5 [Free Tips] For Basic Bike Maintenance!

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5 Simple Bike Maintenance Tasks To Keep Your Bicycle Safe And Reliable.

Bike Care and Bicycle Components are evolving rapidly – servicing the suspension and braking systems on technical mountain bikes is bewildering for most DIY bike mechanics attempting home bike repairs.

The good news is, for general bike care and basic safety checks you don’t need to touch any of the advanced components on your bike.

In fact, unless you have successfully completed a bike repair course of some sort, you are best to leave the technical bike repairs  and servicing to a trained bike mechanic.

But there a few basic repairs you can do for free at home?

1) Basic Bike Maintenance

The most obvious simple check for all bike tires whether they are on a  road bike or mountain bike – is the rim running true and do the tires have the correct pressure Bike Maintenancein them.

How much air… will depend a lot on where and what you ride plus how heavy you are.

This article will give a baseline to follow from there you will need to experiment and adjust the tire pressure to suit your own needs… (the thinner the tire the higher the pressure, is a general rule)

Tire Pressure

  • road bike tires typically require 80 to 130 psi, if you are of heavy build, opt for a higher pressure range (100 – 130 psi )
  • mountain bike tires 30 to 50 psi. I find 38 psi is ideal for me – when riding off road – I’m 165 lbs

Properly inflated road bike tires roll faster and absorb a higher percentage of shocks while they roll over the road surface reducing rider fatigue.

Correctly inflated mountain bike tires are less likely to puncture due to a pinched tube.

Mountain Bike Tire Pressure

38-40 psi is my preference for single track mountain biking any less you increase the risk of a pinched tube anymore you find the ride a bit harsh and unpredictable.

Overinflated tires transmit every vibration and bump to the rider, so be sure to experiment with different pressures adjusting your tire pressures to suit your weight, riding conditions or tire type, as well as the surface you are riding on.

For mountain bike riders your bike may roll smoothly with less effort on the sealed roads with 50 psi?

But it would definitely feel better at 35 – 40 psi on a single track when you start bouncing over rocks or tree roots.

2) Bike Frame

Bike Frames are under constant stress how much stress depends on your riding style.

The frame and welds are constantly flexing as you ride it is sensible to inspect your frame for wear and tear.

Check your bike frame for cracks!Repair Bike Frame

A careful rider will visually inspect his frame, every few months or after a hard crash – starting with the welds that join the frame.

Also check the seat post or headset, if you notice hairline cracks in the paint, remove enough paint to check if the weld or frame tube is actually cracked – it may be just hairline cracks in the paint surface.

If you do find your frame has developed a crack take the bike to your mechanic or a frame builder for expert opinion on whether to fix the frame or junk it – don’t ride a bike with a split frame a collapsed frame can lead to nasty injuries.

Standard bike care would involve regular de-grease and washing your bike parts and bike frame, how often depends on the conditions you ride in and how much grime you can tolerate.

It is important to be careful when using your garden or water blaster, try not to use high-pressure water in a way that forces water into the frame and bearings.

While washing your bike you can take the time to inspect for damage after the bike is dry.

Lube the chain and all moving parts such as derailleurs, brake, and gear cables.

3) Bicycle Brakes

There are two main types of brakes. Rim Brakes or Disc Brakes.

Rim brakes rely on your rim being in good condition, clean and correctly trued.

Keep your rim free of dirt and grease ensure the pads are sitting correctly and not making contact with the tire.

Lubricate the cables and pivot points.

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Disc brakes have the advantage of being weatherproof and of not being affected by as much from dented rims or slightly-out wheel true.

Get into the habit of inspecting the hydraulic system for leaks every few weeks.

If your disc brakes squeal it could be something is loose or the pads and rotors need cleaning.

Also, check all the bolts that hold the brake components on.

Refer to your bikes manual before cleaning your disc pads and rotors as some can be damaged by certain types of cleaners.

4) Basic Bike Care

bike maintenanceCleaning the drive train is a job bike riders either neglect or totally over do it.

A light clean and then apply lube to all moving parts after each ride will keep your bike in great condition, as well as keep you in touch with any damage or minor repairs that need attention.

If it is a mountain bike? it is meant to get dirty! – Don’t over clean it!

If it is a road bike? it will just pick up a bit of road grime – this is normal wipe it off with a soft cloth [an old towel]

If you over clean your bike using high-pressure water! 

You risk introducing water to bearings and hard to lube places – resulting in rust and premature wear and tear.

5) Bike Seat

Seats need to comfortable, they also need to be inspected for damage or wear and tear to ensure they are structurally safe.

Remove the seat post periodically and apply grease to the post ensure it doesn’t corrode into place.

Unless your seat post is carbon fiber, if you have a carbon frame, seat post or fork don’t apply grease [to carbon fiber]

While you have the seat post is out, inspect the seat frame for broken welds or bent supports.

Basic Bike Maintenance requires very little technical knowledge, as it is largely common sense…

Clean, Inspect, Lube, covers the majority of “Bike Care.”

[Bonus Tip]… Bicycle Repair Training

Do You want to Learn How To Master the more technical
DIY Bike Repairs?

These bike repair video tutorials are Excellent and Extensive…

You Will Be Surprised – How Cheap The Whole Course Is!

Have a quick look.  Bike Repair Videos

About the Author Ian

Ian is the Chief Editor here at OnlineBikesShop, a reformed Cycle Traveler... now a dedicated stay-at-home dad of a very active 5 yr old, a keen mountain biker with a passion for all types of bikes, the outdoors, and keeping fit...