Tech Tuesday: Keeping Your Bike Out of the Shop
This is the time of year that all you want to do is ride your bike, not take it in for maintenance. One of my favorite things I would tell good clients was to ride the bike to the shop for a quick check over. Make it part of a monthly or quarterly event. As long as there isn’t anything rattling or falling off you’ll be able to ride there, tell them exactly what might be acting different since you JUST rode it, example “the rear is shifting slow going to easier gears” or “my crank clicks going up hill.” It also makes it so the shop understands you don’t want to leave your bike there. *Normally calling a head and making sure your favorite mechanic is okay with this would be recommended, along with bringing their favorite 6 pack.*
Fastest wearing items on a bike:
- Bar tape/grips
- Seals on suspension (fork and shock)
Using Strava for Bike Maintenace
While I am a data geek, and spend too much time on Strava I have found that it is also an easy way for you to keep track of your equipment. Depending on your riding style you are normally able to start gauging how quickly you wear your equipment. It is also a good reminder of getting check overs. I’m able to look back since the first of the year and figure out what bikes have the most milage, do a mental check of which bikes have gotten love and which haven’t. Even if it is as simple as checking chain lube, tire wear and chain stretch. It will help save you money and headache as the season rolls on.
Tech Tuesday: Bicycle Maintenance Check List
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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!