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One concern that so many women (and guys) have with owning a bike is the basics of fixing it, or how to do basic road side repairs. I do recommend that as an avid cyclist even with some mechanical skills that you should become best buds with your local mechanic (beer or ice cream works well.) I also want women to feel empowered and to have a better idea of what they are talking about. Tech Tuesday is the remedy for common tech questions!
Proper basic maintenance on your bike can prevent major road or trail side catastrophe’s, keep your bike running smoother and save you money in the long run.
Before Every Ride
These are things I check over before every ride. The below takes less than 5 minutes once you get a hang of the routine.
- Wipe off lube I applied after my last ride
- Tires pumped up properly
- A quick brake and gear check prior to starting down the road or trail
- Make sure you put your front wheel’s quick release on tightly
After Every Ride
The below should take no more than 10 minutes.
- Spin the tires to make sure there is no glass or cuts you didn’t notice before. While doing so quickly make sure the wheels are true (not wobbling side to side).
- Wipe down frame, checking for anything odd especially if you crashed on your ride.
- Wipe off chain and lube, if needed. Normally I leave the lube on until I ride again, wiping off before I leave. (Gives the lube time to soak in.)
This list is more labor intensive but will keep your wheels and drivetrain last longer!
- Clean your entire bike, including rims (use a degreaser on the wheels) and drivetrain
- Make sure wheels are true
- Check tires for wear and cuts
- Check brake pads for wear
- Put a tool on every bolt on your bike. This doesn’t take as long as it sounds.
- Check drivetrain wear with a chain checker.
- Lube SPD style pedals (mountain bike)
- Check over your bike for bent or worn break pads
- Check for bent chainrings and rear cassette/freewheel teeth
6 Months or Annually
Take your bike to a bike shop or qualified mechanic to get an overhaul. This is when they take the entire bike apart, re-grease, re-cable and your bike as good as new without replacing all the parts.
The timing above is all based on how often you ride. If you ride daily, the scale may need to be sped up, if you ride once a month, the scale may need to move back. Some things such as pumping up tires, lubing your chain and a safety check are all important, being handled often.
Going forward I’ll work on some basic video’s on how to do the above!