Did Santa bring you a new bike for Christmas? Are you looking to get fit this year on your New ride? Well, if you you need to know how to look after it.
The most important thing is to keep your bike clean. After every ride give your bike a hose down to get all the thick mud and clarts off, grab your sponge and give it a good scrub. Don’t be afraid to get into all the parts like the cassette, chain and derailleurs! Just be careful around your brakes as the brake pads are notorious for soaking up soaps and oils. If you do contaminate your brake pads don’t worry, these are a cheap and easy fix to replace.
When you get to cleaning your cassette and chain, it might be worth getting an old toothbrush or something of that nature to scrape away the dirt that builds up. Using something like a toothbrush allows you to give your parts a deep clean to remove the old dirt, lube and oil. If you were to just apply more lube to the drivetrain parts without washing the old stuff off, this can cause issues with shifting gears and the overall movement of those parts.
Once the parts are cleaned, make sure you replace all the old lube and oil you rubbed off to keep the rust and dirt at bay!
Keep your tyres in good nick, if you skid round the block like our very own B. Chappers then definitely keep an eye on them! There is nothing worse than having to pull up and fix a puncture when out riding, so ways to reduce that eventuality would be to keep tabs on the pressure of your tyres and look for damage and wear. After a while and depending on where you store your bike, scuffs and cracks in the tyre may appear (they shouldn’t be there if you just got it at Xmas). However, after a few months of use, if you see these appearing on your tyres, get a new set!
Whilst on the topic of tyres, if punctures are something you are looking to minimise, it may be worth looking into tubeless set up, should your wheels and tyres be compatible. So, if you do happen to get a puncture, the sealant will fill the gap until you get round to plugging it up.
Make sure to keep all your bolts and screws nice and tight. It’s always good to check areas like the bolts that attach your handlebar to your stem and the other components alongside your bars such as the gear shifters and brake levers. Should these become loose just give them a quick nip up with an Allen key.
It might also be a good idea to get yourself a multi tool, super handy to keep on you when you are out lashing the trails. As rare as it may be you never know when your bike parts might need a bit of tinkering and tightening up. A multi tool could be the thing that gets you back home safely.
One thing that always gets overlooked when maintaining your bike are your brakes, especially the pads. These can wear down at various speeds due to many different factors such as the quality and material of the pads, how hard and often they are used and also the weight of the bike believe it or not! So, if you have an E-bike, check more often than you would on a regular bike as it takes more to slow the bike down due to its weight.
As long as there is braking material on the pads you are good to go!
The final thing to do to keep your wheels in tip top shape would be to book regular services, these can be anywhere between 6 months and 12 months depending on how much you ride. Keeping your bike well maintained is also a great way to reduce any unexpected costs when it comes down to servicing day and also gives you peace of mind when out riding…