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10 Maintenance Check for Your Beloved Bicycle

When it comes to maintaining a bicycle, cyclist usually clean the chain and check whether the gears and brakes are working properly. While doing so, many areas are often left unchecked until it’s too late and your bike needs repair.

In this article, we cover some of the most commonly ignored bicycle maintenance tips that will help you maintain your bicycle and save on repair.

 

Headset:

 

Spoilt headsets are a common problem that often goes unnoticed. At times, the bearings are worn out, the grease has turned brown or completely dried up and the headset wobbles in place. To know the status of your headset and the bearings, remove your stem and fork out of the head tube.

Remember to take a picture before opening anything so you remember the order while putting it all back together.

If they are sealed bearings, you might have to source the right ones. If the bearings are good, just give them a thin coat of grease. Check the fork steerer for any signs of damage and if all looks great, put them all back together.

 

Gear cables:

Gear cables are constantly under stress due to shifting. As a result, they become weak over time and need replacement, especially if they are external routing. These gear cables also get frayed or kinked and need timely replacement.

To check, first move the gears onto the largest sprocket. Once done, click all the gears to the smallest sprocket and do not turn the crank. This will release the tension from the cable, so you can release it from the cable guides. Now, move the outer cable and examine the inner cable for fraying, rust or kinks. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to replace them.

If there are no signs of wear, just drip some dry chain lube onto the inner cable and work it through the housing segments. Then put it back into the cable guides and you are good to go.

We recommend using any one of the following:

 

Pedals:

Bicycle pedals are often ignored by many cyclists, even after a bicycle service. Usually the pedals are worn out and the bearings all banged up. At times, the pedals might get jammed into your crank arm and the whole set up will require a replacement.

 

Most high-end pedals can be serviced, however, worn-out cleats need to be replaced right away. The off-axis movement can lead to knee pain and other issues.

 

Freehubs:

A clean sounding freehub is an indicator of the condition of the freehub. However, if the noise has gotten louder over some time, take it as a sign, it needs to be serviced. Such freehub is likely to have gotten dry or dirty and needs some attention.

 

Take it to a mechanic or watch this video and do it yourself.

 

 

Chain:

Most of us might keep our chain clean and well lubed, but do you measure chain wear?

Buy the Park CC-3.2 and ensure that you check your chain wear on a regular basis. This will give you an idea of when your chain needs to be replaced. Failing to do so will result in cassette wear and replacing both will be a costly affair.

 

 

Derailleur hanger:

Derailleur hangers usually come in alloy and function quietly at the back without drawing attention to their existence. However, if your shifting isn’t perfect, do check on whether or not your derailleur hanger is straight. If you happen to meet with an accident, or your bike falls derailleur-side down, check the hanger for any crank or bend.

If it’s slightly bent, it can be straightened at home, however, a major bend or crank might need a straight replacement. So just get it done!

 

Tyres:

While it’s common to pump in the desired pressure and head out for a ride, rarely do we check our bicycle tyres for cuts and signs of wear.

Make it a habit to check your bicycle tyres between rides as well. Check the centre and the sidewalls for any signs of wear.

If you have been getting flats in the centre of the tube, it’s sign that it may be worn.

 

Brake pads:

image taken from total women’s cycling

Brake pads are another integral part of the bicycle that are often neglected. As they come with wear indicators, it’s easy to check the life in them. Also, do check if they are wearing out evenly, if not, you can use a file, square them off and probably get a little more out of them.

Ensure to readjust and retune them correctly, before riding. If you need to put excessive force to pull the brake lever, consider replacing your brake cables and giving the calliper a service.

 

Loose and rattling parts:

There may be times when your seemingly perfect bike ride is interrupted by constant noise and creaks. In such situations, locating the source, can be a task. If you are facing any of these rattles and creaks, check for loose bottle cage bolts and jingling items in your saddlebag.

Follow up by checking for loose cassettes, hubs, pedals or headsets. Even chainring bolts loosen over time, remember to get them tightened and torqued.

 

Bar tape:

Often times, cyclist ride with torn, old or worn-out bar tapes. This barely offers any cushioning and spoils the overall look of the cycle. If you are facing this issue, unwrap the bar tape, check the handlebar for corrosion or cracks, replace the cables and wrap a newer tape. It will bring new life to any bike.

 

Shifters:

It’s very rare to open and check our bicycle gear shifters. The small parts and tiny spring does require oiling. As the bicycle gets exposed to sun, rain and cold, the parts inside could dry up and catch rust. In such cases, undo the bolts or flip the hood of your road bike shifters behind and spray in some WD 40 to prevent rusting. Drip in a few drops of lube as well.

Check these 11 maintenance hacks, and keep your bike looking and feeling as new as the day you bought it. Do share this with a fellow cyclist and help others keep their bikes in top shape too.

If you are looking for a bicycle repair service, get in touch with us at +91 8928041081

Edited by Tracy Alvares

Written By

Abhishek Tarfe is a Certified Bike Mechanic from Park Tool School. He enjoys teaching people how to cycle and loves going on multi-day tours. Besides, he loves dogs and coffee. Follow his madness on Instagram

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