How to Take Care of Your Bike to Reduce Costly Repairs
Here’s a sad truth about cycling: bicycle repairs and tune-ups can be really costly. Whether you have a city bicycle or riding with a mountain bike, you will shed money sooner or later. And it’s something you simply can’t disregard–if you ditch necessary repairs and tune-up processes for your bicycles, chances are, the damage would just progress and you will lose your lovely bicycle.
But here’s the thing–you can avoid the costly bicycle repairs if you do personal maintenance works for your bicycles. You might need to go through a tune-up every once in a while but it wouldn’t cost that much. In this blog, we’ll teach you how to properly take care of your bicycle to avoid expensive repairs.
Check your ABCs before riding.
Before riding, always make sure that your ABC’s are functioning properly. This will not just prevent you from undergoing expensive repairs but it will also ensure your safety on the road.
A is for air. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. If you’re unsure about the required tire pressure for your unit, you can check the sidewall of your tires. It’s best to have two kinds of pumps–a premium home pump for your pre-ride routines and a travel pump for emergency purposes.
B is for brakes. Before heading to the road, make sure your brakes are engaged properly. You can do this by simply squeezing your front and rear brake levers, just like you’d do on the road. Test them one at a time to see if they pull all the way to the grips.
C is for chain. Take a pedal and turn the chain backwards to ensure that your chain runs smoothly through your derailleur and cassette. Should you encounter a lock, make sure to lubricate the chain. You should also get both crank arms and shake them slightly to ensure they’re not loose.
Lubricate your bike.
As we mentioned earlier, lubricating your chain is a must. The best way to do this is after a ride, so the lube would have time to sink into the chain. Just make sure that you clean the chains first so less dust and dirt would go through the lubricated chain.
Aside from this, make sure to wipe off any excess of lube as it will cause a grease buildup. This will not just affect your pedaling performance but would also lead to rusting.
Lubricating your chains can be a bit tricky at first. It’s best to go through a couple of Youtube videos at first or consult with your local cycling store.
Keep your bike clean.
Proper cleaning reduces your bicycles susceptibility to rusting and damage by up to 60%. Fortunately, cleaning your bike isn’t that complicated.
Make sure you use brushes to clean hard to reach places. Rinsing grime alone might cause grime and grease buildup through time. Minimize your use of pressure washers, too. While these items work best for cars, they maybe harmful for you bicycle. They can cause damage to sensitive bearing systems throughout your bike.
For cleaning solutions for your bike’s frame, it’s best to use diluted dishwashing soap or bike wash cleaner. It’s also highly recommended to use bike-specific degreaser instead of turpentine and kerosene in cleaning your bike chain. Not only can they cause damage to your bike, but these alternatives can be harmful to your health, too.
Have basic repair tools.
Even though you check your ABCs before riding, properly lubricate your chains, and clean your bike regularly, you will still experience road inconveniences. So, it’s best to always carry saddle bag with basic repair tools wherever you go. Riding your bicycle without repairing minor damages may cause even bigger problems and even makes you vulnerable to accidents.
The most common bike repair tools that you should have are travel pumps, chain lube and cleaner, tire levers, tube patch kit, and a couple of spare tubes.
Get the best cycling accessories.
Lastly, to avoid getting into serious road accidents that may cause irrevocable damage to your bicycles, make sure you have the best cycling accessories.
Get a smart GPS tracker that will not just allow you to navigate any roads seamlessly, but can also guide you on how you can ride properly. This is especially important since some bicycle damage is caused by improper riding techniques–too much pedaling force, abrupt maneuvering, and more.
Aside from this, make sure to have an excellent pair of front and taillight. Lack of visibility is one of the most common reasons for cycling-related road accidents–a pair of bike lights can reduce these accidents by up to 89%.
Taking care of you bicycle is taking care of yourself, too.
Riding gears with damages or issues make you highly vulnerable on the road. So, to keep yourself safe, it’s best to ensure that your bicycle is on its optimal quality before you ride. Fortunately, there are lots of cycling resources, smart accessories, and beginner-friendly tools that can help you maintain your bicycle properly.