Whether you live in an urban center or a suburb, a bicycle is a great way to get around. It’s good for your health, it’s good for your budget, and it’s good for the environment. For all those who have taken up biking as their official form of transportation or as a hobby, we at Repair and Run have put together a list of tips to help you maintain your bike. Let’s go over them together!
Clean Your Bike Regularly
Sometimes maintenance comes down to simply keeping your bike clean on a regular basis, preventing dirt, oil, and grime from building up. It may sound like a pain to do but, after every bike ride, you should perform a routine washing, even if it’s a quick one. This involves de-greasing the cogs of your chain and wiping down the bike with soap and water. If needed, you can use rubbing alcohol to remove black grime from your bike. Looking after your ride in this way will prevent larger issues from occurring later on while improving component longevity.
One of the most important tools you need for bike maintenance is a good lubricant. When you finish rinsing your bike off after a ride, you should apply lubricant to the gears and chain. You can also use this method to prevent the jockey wheels from locking up, which can happen if there’s a buildup of oil and dirt. Every few months, use a lubricant to grease the cables of your bike so that you’re never in a position where they snap while you’re riding.
Is your bike squeaking and creaking? That’s its way of telling you that there’s something wrong. Your bicycle should be producing a ‘whirring’ sound, so if you’re hearing something else, it’s time to investigate. Squeaking and creaking can be signs of:
- Friction between the cassette and the chain, which is wearing down both parts
- A loose spindle
- Rear-derailleur pulley wheels in need of lubrication.
Process, Process, Process!
Bicycles are machines, so when you’re assembling and disassembling them, you have to be very careful. Before you start taking your bike apart, and for every part you take off in the first place, take a picture to document the process. That way, when you’re ready to put it all back together, you’ll know what piece came off when. This will save you a whole lot of headaches and second-guessing later on. The last thing you want is to have a mysterious piece left over once you’ve reassembled your bike! Work from the top down or front to back, sticking to a regular disassembly and reassembly plan, ensuring you’ll always know where you are. If you’re forced to take a break from the project or get distracted by something, it will be easier to return to it.
Also, a word of warning: don’t work on the bike when it’s upside down. It can ruin your saddle, cables, and accessories. Get a repair stand, or find another way to suspend it.
Know When to See a Mechanic
If a problem is outside your scope of expertise, don’t hesitate to bring your bike to a professional. Some fixes can easily be done at home, but when you don’t know what you’re doing, you run the risk of making the problem worse. Assess your own abilities before starting a maintenance project, and don’t be afraid or embarrassed to admit it if you need help. We all need it from time to time!
At Repair and Run, our focus is on high-quality bike repairs. Our technicians can repair most fixes on all models of bicycles within a day. They complete the majority of other serious repair jobs within a week. We’re proud of what we do and stand by our work, offering a full warranty on all parts and servicing. Contact us for more information today!