There’s more to becoming an avid cyclist than choosing the perfect bike and getting out on it every day. You also need to make sure that you’re maintaining your investment property, so you can continue to reap the benefits for as long as possible.
Just like any essential item in your possession, a bike needs a lot of care, attention, and love to make sure that you get a smooth ride every day. However, a lot of beginners forget about the value of maintenance, which means that they’re left dealing with rust and other issues sooner than they would like. Here are a few tips that could help you to overcome those concerns.
1. Clean Your Bike
Riding through dirt puddles in the countryside can be a lot of fun if you have the right bike. However, constantly exposing your bicycle to dirt isn’t great for it. Keeping your investment clean is one of the best ways to make sure that you don’t have to replace it too quickly. At the end of each ride, use a dedicated bike cleaner to wipe everything from the frames to the pedals and the wheels.
Try to stay away from any caustic cleaners that might rust the metal components of your bike, and make sure that you don’t soak the bike too much. Depending on your needs, you can even find specific detergents for cleaning chains.
2. Protect the Drive Chain
The chain on your bike is one of the most important features that it has. Without that chain, you’re not getting anywhere. Keeping it well-lubed and making sure that it’s free from any dirt or rocks will ensure a smoother ride and a better gear shifting experience. If you’re committed to only cycling in sunny weather on smooth pavement, you won’t need to clean this part of your bike as frequently.
However, if like a lot of UK cyclists, you get caught in the rain a lot, then you may need to clean and lube your drivetrain after every ride. Make sure that you reapply the correct chain lube after cleaning.
3. Check Tire Pressure
Just as you need to check the tire pressure in your car to ensure it’s working properly, you’ll also need to examine the tire pressure of your bike. Every three or four days, check your tires using a special checking device. There are plenty of options out there to choose from. Most cyclists keep their tires pumped to a pressure of around 80 to 120. Anything less than this could mean that you end up struggling more with your ride.
Remember, the wider the tires are on your bike, the lower the air pressure needs to be. A slight difference in tire pressure can have a huge impact on the comfort in your ride.
4. Keep Nuts and Bolts Tight
The last thing you want is for your bike to fall apart on you. However, it’s easy to forget that these machines are held together with a series of nuts and bolts. At the end of each ride, take a moment to check the essential nuts and bolts on your bike to ensure that they’re not over-exposed to things like wear and tear
While you’re tightening nuts and bolts, keep an eye on the manufacturer’s manual and check for the correct torque specs. Under-tightening your bike could lead to squeaky noises as you ride. What’s more, if something breaks, you could end up causing an injury to yourself too!
5. Check the Brakes
Speaking of keeping yourself safe as you ride, one of the most valuable maintenance measures you can take is to check the brakes on your bike. Ensuring that the brakes are working on your bike is crucial for your safety and essential for the other cycles that you might be riding with too. You don’t want to lose control of your bike and go veering into someone else, for instance. Check the brakes regularly, and test them to ensure that they’re functioning exactly as you would expect.
You can also check out the brake pads and make sure that they’re pushing forward when you’re pulling the brakes. If the pads seem highly worn down, then you may need to replace them before you can go on your next ride. If you’re using disc brakes, keep the rotors as clean as possible as this will help to reduce your risk of contamination and problems with bike performance.