A bike is a well-oiled machine and keeping it that way requires regular maintenance. Your riding habits will dictate whether you should perform bike maintenance monthly, weekly or more frequently. Those who take leisurely rides around the neighborhood will not need to clean their bikes as often as those who regularly hit the rugged trails. A few minutes or work and some simple bike maintenance tips will go a long way to keep your bike free of debris and functioning smoothly so you can make the most of every ride.
Clean your bike
Wash the frame with a rag and soapy water, using bike wash or a mild dish detergent. For the chain and drivetrain, use a firm brush to remove debris that could wear down the parts and impact their function if not removed. When rinsing, avoid hitting moving parts directly with the hose stream to help prevent damage.
Lubricate the bike chain
Drip lubricant on the inside of the chain while moving the pedals backward. Let the lubricant sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off with a rag. This helps to keep your chain from rusting, allowing for smoother shifting and improved transfer of power to the road.
Check the tire inflation
Check your tire pressure with a gauge to ensure proper inflation. If you're not sure of the recommended pressure you can find it on the tire wall. Proper inflation is important because underinflated tires can cause resistance, which makes it tougher to pedal forward and can lead to flats. Overinflated tires can cause extra road vibration, which transfers more impact to the rider, reducing your speed and comfort level.
Examine the brakes
Depress your brake handles to ensure the brakes feel firm and have even tension levels. Take a look at the brake pads to assess wear. Brake pads should make contact with the surface of the rim and not the tire. Check your brakes before every ride for a safer journey.