One of the more frequent questions when talking about bike servicing is what is maintenance vs repair and what should an everyday bike rider be comfortable doing.
When you drive a car, you need to keep the air in your tires and your oil changed. If you do those things regularly and go to a good mechanic for servicing, you’ll be able to know before something wears out or breaks down that will need a repair.
With a bike – you pump up the tires, do a safety check on the brakes, and lube your chain. These are the things that you should do on a regular to keep things from wearing prematurely. A, B, C – Air, (Check) Brakes, (Lube) Chain
Why Should You Do Bike Maintenance?
It’s important to keep your tires aired up to help prevent flats and premature wear on the tire. When you pump, look for wear on your tires or cuts. Lubing your chain properly will help your expensive bike chain and drivetrain to last longer. Finally, checking your brakes work properly is important to safety. These all take about 5 minutes total to do and help make your bike run more efficiently and safely. They also help you from visiting the bike shop or spending money before you need to!
Bike Maintenance 201
Depending on your type of riding and confidence as a home mechanic, you may start to learn how to change flat tires, check your chain wear, replace brake pads, and more. These can also be considered maintenance but maintenance, like the oil on your car that we talked about above, can be left for a local mechanic if you aren’t a DIY person (I don’t change the oil on our car for example.)
If you start venturing further from home, odd hours of the day or night, or simply want to be a self-reliant person – you may want to learn how to repair things for when they break. Chains, spokes, etc. For what it is worth, I have NEVER had a chain break in the miles of touring, commuting, or mountain bike racing. I also regularly check my gear and replace things before they fail.
Look for a basic walk through on this soon over on the Tern Bicycles YouTube channel.