Bicycle maintenance is an important aspect in keeping your bicycle in top working order, and to maximize its lifespan. We recommend a basic tune-up at least once a year. For details on these services, see our Service page. There are also a number of things you can do at home to keep your bike working like new.
Clean and Lubricate
One of the easiest and most important aspects of home maintenance is cleaning and lubricating your bicycle. First, use a scrub brush to clean the chain, sprockets, and derailleur’s, and rinse with clean water. It is important to never use pressurized water, as it can force water into wheel bearings, shortening their lifespan and decreasing performance.
After the bike has been cleaned, it must be lubricated. We recommend the use of a bicycle specific lubricant. When applying lubricant, a drip bottle is recommended. Aerosol cans tend to produce a lot of overspray, which not only wastes lubricant, but also spreads oil to parts of the bike where it’s not wanted, like the brake pads or rims. When lubing the chain, apply one drop of oil to each link as you pedal backwards. Wait five minutes, and then wipe off the excess. It is also a good idea to apply a drop of oil to pivot points on brakes and derailleur’s. Applying a light coating of oil to cables will help prevent them from rusting.
Check and Inflate Tires
Maintaining proper tire pressure has a number of benefits. Proper tire inflation will help prevent flats, reduce tire wear, and improve bike efficiency. It is recommended that you check tire pressure before every ride. It is normal for tires to lose a few pounds of pressure over the course of a week or so, so don’t be alarmed if you have to add air each ride. However, if a tire goes completely flat over just a couple days, it is likely you have a leaky inner tube, which will require repair or replacement.
One important aspect of bicycle maintenance is recognizing problems early. If spotted early, most problems can be repaired with a minor adjustment for relatively little expense. If let go, however, these small adjustments can turn into major headaches. Look over your bike and make sure nothing seems loose or unsafe. If you find something, bring it to a certified bicycle mechanic.