Every bike needs maintenance from time-to-time and finding a qualified mechanic to service your bike is crucial, especially if you are an avid cyclist who rides your bike all the time. But this does not excuse you from never needing to perform your own maintenance on your bike. In fact, your mechanic will probably be pleased if you start taking care of a few simple repair and maintenance tasks on your own. In addition, doing so will lessen the amount you spend on repairs and decrease your risk of accidents by giving you a safer and smoother ride. Here are three things that every cyclist should be doing to their bike on a regular basis.
Cleaning and Greasing Seatposts
Bike mechanics spend an impressive amount of time every year just trying to keep up with the number of stuck seatposts they see. Here’s how you can easily help them out:
1. Regularly wipe off your seat post with a clean rag.
2. Spread a bit of grease over the inside of the seat tube.
3. Slide your seat post back to the right height for you and tighten using a good torque wrench.
I recommend you do this at least once, but preferably twice, every complete “riding season.” Your mechanic will be impressed you took the care and will be thankful you saved him the extra and preventable effort.
Wipe Off Your Bike Chain Every Now and Then
I hope you’ve been remembering to keep your bike chain properly lubed up for safe and smooth rides. But you only really want to lube under the centre roller and between side plates. Lubing elsewhere creates a greasy mess that makes your chain harder to maintain when more serious problems occur. It also causes your chain to be overly slick and this can sometimes lead to problems with your ride. Also, you get the benefit of keeping your legs cleaner since they don’t brush up against dirty and oily chains anymore! Only lube the chain when you observe truly tangible signs that it may be time. Over-lubing, even if you only do it in exactly the right places and keep your chain impeccably clean can lead to its own set of issues.
Make Sure There’s Lube on the Bottom Bracket Cable Guide
This one is often overlooked because it’s not absolutely necessary, and your mechanic will do it for you when you take it in, but I tell people they should do it anyway because it takes only a few seconds to complete and can dramatically increase the performance of your shifting which makes for a much more responsive and safe ride. All you need to do is locate the trough where your break cables thread through and wipe it out and then place a drop or two of lube and rub it in.
Yes, your mechanic can do all of these things for you, but why take the risk of waiting until you take your bike in in order to take care of these simple and effective maintenance techniques which not only make his job that much easier but make your riding experience measurably safer and more pleasurable? But despite any amount of maintenance and care you give your bike, accidents can still happen. This is why you should consider getting some insurance such as ProtectYourBuble.com bike insurance so you know you are covered in case something should happen while you’re on your bike.
Laura Ginn is a professional writer and blogger. She has recently taken up her bike again and enjoys sharing her knowledge of all things cycling with her readers because a little knowledge can lead to a better riding experience for everyone.