Proper bike maintenance can keep your bike in shape and save you from expensive repairs. Here are 5 essential bicycle maintenance tips and knowledge for every cyclist. Practice these and your bike will live a long and healthy life.
1. Don’t skip the lube
Cleaning and lubricating your bike is important for good performance. Lubrication prevents moving parts from getting worn out by friction, and "freezing up". It also helps keep rust and corrosion at bay. The more frequent you clean and lube, the less time it takes to do it subsequently.
2. Get pumping!
Tire pressure can make or break your ride experience. Low pressure means more work needed to keep the same speed than with proper high pressure. It can also give you a flat tire, especially when hitting a kerb hard. Check the recommended pressure from the side of your tires with a pressure gauge every 2 weeks. The rear tire should have more pressure as it is taking more weight than the front.
3. Screw it but don’t overdo it
Ensure all the screws, bolts and nuts in your bike are tightened. If your bike makes a noise, there is a good chance that something is loose. It is important to note that some of the newer bikes have the maximum torque limit written on them and you can buy tools that apply only a specified amount of torque.
4. Make sure your brakes are adjusted correctly
Over time, your brake pads will get worn down. If the brake lever touches the handlebar and still almost nothing happens, adjust the brake pads closer to the rim to achieve that nice firm braking modulation.
Keeping the pads and the braking surface clean from dirt and oil will also prevent them from wearing out themselves substantially faster.
5. Learn to fix a flat tube
Let’s be realistic - all of us are bound to get a flat tire at some point. Thus, you can save yourself unnecessary panics and trouble of finding a transport midway! Practice at home before it happens on the road or trail.
With the wisdom to help your bike stay in the right condition, you can hit the roads with a peace of mind. If all else fails, let your local bike shop do it for you.