Aside from bringing in your bike for regular service by our team of professionals there’s a few things you can do by yourself to ensure your bike is preforming at it’s absolute best. You don’t need to be a bike mechanic to preform basic bike maintenance. In this post we'll go over some key things that you can do at home—your bike and your mechanic will thank you in the long run.
1. Lubing your bike
Lubing your chain is the single most important thing you can do to help with your bikes health and in return you’ll spend less money on replacing chains and cassettes, which means more money for fancy carbon parts. Bikes will also make less noise. I can’t tell you how many times in my years of being a professional bike mechanic I’ve had customers complaining about noises coming from their bikes and all it takes to fix is lubing up the chain and pivot points on the bike. Also lube the nipples on your bike to ensure if they need to be trued they can spin freely; not doing so can result in the nipples freezing to the spokes which can make for a very rough time or impossible to true your wheel.
2. Keeping tires properly inflated
On top of your bike running better and faster keeping your tires properly inflated can stop premature tire wear. Leaving tires low can also cause you to crash or loose control
3. Securing fixing bolts
As you ride naturally the vibrations of riding can cause some bolts to loosen up below the recommended torque, which can lead to crashes or premature wear to very expensive parts. Invest in a small collection of basic bike tools to perform this (shop basic bike tool here) check stem bolts, crank bolts, derailleur fixing bolts and hanger bolts (these can cause shifting issues if they become loose) and wheel bolts
4. Cleaning your bike
You don’t need to go crazy on this but a quick wipe down gives you time to really inspect parts of the bike you might not always see or pay attention to. (you can find some basic cleaning supplies here) having good lint free towels or rags can clean the bike without scratching that sweet paint job or leaving paper particles on your bike. As far as cleaning agents and solvents go try to use bike specific products or ask your local bike mechanic if something will work well. For example a lot of us have some items to keep our cars clean but often times they have chemicals that can be damaging to the delicate parts on our bikes so if your unsure ask a professional. Using a clean rag or slightly damp with polish or water and soap can clean the dirtiest parts of your bike, keeping dirt and grime out of your bike can prolong the life of the components and make for a smoother ride. After cleaning make sure you lube up the bike well any moving part can use a few drops of lube to insure they are working to their full potential.