Road bike maintenance is essential if you plan on cycling for a long time. Just as a car needs weekly maintenance in order to run properly by checking the tires, changing the oil, and ensuring the belts are replaced well maintained, a road bike needs to be well maintained as well in order to prolong its life.
Essential Tips to Biking Maintenance
Before you take your road bike out for a ride, be sure to perform a quick safety check on your. Check that the screws and bolts are on tightly and inspect the frame for any signs of cracks, especially around the welds. If there’s a crack, then you need to address it immediately. Ensure that the pedals are fastened tightly and that all the cables are correctly routing through all the proper stops.
Be sure to lube the chain every 100-200 miles as it tends to easily build up with dirt. Use a bike specific lube as motor oil or WD-40 attracts dirt. Check that the tires are filled to the proper pressure and that are no punctures anywhere. Lubing your chain is important as the buildup of dirt may cause kinks in the chain. Lubing it will also prolong its life.
Keeping your bike well maintained is essential if you plan on riding for a long time. Before getting started in performing road bike maintenance, there essential pieces of equipment that you will need in order to keep your bike well maintained. You will need a work stand where you are able to prop up your bike, degreaser to remove dirt, bucket of soapy water to wash the bike, a brush to scrub the bike, oil for the chain and axles, and also clean water to rinse everything down.
The best place to start is from the bottom up by starting with your wheels first. Using a brush you will need to work the degreaser into the sprockets to ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned. However, be sure not to put too much on the bearings. Allow the degreaser time to work its magic on the sprockets and then wash it off with hot water as you scrub the sprockets clean. Then proceed to scrub the spokes of the wheel while also removing any black residue from the brakes.
It is very easy for your tires to get dirty so you will want to clean those as well. Once your wheel is cleaned, use a soft scrubbing brush with soapy water. This would also be a good time to thoroughly inspect the wheels. Check that there are no cuts in the tread or any punctures and replace if necessary. Then proceed to rinse off the tires by using clean water and allow them to dry.
Removing the wheels will make cleaning the rest of the bike a lot easier. You can also take this opportunity to place your bike on a stand while your wheels are drying. Place a stick or old axle through the rear end of the bike to rest the chain on something. Then use degreaser and a brush to thoroughly clean the chain, the front and rear deailleurs, the chain rings, cranks, brakes and other pieces of metal.
This process may get a little messy so be sure that your stand and bike is propped over cardboard or a bunch of newspapers. As you are cleaning the metal components, be sure not to allow the degreaser on the saddle, handlebars, headset or on the bracket bearings. Again, allow the degreaser time to work its magic and proceed to use hot water to remove the degreaser while wiping it down.
With a sponge and a bucket of soapy water, clean underneath the saddle, bottom bracket, brakes and forks to remove any dirt. Always start with the saddle and handlebars and work your way down the bike. Then rinse the bike off with clean water and repeat if necessary. While cleaning your bike, sure to look for any problems such as worn brake blocks, frayed cables, cracks or any damage to the frame.
Once everything is clean, all you need to do is dry your road bike with a clean cloth and put your wheels back on. The first time around, this may seem like a tedious process but as you do it more often you’ll become a lot quicker. Besides, keeping your bike well maintained will not only prolong the life of the bike but it will also enable you to enjoy riding a lot more.