lift the bike up while spinning the pedals and shift through the gears.
When you shift through the gears, they should shift smoothly and quickly. If they aren’t, and if they are skipping a gear, it’s most likely that you will need to adjust your derailleurs.
It’s not a complicated process, even if it might seem so. You will only need to adjust the tension of the derailleur’s cable.
To have your gears shift smoothly, adjust the tension of the derailleur with a Philips-head screwdriver, and make sure that the chain is centered on each gear.
Check The Chain
If you don’t maintain your chain, it will get dirty, and even rusty.
Dirty and rusty bike chain will create additional resistance and your rides won’t be as smooth.
Also, if your chain is old, its most likely that the tension of the chain isn’t the same as it was when it was brand new. A loose chain is not a good chain, and it should be replaced. The worst-case scenario is that it gets loose and falls off the chain cassette during the ride.
There is a tool which helps you check the distance between each chain link, and this distance information will let you know if the chain is loose or not.
Chains are not expensive and should be replaced if it’s worn out or loose. In addition, you should maintain your bike chain by lubricating it. Don’t forget to lubricate the rear cassette, as well as all moving parts.
A clean and lubricated bike chain will always run smoothly.
Bike maintenance isn’t a complicated process and you shouldn’t be afraid of doing it.
As I have mentioned before, the same way cars need to be maintained and have some parts replaced, the same rule applies to bicycles.
It shouldn’t take you a long time, yet bike maintenance will keep your rides efficient and enjoyable.
Do you do your bike maintenance often?
Feel free to leave a comment below, but also feel free to ask any questions you might have and I’ll do my best to help you out.