People are not born with extensive bicycle mechanic expertise and skills. These skills are something that you are taught by an experienced person or learn by working on some easy and basic bike maintenance yourself.
Whether you ride your bicycle regularly to work, or use it for racing, or just ride it a couple of times a month, you need to understand the basic bicycle maintenance tips. These tips are important to eliminate any costly surprises and dangerous conditions from happening down the road.
Maintaining bikes is not a difficult task; people just need to follow some easy tips and points. Here are 7 important and helpful tips for bike maintenance for beginners.
KEEPING YOUR BICYCLE CLEAN
Just as you clean your bicycle to keep it running well and keep it looking pretty, you must also want to clean your cycle to increase the life of your bicycle. If you clean your bike regularly, it will help you to avert dirt and also prevent grease that builds up through your cycle’s mechanical parts.
All you require is a bucket, some water, soap, a towel, a large sponge, and a small brush or an old toothbrush to get everything clean and neat: chain, the bike frame, chainrings, seat, brakes, pedals, etc.
You must use bike oil on the inside of the link on your chain for smooth riding. By cleaning your bicycle regularly, you also save tons of money.
You must always clean and wipe off the chain of your bike after a ride. Doing this will give the lube enough time to sink into the chain. Some people tend to apply lube before riding the bike, but this only attracts dirt and dust. When you use lube, just add a tiny quantity and wipe off the extra.
Try not to use too much lube; it attracts dust and also impacts shifting negatively. If you need a good lube recommendation, you must go ahead and get information from any local trusted bike shop in your area. Just in case if you have too much grease buildup, get a chain cleaner to remove it.
CHECK YOUR TIRES
It is always an inconvenience to stop and change a flat tire while you are riding. You must regularly inspect and check your tires and their pressure by using a floor pump. Once you are sure that your tires are correctly inflated, check for other damages that may cause a flat tire.
The quality of your bike can easily be affected by tire pressure. If the pressure is too low you have to work much harder to keep the same speed than with good high pressure. You tend to get flats more quickly if you hit a hard curb.
One of the most essential tools that you must absolutely own is a good quality floor pump with a pressure gauge. The pressure of the rear tire should be more than the front because it takes most of the rider’s weight. Try to check the pressure of your tire at least once a week.
Remember to keep the tires inflated if you are not going to ride your bicycle for a long time, like a couple of months or so. If this is not possible, then try to take off the tires altogether. This helps in preventing cracks on the sides of the tires.
BE SURE TO TIGHTEN THE BOLTS, SCREWS, AND NUTS
Don’t let your bike to fall into pieces while you are riding. You can keep things from falling apart by easily checking for any loose screws, nuts, and bolts before heading out. If while riding, you notice that you have lost some bolts and nuts, you can easily fix things by carrying some extra bolts and nuts with you.
You must regularly check the screws, nuts, and bolts of your bike if they are loose. When you are purchasing a new bike, you should ask the bike shop to give you a bag of extra bolts and nuts. You usually get them for free, because they are very cheap.
CHECKING THE BRAKES
You must already be aware that good brakes are very important. You need to adjust the brake pads closer to your disc if you have pulled the brake lever till it touches the handlebar and nothing happens.
Try to check your brake pads between bike service visits because they tend to wear down over time. All you got to do is take a quick ride at home and pump and inflate your brakes. Your brake pads would require to be replaced if you feel that your brakes are low and soft.
It is very vital to keep both the braking surface and the pads clean from oil and dirt. Dirty pads wear out the breaking surface significantly quicker.
LEARN AND KNOW HOW TO FIX A FLAT TIRE
What will you do if you are outside riding alone and get a flat tire? By learning how to patch tires ensures that you don’t get stranded out in the middle of nowhere. YouTube has various helpful videos on this subject.
You must check the inside of the rim for sharp objects that are sticking out if you are regularly getting flat tires on the same wheel. Once you know how to change a tire and fix a flat tire, you will be able to enjoy your rides more and not to mention, it will be safer.
REGULAR BIKE SERVICES
Make sure to take your bicycle to a service center every season for good bicycle maintenance. The experienced mechanics have proper skillsets to keep your bike on the road for a long time.
Whether you require just some minor and basic adjustments or require a complete inspection, they will be able to address the problems and handle the requirements of your bike. They ensure that your cycle is safe to use.
These are some important tips for beginners to understand various DIY bicycle maintenance techniques. If you need more help, then you must consult the Cycle Centre for their services and if you need any information about mountain bikes and road bikes in Ireland.