Regular maintenance is key to keeping your bicycle lasting longer, riding better, and also ensuring you have a safe ride. While the thought of servicing one’s bike can seem daunting, and can therefore put off the idea of DIY Maintenance altogether – these are quite simple to do and can be quite a stress-buster.
Here are our top maintenance skills that are not only simple but will ensure you can take care of the basic maintenance your bike requires.
1. REPLACING THE TUBE
Replacing the tubes in your tyres is an event that every bicyclist must be prepared for. Over time, your tube can only withstand a certain number of punctures, after which the integrity of the tube is compromised.
Before replacing can happen, you need to buy a new tube. Make sure to check the dimensions on the tyre’s rim to ensure that you buy the right sized tube.
Check out our detailed buying guide on How to Choose Inner Tubes.
2. FIXING A PUNCTURE
Punctures are the worst, they can bring the best rides to a grinding halt in a matter of seconds, and being stranded with a flat tyre is never fun.
That is why knowing how to patch a puncture is one of the easiest and fulfilling skills you can learn. The process is super straightforward and requires tools that could all easily fit in the palm of your hand.
Learn How to Fix a Puncture!
3. WASHING YOUR BIKE
Washing your bike regularly will keep your components clean and free of grime and dirt. It can be a little tedious but the benefits far outweigh the pain. Dirt and grime can wear out your components quicker and prevent them from operating smoothly.
While washing, take special care around your disc brakes as you do not want to contaminate the disk or the brake pads with any oils or solutions.
Learn how to wash your bike
Always make sure to dry your bike with a dry cloth after washing, as allowing your bike to be wet for prolonged periods will contribute to the rusting of components.
4. LUBRICATING YOUR DRIVE-TRAIN
Lubricating your drive train is important for keeping it clean and running smoothly. Depending on the weather, you might need to lubricate it more often normal.
Lubricants come in two main types, Dry Lubes, for dry conditions and Wet Lubes for Rainy, wet climates.
Dry lubes are usually less viscous and they primarily aid in keeping the dirt from sticking to your chain and cassette. This will save your components from getting worn out faster.
Wet lubes are more reminiscent of oils, as they help in keeping water from affecting the efficacy of your drive train. In wet conditions, it is recommended to apply lubricants to your drive train after every two rides.
Learn all about cleaning and lubricating your drivetrain
5. SNAPPY BRAKING
Braking is the most important skill a rider should learn how to execute properly. Good and bad braking could determine the difference between a safe stop and crashing into someone or having someone crash into you.
Keeping your brakes snappy and responsive should always be your number one priority. When you start feeling like your brakes are not working as they should. Check to see if the brake pads are worn out or if the brake levers need tightening.
If unsure about what to do, it’s always a safe bet to take it to your local bike mechanic, who can pinpoint the problem and educate you on the same!
To take better care of your brakes it is good practice to apply equal pressure to both the front and back wheels, as this serves multiple purposes.
First, is that this will bring the entire bike to a gradual stop and will prevent one wheel from stopping abruptly in relation to the other, which result in skidding and loss of control. If you were to apply a lot of stopping power to the front brake which travelling at speed, you run the risk of falling forward due to the momentum and injuring yourself.
Second is that it provides equal wear to both brake pads and keeps both brakes in the same condition. They can also be replaced later at the same time. Having brakes which differ in stopping power can be confusing and unreliable.
There you go – 5 simple DIY maintenance skills that every new cyclist should learn. Not only are these simple, they will ensure your bike rides better, longer and will end up saving you quite a bit of money over time.
Last but not the least, basic maintenance is extremely easy with bicycles and is a great way to connect with your machine.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING:
I love the freedom which comes with riding a bike. On my Hardtail MTB , nothing is an obstacle, I seamlessly flow down trails and through traffic like water in a river. And that flow gives me immense satisfaction and the continued drive to get back on my bike the next day.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain Biking & Commuting
CURRENT BIKE: Marin Bolinas Ridge Disc
DREAM BIKE: Cannondale TOPSTONE Carbon Lefty 3