Bicycle Maintenance Schedule-The Most Valuable Tips

The bicycle maintenance schedule is an easy way to maintain our bikes so that it continues to perform well. Persons who are new to cycling or the sport of triathlon usually have no clue on how often they have to perform maintenance on their bicycle. They are several do it yourself tips on how to take care of your bike, but it is not easy to come across a good scheduled maintenance plan for bikes.

This also affects being auto mechanics, as they always find it difficult to complete a specific task, since they have little or no knowledge about handling and maintaining bikes. Most times the knowledge most people have is gotten from the instructions given by the manufacturer. It is always advisable to gain more knowledge from experienced auto mechanics.

Mechanics who are experienced enough to handle these jobs always have one problem, which is uneducated clients. There are few bad mechanics who will want to play a fast one on the consumer, but the good mechanics often suffer the results of minimum payment when a bicycle is brought for repairs. This review is to outline simple steps on how to check and do a daily, monthly and annual maintenance on your bikes.

Basic Bicycle Maintenance Schedule

Cyclist and people who own bikes always want their bikes to be in a good working condition. Now the problem is, there do not know where to begin. There are simple care tips you ought to know which is recommended for those who ride long distances and rough terrains it is equally important for those who use it for recreational purposes. Using this guideline will help keep the bike in good shape.

Bicycle Care Tips

  • Keeping a bike outside can cause the bicycle parts to wear quicker, avoid parking your bike outside at all times.
  • Avoid riding when it’s raining or on rough terrains, bikes who ride this type of roads always need service frequently.
  • Do not ride a bike which needs maintenance as this will only make other parts bad. Ensure the right service is carried out on the bike before riding.
  • The weather, the temperature and bad terrains always affect the bike. Your riding experience may be bad or good depending on the event. Ensure your parts are in good condition before riding.

Safety Check Before Every Ride

  • Check the tire air pressure. If the tire pressure is low(that is if it looks flat and feels squishy), pump the bike tires to the correct PSI( the correct PSI for each tire is listed on the side of your tire.)
  • Clean bicycle frame with a cloth and inspect its frame and components for signs of wear, such as cracks or dents.
  • To avoid getting a flat tire, glance over the tire tread on both tires for embedded debris.
  • Check for loose spokes on the wheels, make sure all quick release parts of the bike are secure.
  • Check the bicycle brakes by squeezing the brakes to be sure they are functional on the ground.
  • Check the brake pads.
  • Check the cables.
  • For mountain bikes, to be certain it is working well push down the compress and release the bicycle suspension.
  • Wipe down its chain and Wipe down the bike for 30 seconds.
  • Recharge the light batteries, head unit/GPS battery and ensure you tighten your release hubs and cranks.
  • In case you encounter a flat while riding always is prepared by carrying necessary tools like tire levers, spare tube or patch kit and a pump.
  • Also, check if the wheels do not roll smoothly, instead it wobbles. You need to have your wheel trued.
  • Clean the bike’s mechanical parts if necessary and look for the bike chain.
  •  Lubricate chain every 200 miles.

500 miles/ Monthly Safety Check

  • Clean the entire bike and the drivetrain.
  • Check for wear on the chain, inspect the freewheel and change the chain if wear is found.
  • Lubricate and Inspect brake levers, cables, and derailleurs.
  • Check the tires and replace if it is worn out. Check and ensure all bolts are nuts are tight.
  • Using a clean rag and an earth-friendly degreaser wipes the cassette cogs and chain clean.

Three Months Safety Check

  • Check the fork and frame for paint bulges or cracks as this indicates that the frame or part of it is damaged. Also, check all frame joints.
  • Check for bent handlebars, seat rails, stem, seat post, chainrings, brake calipers, crankarms, and brake levers.
  • Wash the bike and Lube chain.
  • Replace chain (if you ride exclusively on one bike).
  • Lubricate derailleur and brake pivots.
  • Lubricate Speedplay pedals and cleats.
  • Remove cassette, clean, reinstall.
  • Adjust derailleurs and brakes.
  • Check all bolts for proper tightness.
  • Replace power meter battery.

Every Six Months Safety Check

  • To protect the paint and finish, clean the bike and wax its frame. Once the bike is clean, inspect its frame for dents and cracks.
  • Inspect the tires for areas which are worn out, or cracked. Replace the tires if the wear is significant.
  • Makes sure your patch kit and spare tube are available at all times. Ensure that the spare tube holds air.
  • Replace chain (if riding is split between 2 bikes).
  • Replace cleats.
  • Replace rear shift cable housing loop and cable.
  • Adjust wheel bearings (Easton, Zipp, Mavic, etc).
  • Replace rear brake housing and cable.
  • Charge Di2 battery.
  • Replace bad cartridge bearings in pedals, hubs, bottom bracket, and pedals.
  • Adjust or overhaul hubs, headset, bottom bracket, check the condition.
  • Replace bar tape.
  • Replace rubber brake hoods, brake pads, and handlebar tape if necessary.
  • Inspect all gear cables, brakes and the cable housing for rust, corrosion, fraying and replace if worn out.
  • Using biodegradable solvent and clean rags, clean the drivetrain.
  • For mountain bike riders, lube and maintain your suspension frame and home tire pump.

Annually or 6,000 Miles Safety Check

  • Disassemble and overhaul the bicycle. Change all bearings and replace brakes and shift cables. If you ride mountain bikes in the rain or you ride more than 6.00 miles, overhaul your bike more often.
  • Replace aero bar pads.
  • Adjust all bearing systems based on their condition.
  • Replace Cassette, helmet, and brake pads
  • Replace all cables and housings.
  • Replace racing and training tires.
  • Replace bottom bracket.
  • Replace wheel bearings (modern cartridge hubs).
  • Remove seat post, apply grease or carbon paste.
  • Update firmware for the power meter, head unit, GPS, and Shimano Di2.
  • Replace rusted bolts (i.e. stem, aero bars, seat post).
  • Lubricate the brake, derailleur, pedal pivot points, cassette, and chains.
  • Check if all parts are correctly connected using a wrench. Test the tightness of the connecting and moving parts. Such as stem bolts, crankarms, chainring bolts, handlebar bolts, seat bolts, and all accessory mounts and screws.
  • Lube the gear cables to prevent binding and check the cables for fraying and rusting. Replace if necessary.
  • For mountain bike users, lube and maintain your suspension, check the racks, baskets, and accessories. Ensure all attachments and bolts are in good condition.

After Two Years Safety Check

  • Replace chain rings.
  • Service Shimano hubs.
  • Replace headset bearings.
  • Replace disc brake rotors.
  • Replace DOT hydraulic brake fluid.
  • Send power meter back for the calibration check.
  • Replace most saddles.
  • Replace derailleur pulleys (bearing-style).
    Replace most pedals.

Notes On How To Carry Out Different Bicycle Maintenance Task

Wiping Down A Chain

Wiping down a chain before every ride involves using a clean cloth, wrap it around a part of the chain with one hand wrap it around the chainstay and with the other hand, spin the cranks backward for a couple revolutions. This is the best practice for most lubes and it will make the clean stay clean even if you do not clean it always. Cleaning the chain every ride is valuable also ensure that you do not do the chain wipe with dry, wax-based lubes.

Wiping Down A Bike

Wiping down a bike is a different ball game altogether. Several riders do not know how to do this. The procedure involves using a clean rag or paper towel especially the heavy-duty paper towels. Apply a basic degreaser(such as simple green diluted 50/50 with distilled water) on the paper towel. Wipe the whole bike off for only 15 seconds. Wiping down a bike reveals all the problem the bike has and it also reduces the cleaning job for the mechanic when next you go for repairs.

Checking The Frame For Cracks

Cracks on frames usually happen at welded areas or near the area where the frame is butted. Just below the head tube, the down tube is the most common spot. For frames made from carbon the material, it is always difficult to know if that is a scratch or a crack. If you are not certain that it is a scratch, go to a workshop to be certain. It might be a crack.

How to remove and lubricate a Seatpost

Using a tape and a pencil, measure and mark the height of the seat post. Remove the seat post and wipe clean. If the Seatpost is made of an aluminum or steel material, grease the area that enters the frame. While for a carbon material, use a grease which prevents posts from bonding to the frame and can also stop slippage.

Checking a Wheel to know if it is Clean and True

If the rims of the bicycle are dirty, it interferes with the stopping power. Cleaning the rim can be achieved by using a slightly abrasive pad or rag which is soapy to wash and then rinse with clean water and allow to dry. When the rim is a dry check to see if the wheel is trued. That checks if the wheel wobbles.

How to Adjust or Replace Your Brakes

Glazed brakes shoes make noise and cause weak braking. To buff off the glaze, use a file or sandpaper to roughen up the pads. When picking out metals and dirt that are embedded in the pad, do it with care. If the pad has worn out to an extent that you can adjust, replace it.

Check Cleats for Wear:

Cleats that are worn out offer less stability. They can be dangerous and make you feel uncomfortable while riding. Most manufacturers have wear indicators for cleats. Most times you just have to tighten your pedals for your cleats to be held in place. Replace worn out cleats as they have a less predictable entry and release.

How to Clean or Replace your Chain

A worn out chain reduces efficiency and causes wear on cassette and rings. If the chain is still in good condition, soak a rag with degreaser and clean the chain. Let the bike be in a work stand, clean the chain as you backpedal to remove the grime. Then drop a lube on the chain wiping down a bike and backpedal a few revolutions.

Adjust Shifting

There are foolproof steps which can make your shifting smoother. To set up your derailleurs, clean the drivetrain and adjust your shifting while replacing your cable or chains.

Inspect Helmet for Damage

Replacing your helmet depends on how often you use it, how exposed it was to heat the sun, cracks, bad internal foam, fading color, and frayed straps. All these indicate that it is time to replace your helmet. In the case of a crash, always ensure that you replace your helmet.

Check Tires for Cuts and Wear

Check tires for cuts by deflating the tube to half its pressure, then rotate the wheel in the frame and manipulate the tire with your hands to check for cuts in the tread or sidewalks. If you find cuts that are deep enough to cause worries, replace the tire. For mountain bikes, if more than five threads are ripped away, the tire is going to fall and should be replaced to avoid flats. It also is acceptable for hybrid bikes also.

Final Thought About Bicycle Maintenance Schedule

Finally, it is accepted by all that the bicycle maintenance schedule is a necessary task for you to keep your bike clean and increase its long-lasting. So, you have to do it as a regular basis.

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