When you ride your bike a considerable amount of time, it’s a given that the cycle will eventually break down just from constant use. Tires pop frequently, pedals break, steering becomes misaligned and pedals break, among other things. While these breakdowns are sometimes inevitable, there are certain maintenance tips that can be performed to extend the life of the bike for the longest stretch possible:
Store the Bike Indoors
One of the biggest culprits to poor bicycle function is exposure to rain and snow. This moisture corrodes the moving parts of a bicycle which leads to a shorter life span and a less pleasant riding experience. Even storing a bike underneath shelter but in an uninsulated shed or under an awning could be hazardous to the chain, frame, and brakes of the bike. The easiest tip of maintenance is to store your bike in a climate controlled area when the weather turns.
Clean and Grease the Seat Post
There’s nothing more than seeing a perfectly functional and immaculate conditioned bike headed to the 2-wheel graveyard because of a seat post that no longer moves. If the seat is stuck in a comfortable position, it’s not that big of a deal but too many people have tried to hacksaw the post free only to make the frame unusable. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is with preventative maintenance in removing the seat every so often and cleaning and lubricating it.
Lubricate Moving Parts
Bike owners will come to find out that ball bearings, hubs, and other moveable parts can be a nuisance when they start to go bad. Those same owners will also find out (sometimes the hard way) that a $3.69 can of bicycle oil is all it takes to prevent these issues. When a bearing or pedal crankcase starts to fail, it causes connecting parts to overcompensate which results in more costly repairs than if a person would just lubricate their moving parts on a regular basis.
Clean the Bike
The odds are you’ll encounter a lot of dust, dirt, and debris on your ride no matter if you’re in the mountains or on the paved city trails. Instead of letting this grime settle and reaching into the cracks and crevices of your bike keep a clean towel where you park your ride and give it a good rub down at the end of the day. On the weekends when time permits, clean the bike thoroughly with dish detergent which also allows for an up-close inspection of parts that may be failing.
Keep Tires True
Out of balance tires can cause wear on other parts of the bike from the brake to the shifters and more. Keeping tires true is not a detailed process at all, it simply involves flipping the bike upside down and adjusting spokes either in or out back to center. This quick and easy task done once a month or so can save riding headaches in the long run.