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Bike Tune Up

Bike shops are often asked how frequently bicycles should be serviced. It’s a difficult question to answer because it depends on how and where it’s ridden as well as its condition. Assuming the machine is in good working order and you ride sensibly and not in nasty weather a lot, the following guidelines will keep your two-wheeler running trouble free for years. You’ll need some basic tools, lubes, cleaners, rags and know-how.

Every Ride

  • Check the tire pressure and add air if needed.
  • Check the tire tread for wear and embedded debris that could cause a flat.
  • Check that the wheel quick releases are tight and the wheels are secure.
  • Spin wheels looking for wobbles, which indicate you should have your wheel trued.
  • Squeeze brakes to make sure they’re grabbing and check to see that the brake pads are in good condition and they strike the rims – not the tires!
  • Compress and release the suspension to check that it’s working properly.
  • Check the chain and add lube if it looks dry.
  • Make sure you’ve got your spare tube, tools, pump, etc.

Monthly

  • Clean the bike with a rag (or soap and water if it’s real dirty) and inspect the frame and components for signs of wear such as cracks.
  • Wipe the chain and cassette cogs clean with a rag and earth-friendly degreaser and relube.
  • Check the wheels for loose spokes.
  • Test with a wrench, the tightness of the: crankarms, pedals, chainring bolts, seat bolt, seatpost bolt, stem, bolts, handlebar bolts and all accessory mounting bolts/screws.
  • Lube the brake, derailleur and clipless-pedal pivot points.
  • Lube the cables to prevent binding and check the cables for fraying and rusting – replace if necessary.
  • Check clipless pedals and cleats for loose screws/bolts.
  • Maintain and lube your suspension components according to the advice in the owner’s manual.

Every Six Months

  • Clean and wax the frame to protect the paint/finish. Once it is clean, inspect the frame and fork for any cracks or damage.
  • Check and replace tires if needed. Also check your spare tube and patch kit to make sure the spare holds air and the kit has glue and patches.
  • Check the hubs, bottom bracket, headset. Adjust and/or overhaul as needed.
  • Check all cables and housings for fraying, breaks, rust and corrosion and replace if necessary.
  • Check for worn brake pads and replace if needed. Also replace worn handlebar tape or grips.
  • Check for chain, cassette cog and chainring wear and replace worn parts as required.
  • Clean the drivetrain (chain, chainrings, cassette, front and rear derailleurs) with biodegradable solvent and rags.
  • Maintain and lube your suspension components according to the advice in the owner’s manual.

Yearly

  • Check all bearing systems: hubs, bottom bracket, headset and pedals. Adjust and/or overhaul as needed.
  • Check all cables and housings for fraying, breaks, rust and corrosion and replace as necessary.
  • Replace brake pads, rubber brake hoods and handlebar tape if necessary.
  • Clean and check wheels carefully for signs of wear such as worn sidewalls (breaking surface) or cracks at the spoke nipples.
  • Check the hubs, bottom bracket, headset. Adjust and/or overhaul as needed.
  • Overhaul the pedals to check the bearings and add fresh grease. If you are using toe straps, check them for wear and replace if needed.
  • Maintain and lube your suspension components according to the advice in the owner’s manual.
  • Lube your frame and home pump.

Bike Maintenance Chart credited to Bike Beat.

Visit their web site at www.bikebeatonline.com