The value of bicycle maintenance cannot be emphasized, as it will spare you from several potential annoyances. Completing these tasks is unavoidable; some can be done on your own, but many more will undoubtedly want the assistance of a skilled bicycle technician.
Whether you ride your bike once in a while or regularly, understanding more about bicycle maintenance will save you stress, time, and money. However, this is not always the case due to a lack of understanding and time.
I provide bicycle maintenance to everyone who enjoys pedaling. I enjoy working on bicycles, and yours is ours, so we handle it with the same care and attention that you would. However, as time passes, your bike may begin to feel and sound like an old bicycle. Things might not work the way you remember them, and you'll start longing after something new and shiny. However, that isn't the only option, so here are a few other ideas to breathe fresh life into your old bike.
It has been over five years, and when did you last replace the tires on your bike? Are they starting to get a flat center and show minor cuts and cracks on a road bike tire? If it is a mountain bike, are the side knobs still intact, or are they showing tearing at the edges?
Beyond the apparent wear signs, the rubber in your tires will get dry over time. Nothing brings quite as much life back into a new bike as a fresh set, especially if you are upgrading to something better, too.
While replacing your tires, check your tubes if you are running them and your rim strips. These will not make much difference to the feel of your bike, but hey, you will love that old bike more if you are not stopping to fix a flat.
Test the brakes on the bike (if it has rim brakes): braking performance will suffer if the rubber brake shoes show uneven wear or glazing. Even though disc brake pads are not rubber, inspecting the brake for pads life and uneven wear regularly. Any squealing or missing bites suggest infection, and you should try to regain your ability to stop them.
A bike is given an immediate youthful appearance by replacing old grips or bar tape with new grips or bar tape. While this is undoubtedly true, it is essential not to ignore your other touchpoints.
Bicycle seats can become worn, and the foam and shell lose their hardness, shape, and support over time. If the center of your bicycle seat is collapsing, or there are significant creases in the cover where the foam formerly was, it's probably time for a new perch.
If you've always been happy with your previous saddle, look for a similar replacement. Consider going to your local bike shop and asking to try out a few options.
It is a similar story for the pedals. These things spin more than that overly enthusiastic guy holding a sign on your street corner.
Clip-in-type pedals have multiple moving parts that will not last forever. The surface of the pedal is something to consider, too. While most have become far more durable recently than some older pedals.
When cleats wear out, the connection between the cleat and the pedal becomes slack. You may find it difficult to withdraw your foot from the pedal or, conversely, that you mistakenly pull your foot off the pedal. You don't want to do that, especially in traffic, because it might lead to problems engaging and disengaging. There is no specific time because it depends on how often you walk on the cleats and bike.
Check them weekly for signs of wear and the mounting bolts, which are prone to loosening with use. If you're replacing your cleats, a good suggestion is to use a marker pen to trace around the outside of your old ones. Making a mark will allow you to replace your cleats in the same spot as the old ones.
Consider a blocked artery: a worn-out, unclean, or rusty cable is terrible news for your bike. It's not expensive to replace your cable lines and outer housing, and it'll give your brakes and shifting a whole new smoothness. If your shifting is sluggish and inconsistent, the gear wires and housing will most likely fail regardless of how you modify them. While higher-end carbon bikes can use intricate (expensive), sealed cable systems and low friction coated cables. Other bikes, such as steel or aluminum, can use regular stainless-steel cables and cover housings and replace them more frequently.
Keep an eye out for the bicycle chain, which can stretch and wear down with time, making the bike feel sloppy and slow and making friction noises. On the other hand, a chain is more likely to be neglected by itself, with the drivetrain encrusted with mud.
Unless the drivetrain is too far worn-out, use a new chain as an excuse to give it a once-over. I'll never install a new chain on a filthy drivetrain — you shouldn't take advantage of your mechanical abilities like that.
Let's imagine your chainrings have worn down to the point that they resemble a sharp ninja throwing star rather than a bicycle component. Then it's time to evaluate the drivetrain components.