Bike Maintenance schedules can vary somewhat depending on how often the bike is ridden and the conditions that the bike is ridden in. Mountain bikes getting hammered around Ballyhoura every week are going to need more maintenance than a hybrid cycling across Sarsfield Bridge every now and again. However, these few tips will help build a maintenance schedule and keep your bike in good working order – and help you know when it’s time to bring it in to a mechanic.
Daily (or every ride) Bike Maintenance:
- Squeeze the tyres to check tyre pressure, the recommended pressure is always written on the sidewall of the tyre.
- Check the tyre over, look at the tread make sure the tyre isn’t going bald and loosing grip.
- Make sure all quick release skewers are tight and secure (wheels, seatpost etc)
- Give the brakes a good squeeze make sure the lever isn’t pulling all the way back to the handlebar and that the pads are lined up with the rim and not hitting the tyre.
- Have a look at the chain, if it is dry add some bike specific lube.
Weekly Bike Maintenance:
- Give the bike a clean, whilst wiping down check the frame for cracks and signs of wear.
- Turn the handlebars and make sure it isn’t tight or grinding, make sure there is no play at the handlebars (headset) when you pull the front brake and push the bike forward and backwards.
- Check all the bolts on the bike to make sure everything is tight (cranks, stem, pedals etc)
- Spin the wheel and check it’s straight and not wobbling, check there is no play in the axle and that there is no buckle to the rim.
- Give all the cables a drop of oil and make sure they are moving freely through the outer housing.
Monthly Bike Maintenance:
- Check for play in the moving parts, make sure there is no side to side play in the cranks, headset and wheel axles.
- Check brake pads and make sure they aren’t worn down, if you have disc brakes make sure the pads aren’t contaminated.
- Check the chain, cassette and chain rings for wear and replace if necessary.
- Clean down the entire drivetrain, re lube afterwards
- If you have suspension forks check them for smooth operation, grease and lube seals.
Yearly Bike Maintenance:
- Check all the cables to make sure they aren’t frayed, rusty or damaged in any way, replace as necessary.
- Replace bar tape or handlebar grips if worn.
- Remove and re grease all bearings (headset, wheels and bottom bracket)
- Give the whole bike a deep clean with a good de-greaser, making sure not to get it into bearings, then re-lube.
- Check the wheels over for loose or snapped spokes, wear to the rim or the disc rotors, check for cracking of the rim where the spoke nipples protrude.
Once you can keep up with a regular bike maintenance schedule like this, your bike will last longer, be much safer and stop you needing to take the bike to a mechanic so often.