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.

Chain lubing

Always ensure you lube a bike after it has been cleaned. It’s Important that we apply lube sparingly and remove the excess lube. Too much lube will accelerate wear and tear!



Before each ride, make sure you conduct a quick series of checks to ensure your bike is ready and safe to ride.

Use the “ABC Quick Check” to remind yourself of this inspection every time. If you feel that your bike fails the check then you should have the problem rectified immediately before riding.

The ABC Quick check


  • Chain: One of the most important parts of the drive train. Also the most neglected. Don’t 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.
pumping in air
  • 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 isopropyl 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.
Brake caliper alignment
  • 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.


  • 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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About the Author

Rohan Kini

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING I love riding my bike. Whether it's a simple commute, a high-intensity road race, a jaw-grinding brevet, fixie rides thru packed Indian city or a kick-ass technical single track – I love it all. Apart from riding bicycles, I love being all geeky and know everything there is to know about bicycles, technology, bike fit, and service. I started BUMSONTHESADDLE to share this passion for cycling. DISCIPLINE: Partial towards MOUNTAIN BIKING but love it all CURRENT BIKE(S): Specialized Rockhopper, Specialized Tarmac, Pure Cycles Original DREAM BIKE: S-Works Epic HT & S-Work Roubaix OTHER PASSIONS: Technology, Photography, Baking, Travel, and Reading

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