Taking the time to perform self-maintenance on your bike is essential for the longevity of your equipment and the quality of your ride, but it can be a little intimidating to undertake maintenance yourself if you don’t have much experience in mechanical work. There are a few very simple bits of maintenance that all bicycle riders should try and stick to, and luckily for you, they’re not too hard to learn.
As always, the best protection is prevention. Regularly checking your bike will help you to make sure that you catch any problems early and can fix them before they cause an issue on a ride. Checking your bike should only take a few moments, and you focus on checking that the chain is clean and lubed, the tyres are properly inflated, the brake pads are working, and everything is nice and tight (but not too tight).
Lubricate the Chain and Drivetrain
If you’ve ever been riding along on your bike and it has been screeching or scraping, then its drivetrain and chain were probably in need of cleaning and lubrication. Failing to lubricate or clean your chain can severely reduce the lifespan of your equipment, and since it can be more than a little pricey to replace you’re going to want to avoid doing that.
To clean and lubricate your drivetrain, you’ll need a cloth and some bike oil. First, you should wipe down the drivetrain and chain, and then add the oil. Regularly cleaning and lubing your drivetrain will make the process easier and easier, so there’s really no reason to not get to it!
Despite what you might like to think, your bicycle brakes aren’t going to last forever, especially if you regularly ride at high speeds or on uneven terrain. Every time you use your brakes you wear them down a little more, so after a period of use, they will become less and less efficient. While you will certainly need to eventually replace your brake pads at some point, you can actually adjust their position to move them closer to your wheels and make them more effective. I’d recommend giving the above video a watch to see how to do this.
Fixing a flat tyre is about as basic as it comes in bike maintenance, but that doesn’t make it any less important. A flat tyre not only isn’t very enjoyable to ride on, but it can also contribute to damaging the structure of the wheel and the bike as a whole. To fix most flats, all you need to do is use a repair it to seal the leakage point and then pump it full again. Easy.