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Bike Maintenance Guide: Everything you Need to Know

A mountain bike is an investment, so you must follow specific steps to protect it. If you want to keep all of the components in mint condition, you’ll need to implement strategic maintenance procedures before and after each bike trip.

How to Maintain a Bicycle Before Each Trip

When a bike travels on pavement, dirt, and rocky terrain, the tires take a lot of abuse. This is why you must inspect the tire pressure before every trip. For this task, you’ll need to use a digital gauge, which can be found at most sporting good stores. If the pressure in the tires is where it should be, you won’t have to deal with a flat during your adventures down various mountain trails.

Next, test the brakes by taking a short trip around your home. While the bike is in motion, gently pump the brakes. If they feel somewhat loose, an air bubble has generated within the equipment. However, you can eliminate the air by pumping the brakes several times. Other mountain bike maintenance procedures must be implemented if the brakes are soft. In this situation, you must inspect the lines for a possible leak. If the lines are in good condition, check the pads because they probably need to be replaced.

Finally, thoroughly examine the bike’s shifting components by taking a test drive down a slightly steep hill. Whenever the gears on a bicycle don’t operate properly, the thru-axles or the skewers will require maintenance.

Bike Maintenance at the End of the Trip

After you park the bike, ensure that the handlebars and frame have no bruises or cracks. These cosmetic flaws usually affect bicycles that are made out of a carbon material.

If your bicycle accidentally crashed into an obstacle on the trail, check the brakes, drive train, and other vital components. Any damaged parts must be serviced quickly in order to prevent unnecessary crashes and collisions during your next biking trip.

Cleaning Mountain Bike

You shouldn’t wash your mountain bike at the end of every biking adventure. Occasional washes are highly recommended because soap and water can remove paint and damage the bike’s metal material over time. If you take trips in muddy environments regularly, you’ll probably need to clean the bicycle several times a week. In a normal biking environment, dirt and mud won’t ruin a mountain bike’s cosmetic appeal very easily, so a typical mountain biker can keep a bicycle clean by washing it once a week.

When cleaning a mountain bike, never use a commercial-grade hose or a pressure washer. Instead, wipe the components gently with mild soap and a soft rag. Strong soaps should be avoided because the chemicals can harm the paint and any components that have lubrication.

You must clean the suspension system regularly since mud and dust can affect how efficiently the shocks function whenever the bike jumps and lands on the ground. Also, when suspension stanchions are cleaned, less dirt contaminates the oil that lubricates vital shock components.

Mountain Bike Chain Maintenance

Once the chain is properly cleaned, apply a good lube that’s specifically designed for bicycles. If you need help picking a correct product, contact a local shop that sells sporting goods.

A lube should be applied at the end of each ride because this strategy gives the product time to soak into the metal material. When lube is applied before a trip, sand, dust, and debris sticks to the chain. This is a huge problem because a grimy drive train won’t perform efficiently in an off-road environment.

When using the lube, squeeze a small amount into each link. If there is any excess liquid on the chain, wipe it off with a paper towel.

Annual Maintenance Tips

A bicycle will need professional maintenance services at the start of each season to help increase the life of the bike. If you visit a reputable bike maintenance shop, a technician will most likely always check the shocks, brakes, tire sealants and the hubs.

Most shops have different service rates based on the amount of work that needs to be done. However, if you only need basic bike maintenance, you’ll probably have to pay $100 to $400.

Overall, bike maintenance tasks should never be ignored. When a bike has components that are well-maintained, performance, reliability, and efficiency never suffers on the trails. If you’re going to tackle certain tasks on your own, you may want to invest in a bike maintenance stand.

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