Just like cars, bicycles also need maintence.
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. If you never pay attention to the mechanism such as chain and gears, it could make your bike work against you by providing you a resistance, which won’t let you ride your bike smoothly.
Bike maintenance isn’t hard, and anyone can do it with just a couple of tools. The hardest part is actually how to do it.
What is Considered as a Bike Maintenance?
Before even starting to do your bike maintenance, you should understand the process first.
If your bike was stored for a long cold winter, it’s most likely that it needs 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.
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 is ready for spring. Because nobody likes to see their bike sit around when the sun is calling you for a ride.
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 would need to invest when the tires are pumped up. Tires which aren’t pumped up won’t roll as easily, and they will create a resistance.
If you didn’t ride your bike during the winter, and it was sitting around, most likely that the tires are low in air.
The first thing you should do is take your quality bike pump and give your tires some fresh air.
The maximum amount of the air that can be inflated in tire varies, and you will find out how much air pressure your tires can handle by reading the tire pressure 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 with air.
Spokes won’t get loose if the bike was just sitting around, but it’s worth checking out if there are any loose spokes before you use the bike for a new spring season.
If there are some spokes which aren’t tightened up, 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 the spokes before it’s too late. You don’t want to be stranded on the road, 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 replacing or tightening.
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, and 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 brake as efficiently, and it will take longer to stop your bike. It’s not going to be good 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 shifting through the gears.
When you are shifting through the gears, they should shift smoothly and quickly. If they aren’t, and if they are skipping a gear, its most likely that you will need to adjust your derailleurs.
It’s not a complicated process, even if it might seem so. You will just 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 in some cases.
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.
There is a tool with which you can check the distance between each chain link, and that distance information will let you know if the chain is loose or not.
Chain’s 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, and lubricate the gear cassette as well as all parts that move.
A clean and lubricated chain will make sure that your bike runs 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, this is the same rule that applies to the bicycles.
It shouldn’t take you a long time, and a 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.