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To the surprise of many novice riders, mountain bikes aren’t cheap. In fact, most models cost a few thousand dollars. Given the amount of money you have spent on your bike, you want to make sure that your investment doesn’t go to waste. You may be tempted to tuck it into your bedroom at night, but that won’t make your bike last longer. If you want to make the most out of your investment, make sure that you give it the proper care and mountain bike maintenance it requires.
A well-running bike will not only make riding more fun and enjoyable, it can also make your bike last longer. Here are 6 mountain bike maintenance tricks to help extend the life of your bike.
Clean Your Mountain Bike
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A lot of road grit can get on your bike, especially when you ride in wet or dirty conditions. After riding for several hours, it can be tempting to put off washing the bike. Don’t. If left long enough, the mud and grit can wear down many different components on your bike. It may ride fine after one muddy ride, but you wouldn’t want to risk it. A few minutes of cleaning is all it takes to keep your bike in tip-top shape.
Mud is one of the biggest killers of mountain bikes. If you don’t rinse all that gunk off, it may inevitably win the war. If you want to keep your bike running its best for longer, we highly recommend that you pull out the garden hose and give your mountain bike a quick wash after every ride.
Inspect Your Bike
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Inspect your bike after every ride. This is especially important if you have crashed on your ride. Make sure there are no cracks in the handlebars or frames. While you’re at it, you may also want to check the brakes, drivetrain, and other items too.
Have your bike serviced immediately if you find any issue. The last thing you want is for small problems to turn into bigger, more complicated issues. Not only will it have a significant impact on the overall performance of your bike, it may also leave you with a hefty repair bill.
Proper Storage Is a Must
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Aside from mountain bike maintenance, proper storage is a must to ensure that your bike lasts for a long time. Ideally, you want to store your bike indoors. The garage or the basement would be a great place to store your bike. Not only will it protect your bike from theft, it also protects your bike from the elements; thus, ensuring that it stays in good condition.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a space to store their bike. Mountain bikes make for an awkward object to store when not in use. They can take up too much space, which makes it a bit of a hassle if you live in a small apartment. Luckily, there are several bike storage solutions that allow you to mount your bike on the walls or ceilings. This will not only get your bike off the floor, it also prevents your ride from getting knocked over.
Keep Your Chain Lubed
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You can tell that a rider is an amateur based on the clamor his or her bike is making. Consistent squeaking coming from your drivetrain is usually due to dry, rusted or dirty chain.
A rusted, dried out chain is not only annoying, it can also cause damage to your drivetrain. What’s more, it can also negatively impact shifting performance. Chain lubrication is one of the most important mountain bike maintenance tips you should never ignore.
Clean the chain regularly and apply some good quality bike-specific lubricant. One of the best practices when applying lubricant is to apply a drop on the top of each link assembly. Hold the rug against the chain while backpedaling to get rid of any excess lubricant. Be cautious in applying lubricant. Overlubrication can be just as bad as not having any lubrication.
Check the Tires
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Nothing is more frustrating than finding out that you have a flat tire during the ride. Before leaving the house, check the tires and make sure that they are set within the recommended tire pressure.
The tires are your bike’s only connection to the road. The more you ride, the more likely is it to pick up bits of sharp objects and glasses on the road. This can pierce the tire and eventually burst the inner tube. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you check the tires before and after each ride. Pay attention in areas where the rubber might be worn, gouged or cracked.
Check the Brakes
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Your brakes are one of the most important components of the bike. Being able to stop at a moment’s notice can prevent accidents. As such, you want to make sure that your brake components are properly adjusted and in good condition. Give your brakes an overall check before every ride. Check to see if the front and rear brakes are working properly.
It is also best to have them checked by a professional periodically. This is beneficial as it helps identify issues early on and have them fixed right away. Additionally, regular mountain bike maintenance can help you enjoy a hassle-free ride. Take your bike in more frequently if you ride aggressively and more often.