Bicycle maintenance is the key and will save numerous potential annoyances. The completion of these tasks is unavoidable; Some you can do yourself, but there is no doubt that there will be many others that, by means, tools, or materials, have to be developed by prepared technical services.
Do not think about it, whether you are an occasional bicycle rider or if you use your bike very frequently; knowing more about bicycle maintenance will save you suffering, time, and money. Still, sometimes, this is not always the case due to knowledge or lack of time.
I offer bicycle maintenance service to all who enjoy pedaling. I love working on bicycles, and your bike is our bike, and we treat it as you would, with lots of pampering and care. However, over time your bike may start to feel like an old bike and may sound like one, too. Things may not function as you remember, and you will likely begin lusting after something new and shiny. That is not necessarily the only answer, though, so here are some handy ways to bring new life into that well-loved ride.
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 bike's brakes (if it has wheel brakes): the rubber brake shoes do show uneven wear or glazing is sure to cause a loss of braking efficiency. While the pads are not rubber for disc brake users, be sure to closely monitor the pad life and uneven wear here as well. Any severe screeching or missing bites means they are contaminated, and you should look to regain that stopping ability.
Replacing old grips or old bar tape with a new bar tape or grips brings about immediate youth to a bike. While this is undoubtedly true, it is essential not to ignore your other touchpoints too.
Bicycle seats can wear, and over time the foam and shell will lose the firmness, shape, and support they once offered. If your bicycle seat is collapsing in the middle, or there are significant creases in the cover where the foam once was, then it is likely time to get yourself a new perch.
If you were always comfortable with your past saddle, then look for the closest replacement. Consider visiting your local bike shop store and asking to trial a selection.
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.
As cleats wear out, you'll often find that their connection with the pedal becomes loose. You can sometimes find that it's hard to release your foot from the pedal or, conversely, that you pull your foot off the pedal accidentally. You want to avoid doing that, especially not in traffic, enough to cause problems engaging and disengaging. There is no set time as it depends on how much you ride, how often you walk on the cleats.
Good advice, check them monthly for signs of wear and at the same time check the attaching bolts as often they loosen during usage.
If replacing, a handy tip is to draw around the outside of your old cleats with a marker pen. Creating a mark will let you install your new cleats into the exact position of the old ones.
Consider a worn-off, dirty, or rusted cable like a clogged artery – it is terrible news for your bike. Replacing your cable lines and the outer housing is not expensive and will bring a whole new smoothness to your brakes and shifting.
If your shifting is sluggish and inconsistent, regardless of how you adjust it, it is most likely that the cables are at fault.
While it is possible to buy fancy (expensive) sealed cable systems and low friction coated cables, I prefer to use common stainless-steel cables and standard cover housings and replace them more often.
Be on the lookout for the bicycle chain; it can stretch out and have wear and is likely to feel sloppy and slow with friction noises. More likely, though, that a chain is an equally neglected drivetrain covered in muck.
Use a new chain as an excuse to give that whole drivetrain a going-over, unless it is too far worn-off, again. I will never put a new chain onto a dirty drivetrain – you should not abuse your mechanical privileges like that.
Let us say you have worn off the chain rings, and they look more like a sharp ninja throwing star than a cycling component. Then It is a perfect time to assess the drivetrain components.