Proper bike maintenance and care allows people to continue to enjoy one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get the recommended amount of exercise and fresh air. In order to get the most out of your regular cycling trips, you will need to ensure that you keep your bicycle in good working order at all times. While many people visit cycle shops for bike maintenance and care, it is possible for you to perform these tasks yourself.
Finding a Place to Work
When servicing your bike, you will need ample space in which to work. A garage with a work bench is usually the ideal spot. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have this at their disposal. Clearing space in a passageway or even a living room can also suffice in a pinch. If this is the case, you can put down paper or a drop cloth in order to protect the flooring from oil and dirt resulting from the bike maintenance and care. Any delicate items will need to be moved out of harm’s way before the bike is brought inside.
When the time comes to maintain your bike, you will need to gather a few items before getting started. Soft cleaning cloths or sponges and a bucket of soapy water will be required to remove dirt from your bike if you have been on any dirt trails. A narrow brush will come in handy to remove dirt and grime from gear sets and other difficult-to-reach places on your bike. Good quality PTFE-based lubrication products will be needed to ensure that working parts such as cables and chains are sufficiently lubricated and protected prior to cycling. While a clamping bike stand comes in handy, this is not an absolute necessity unless you have several bikes that require maintenance.
What to Look for
Bike maintenance and care can include cleaning your bike with soapy water which will enable you to spot any damage to the frame and wheels. Cleaning your bike will also allow you to get a closer view of the chain, cables, and other working parts. While cleaning and lubricating these parts, be sure to look for any signs of wear or damage. During this time, brake blocks and any other moving parts should also be carefully inspected. If anything shows signs of wear or has become damaged, replacement is strongly recommended.
After cleaning and lubricating all of the working parts, it is time to ensure that tires are inflated to the correct pressure and that there are no smooth or worn spots on them. Carefully checking them for signs of debris or damage will help prevent potential blowouts while cycling. It is important to see that your bike is completely dry after cleaning your bike, as any water that is left on the frame can cause it to rust prematurely. This is also the ideal time to check and adjust the height of your seat and handlebars.
Bike maintenance and care is important, especially if it is regularly done. Taking proper care of your bike will allow you to enjoy using it for many years to come.
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