Cycling is by far one of the most addictive forms of exercise. There is always something about biking experience that makes it exciting-the feeling of wind in your hair as you pedal.
However, this excitement may be cut short at times by bike breakdown that arises from lack of proper bike maintenance. It is therefore important for you to familiarize yourself with the basic tips and techniques for maintaining your mountain bike.
Maintaining your mountain bike regularly will help keep your bike rolling safely for longer. Carrying out proper maintenance on your bike will also save you labor costs. Maintaining your bike is quite easy. Below are the top seven tips on how to maintain your bike.
Mountain Bike Maintenance Tips and Technique
1. Clean Your Bike:
Always clean your bike on a regular basis. Keeping your bike clean can help extend the life of your ride. What to do: Clean every part of your bike using a biodegradable cleaner. A sponge, simple green, a towel or and old toothbrush can be used here.
There is no need for buckets full of water or strong jet, just a gentle rain like spray is all you need to rinse away soap residues. Proper cleaning of your seat post will require you to remove the seat post after which you can clean it thoroughly. Once you complete the cleaning, add a little amount of bike grease the reinstall it.
2. Scrutinize Your Brakes:
One of the vital parts of a bike constitutes the brakes. Brakes prevent you from losing control, which is very crucial especially if you don't want to be a party to serious injuries.
You must, therefore, ensure that your brakes are always in good working condition. Keep your brakes running smoothing through regular inspection, and in case they get lost, ensure that you adjust them properly. What to do: Inspect the brake pads. Brake pads are likely to wear down with time so you will need to replace them. You can use a flashlight to assess the status of the pads. If they show excessive wear, then you need to replace them.
3. Inspect Your Wheels:
Wheels play the role of holding your tires in place and providing stability and smoothness when you are riding. The wheels need to be properly tuned and trued. What to do: Lift your bike and try spinning the wheels.
Both wheels are not supposed to wobble-they should move smoothly. If the rim is wobbling, adjust it with a spoke wrench. If the wobbling is excessive or if the wheels are denting, you will need to replace them.
4. Scrutinize Your Bike's Drivetrain:
The drivetrain of a mountain bike includes areas such as the derailleur, chain, pedals, chainring and the rear wheel cassette. The drivetrain is very significant in that it relays the power generated by your legs to the rear wheel which is responsible for moving the bike.
What to do: This part of the tune-up will require you to have a partner. You can also use a bike stand if you can't find a partner. Elevate your bike's rear wheel and spin. Shift through all the gears. Shifting should be smooth and easy to perform. Check if the chain, chainrings, derailleur, and cassette are in good condition.
You can check for the missing teeth; excess wear scrapes et cetera. The chain is the most frequently replaced portion of the drivetrain. Therefore, your concentration should be maximized on the chain and the chainrings.
Small chainrings tend to wear faster than the large chainrings. Don't wait too long to replace your chain as it may cause the other components of the drivetrain to wear down faster. When shifting is not smooth, you need to visit your nearest repair shop to have your bike looked at by a specialist.
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5. Check Your Mountain Bike Tires:
Mountain bike tires allow you to peddle over various surfaces such as mud, rocks and ladder bridges. They are also the component that forms a flexible cushion that smooth out bumps along the way to provide a smooth ride. What to do: Check the pressure of your tire. Your tire pressure needs to be between 30 to 45 psi. However, the ideal pressure may vary depending on the terrain upon which you are peddling.
Ensure that you check your tire pressure frequently- your tires will lose some air naturally. Also check if there are any splits, tears or cracks on your tires more so along the side walls.
You can also check the tread for excessive wear which you should replace. Tires that are damaged are susceptible to burst which may make you lose control leading injuries. If you want to change your bike's tire and tube, you will need tire levers and a pump for re-inflating the inner tube.
6. Check The Cables:
Cables perform the role of connecting shifters and brakes present on the handlebars to the derailleur and brake pads. The ones connected to the shifters help in shifting the gears via the derailleur while the ones that connect brakes help stop the bike when you pull the lever on the handlebars.
What to do: Check if the cables and the rubber housing has cracks, rust, and dust and if they are loose. If the cables are damaged for instance if they have so many cracks, you should consider buying a new one.
7. Add Lubricant:
Your bike's drivetrain requires oiling them to last longer and also to work effectively. Lubricant helps coat the chain and other components of the drivetrain reducing dirt and grim accumulation which improves the performance of the moving parts. What to do: Wear gloves.
While slowly rotating the pedals in a counterclockwise direction, apply lubricant evenly to the chain. Oil the moving parts on the derailleur plus the pivot point on brake levers and any exposed cable. Wipe excess oil on the chain with a clean, dry rag.
Once you have mastered these tips, go out there and enjoy cycling exercise.
Hello Guys! I am John Reese, a professional biker and my hobby is biking! I have been biking for last 10 years and I love using bikes while outing as well. Based on my experiences with the different type of bikes (mountain bikes, road bikes and hybrid bikes); I am sharing my opinion about various bikes so that a beginner can get started right away. Happy reading!