Whether you’re a novice biker or cycling enthusiast, knowledge of how to carry out maintenance of your bikes can save you lots of money in the long run, as-well as ease wear and tear.
From your own bicycle to your kids bikes – general bike maintenance is great skill to have. Many maintenance tasks, with the right tools, can be performed at home. The tools you need from the jobs are readily available from all good bike shops, such as Plush Hill Cycles.
The pressure in your bike tyres can affect the quality of your bike ride. If the pressure is too low you have to work a lot harder to keep speed than with the right air pressure. Incorrect tyre pressure will mean you will get flats more easily, especially when hitting a curb hard. A must-have tool that anyone with a bike should own is a floor pump with pressure gauge. Check the suggested pressure from the side of your tyres. The rear tyre should have more pressure as it is taking more of the riders weight than the front.
If you ride regularly, then a fortnightly air pressure check is advisable, but if you’re not going to ride your bike for a long time - maybe six months or longer – then try to remember to keep the tyres inflated even during this time.
You probably guessed that fixing a flat tyre would make the list? You were right. Youtube has loads of good videos guiding you how to prepare, glue the patch on and remount a tyre. If you start getting many flats with the same wheel, check your tyre and the inside of the rim for sharp objects or protruding spoke.
If you have a very tight time schedule, let your local bike shop do it for you.
The bike chain is a crucial element to a bike functioning well. It is essential, therefore, to regularly inspect, clean, lubricate and – where necessary – replace your chain.
You will need disposable rags, bike oil, degreaser product and maybe a used toothbrush Get all the dirt you possibly can get off the chains, sprockets and chainwheels. After everything is nice and clean, turn the cranks slowly backwards and simultaneously apply a drop of bike oil on the inside of every link on your chain. A good bike shop like Plush Hill Cycles can show you everything you need to know.
The more often you clean and lube, the less time it takes every time you do it.
Keep all the screws, bolts and nuts in your bike where they belong by checking regularly if they are loose. It is annoying if you loose the screw holding your mudguards in place and having to listen that rattling and banging sound all the way home. Some newer bikes the parts have the maximum torque limit written on them and you can buy tools that apply only a specified amount of torque. When you are buying a new bike, ask your bike shop to give you a bag of spare nuts and bolts. You should get them for free, because they are dirt cheap.
The nature of brake pads mean they will naturally wear with age, brought on by the regular friction of pad on wheel.
Brake pads are easy to replace and – given their importance – should be regularly checked for wear anyway. It is also important to keep both the pads and the braking surface clean from dirt and oil. Dirty pads wear out themselves and the braking surface substantially faster.
With the wheel removed to make life easier, unscrew the pad from the brake shoe it is housed in – if the replacement pads come with a new grub screw, use it rather than just re-using the old one.
Removing the pad is straight-forward, though a flat-bladed screwdriver may be required in some cases to offer some gentle persuasion.
Paying attention to orientation – the open end should face the rear of the bike, and the pads will be typically marked L or R according to which side of the caliper they should be installed in – replace the pads and screw them back in. Speak to your local bike shop if you’re unsure.
What have we learned from all this? Take care of your bike and it will take care of you. If you want to get the tools for the job, or speak to an expert contact Plush Hill Cycles
Member since: 10th July 2012
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