October 24, 2010 by Rohan Kini
Regular bicycle maintenance is necessary to prevent undue wear n tear of expensive components.
Slow shifts, unresponsive braking and hard to use levers are good indicators that you need to pay attention to your bike.
Cleaning and lubricating your bike is quick, easy and very satisfying.
Always ensure you lube a bike after it has been cleaned. Its Important that we apply lube sparingly and remove the excess lube. Too much lube will accelerate wear and tear!
Here is a basic maintenance schedule to follow incase you dont have one yet
Chain: One of the most important parts of the drive train. Also the most neglected. Dont be lazy, clean your chain today!
Check out our earlier post on how to lube the chain (link).
If the area around the chain has started looking greasy, you have too much lube on the chain. Remove excess lube.
Pro’s degrease and lube their chain every ride.
Tires: Correct tire pressure will enhance the life of the tire, ensure better traction and offer a comfortable ride. Flats are also avoided.
Check for stones and thorns that might be tightly wedged in the tires. These might cause flats on your next ride.
Brakes: Worn out or misaligned brake shoes could wear out your rim. Brake shoes are cheap and easy to replace. Keep an eye out for worn out brake shoes. Lube the pivot points on the brake levers and brake arms.
Keep the rim wall clean.
All these contribute to a longer lasting rim and better, quieter braking.
Brake, derailleur cables: Check out our earlier post on how to maintain brake/derailleur cables (link)
Disc brakes: Clean rotors with iso-propyl alcohol (available at a chemist). Avoid touching the rotor with greasy hands.
Check the brake pads and replace them if the braking surface is less than 2mm thick or if contaminated with oil/grease.
Ensure the calipers are centered and are not rubbing against the rotors. Ensure the rotor is not bent either.
Derailleurs: These have pivot points, springs and pulleys to move the chain. Once cleaned up, apply a drop or two of lube at these points. Push the derailleur through its full range of motion, with your hand, while lubricating the derailleur.
Chain: Check our earlier post on how to check your chain for wear and tear (link). The whole drive train might have to be replaced if you donot change a chain on time.
Stanchions: Keep the stanchion legs clean and well lubed. Drop a drop of lube near the dust seals and pump the suspension a couple of times to get the dirt out. Clean the stanchion legs with a clean rag.
Every 5-6 months
Take your bike back to your LBS and allow professionals to ensure its in perfect condition.
There is no substitute for correct shop quality tools and up-to date technical knowhow.
Nothing like a fantastic ride on a well maintained bike !
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