It’s easy to buy a bike from shop, hit the trails and think everything is going as how it should be, but this is not the case, there is always room for improvement. There is almost nothing more annoying than having to deal with chain repairs in the middle of a bike trail. Technical difficulties while riding downhill trails automatically also becomes a safety issues.
One way of making sure you will not come across a broken or stuck chain while riding, is taking good day-to-day care of your bike‘s chain. Cleaning the chain after riding is a large part of keeping good maintenance of your bike‘s chain. After a downhill ride in any of the trails, the chain will probably be full of mud and debris. It is most important to clean your chain before your next ride, so your chain won‘t get stuck or break.
You have already paid good penny on your bike, so why not to give some more detailing of bike. Regular maintenance is necessary in order to maintain your bike rolling safely for longer time.
Steps in Mountain Bike Maintenance
#1: Clean Your Bike
If you really want to increase life of your bike, sure way of doing so is to keeping it clean. Use basic cleaner such as Simple Green, sponge, towel and old toothbrush to clean each and every part.
Remove the seat post in order to clean everything – frame, chain, chain rings, cassette, derailleur, pedals, brakes and seat.
And also add small amount of grease before reinstalling it.
#2: Inspect Your Brakes
Brakes are one of the most important parts of bike and it is highly needed that you ensure they are in good condition and also properly adjusted.
Check the brake pads, small rectangular metallic or rubric surface that actually rubs against the disk. Make use of flashlight in order to assess whether pads are wearing evenly.
#3: Watch Your Wheels
Properly tuned and turned wheels means proper sink between tyre and dirt. Wheels hold your tires in place and provide stability and smoothness while you are riding. Elevate your bike and spin the bike; both the wheels should move smoothly.
Replace your wheel if denting or other damage is excessive. Mechanic should take on if you are not sure what you are doing.
#4: Check Both Tires
Usually mountain bike travel unlikely surfaces like mud, rocks, roots and ladder bridges, because of that mountain bike tires offer traction with ground.
First of all check tyre pressure, ideal pressure will vary according to terrain on which you are riding.
Air will escape naturally from your tyres, so be sure to invest in good floor pump with gauge. Also check your tires for split.
#5: Check the Cables
Cables are made up of metal wire or oil caged in a plastic housing. Cables connects brakes and shifters on the handlebars to the deraulleur and brake pads. Connected to the shifters assist with moving the chain from one gear to another.
Dirty and worn cables can create problems while braking and shifting, If you usually ride in mud you must clean out your cables every couple of months. Dial the cable tension adjuster down at the handlebar then turn it back one turn, this will put cable in the starting position. New cable or oil make bike shifting or braking smoother which increases bikes performance.
#6: Inspect the Drive Train
Bike’s drive train includes pedals, chain, chaining, derailleur and real wheel cassette. This part of the bike is important because it transfers power generated by your legs to the wheel, which moves the bike.
In order to clean this part you need a partner or bike stand to assist in tune up. While checking raise the rear wheel and spin. In this time shift through all the gears and one thing is important that shifting should be smooth and easy to perform.
Inspect the chain, chain rings, derailleur and cassette for damage. One thing to remember that small chain rings wear out sooner as compared to large chain rings. Chain is the most frequently replaced component part of the drive train.
#7: Add Lubricants
Drive chain will let out an ear piercing sequel and shift gears smoothly. With your bike in a work stand grasp the chain with rag as you packpedal to remove grime from the rollers as well as side plates. Dry the chain using clean rag and use same technique to clean it.
Properly lubricated bike makes braking and shifting smooth which eventually result into increase of bike performance. You can fix minor rust spots by rubbing them with steel wool, it is usually very difficult to remove dust from certain parts like chain, which you should simply replace.
#8: Check the Fit
On your test ride make sure that nothing feels off since last time you rode your bike. This is the time to adjust your saddle or post height. Check to make sure your dropper post is working if you have.
Correct saddle height lets the rider pedal efficiently with the pelvis perfectly still on the seat (no side-to-side rocking motion). A higher seat lets you climb better, and takes stress off your knees. Mountain bikers often set their saddle height for efficient climbing, then switch to a lower seat height for better control on rough descents. Before you start your riding your bike must be in right fit and actively functionable. Start with the saddle rails in the “average” middle position. Clip into the pedals. If you’re riding with platform pedals, position the foot in your usual “riding gently uphill” position.
Other Activities To Take Into Action
- Check whether quick release skewers are correctly tightened. After this open the lever and confirm that the axle is straight with firm inside the dropouts and then close the lever again. At the end of the lever has left a mark in your palm make tight enough. You must ensure that the closed lever points either straight up or towards the rear of the bike in order to decrease the so that it will catch it on something while riding.
- Go and check over all bolts whether they are tight enough, while doing all this stuff most difficult part is to remember all the bolts. But is also excellent way in order to get familiar with your bike, because you are going to learn each single part.
- Three signs in order to understand that your brake pads are worn are: all disappeared from groves in the pad, you feel stickness in your brake, if you hear gritty scraping sound.
- When your disc brakes are bleeding remove them immediately and make use of spacer in order to hold piston’s in place.
- Flip your bike upside-down and try to rotate slowly each wheel. Appropriately set up and functioning bearings should roll flawlessely and the rear wheel should be brought to a stop by the pawls of the free hub.
- Try to spin each wheel little faster this time and keep watching till tyre at point where it meets the rim to confirm whether bead is correctly seated. If you find that if there not enough release of air from tyre in order to enable you to manipulate the bead into correct position.
- When you spin the wheel try hear voice if there is any. Visually try to check rim brake pads are on equal distance away from the rim. Bikers who are having disc brakes try to check visually rotor alignment, because misaligned rotors are the main reason of disc brake sequel.
- When you ride usually your hands are the main contact points with the bike, so obviously you want grips that will keep your hands comfortable and maintain control while you are riding. Most of the time basic version bikes come with basic grips which offers rarely great comfort. If your bike has good grip means it will reduce chatter and allow lighter hold on the bar, which result into better bike handling.
- Now reattach the lights and any other accessories you have took off, turn bikes front light and make sure the light is bright, then only do the same check with back light also.
- When thing it comes to traction on the ground, the most important part is tyre pressure. If tyre pressure is too high then tyre will deflect off the surface and which leads to loss in traction; in other hand if it is too low then it will result into worse dented rims.
- Most of the manufacturers are now majorly focusing on bike tires, but that doesn’t depict that they are right for all your local conditions. Look for people in your area find out area ride and rates,. In is great to know difference between treads.
- Bikes which comes with cheap derailleurs usually lacks spring tension of higher quality models and it will allow chain slap against the frame. In order to save frames paint and reduce metal sound you must fit chainstay protector.
- Expensive models comes with corrosion protection which usually lacks in basic bikes. It is high point to keep your chain cleaned and protect from unnecessary drive train wear and rusting.
- You must regularly inspect your carbon fiber frame for cracks and if there is any scratches then touch up it with nail polish with couple of coats.
- Most of the suspensions run on some form of lubricants in order to keep it sliding worth smoothness. Dirt quickly causes wear because it is often attracted to the outside of the seals. For best performance try a light stanchion lube to reduce seal stiction and improve seal life.
- There should be no excuse for component failure from wear and tear, it all can be prevented through regular basis maintenance. And point to remember is that just because your bike is cheaper doesn’t mean it will give lesser joy. As long as you keep your bike in good conditioned it will certainly give you that extra joy.
- Some time due to lack of experience or lack of proper tool for job you are not able repair your bike. In such cases don’t ignore it, meet bike professional and take their help to solve out the problem.
- When you rolling your bike to a shop for repair, don’t expect on the spot checking, due to type of problem and overload mechanic can not perform right in front of you. But try to take your bike towards expert level of professionals.
Before Every Ride
- Check tyre pressure
- Check brakes
- Check shifting
- Check pedals
- Check fit
- Check bolts
- Check screws
After Every Ride
- Inspect bike
- Clean Bike
- Wipe down suspension stanchions
- Lube drive train
- Park it safe
Things To Keep In Mind
- Make sure springs on quick release are installed correctly
- Don’t use solvent to lube your chain
- Refresh sealant on your tubeless setup
- Check carbon part whether it moves when it not supposed to
- Pluck your spokes often
- Install quick release skewers
- Avoid shredded fingertip
- Cut cables using bike specific cable cutter
- Never use brake housing with shift cable
- You should cut shift housing square and brake housing at angle
- Make use of metal ferrule at the housing entrance
- Invest in quality bike tools
- At the time of tune up work from front to back or top to bottom
- Use smartphone or camera at the time of disassemble
- Make use of degreaser to soak the edge of rag
- To remove black grime from your rims use rubbing alcohol
- Replace worn seatpost clamp
- Chains and cogs wear together
- Protect frames from rubs
- Apply lube to chains rollers
- Make use of sandpaper to roughen glazed brake pads
It is really important thing to have you are servicing your bike each and every season, usually in the late winter or spring before the pinnacle of biking season ramps up. This usually includes servicing shocks, forks, brakes, rebuilding hubs, tire sealant, replacing the bottom bracket, or simply a detailed inspection, deep clean, and lube.
If you can do all this for your bike then there is nothing great than this. Bike shops which does this maintenance work usually take $100 to $500 for their services. Their cost varies according to what needs to be done and how complicated or expensive your bike. If you don’t know anything about maintenance of bike then you must be ready to par around $150 to $300 as per your bike.
Also point to be noted that number of times servicing your bike and parts directly proportional to how well you maintain your bike, how many miles you covered and conditions in which you usually ride.