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Bicycle Maintenance: Tips to Make Your Mountain Bike Last Longer

So you’ve recently bought a mountain bike. That’s great! You’re done shopping for your gears, and you can’t wait to hit the trails. Not so fast. Since a bike is an investment, you want to make sure that it lasts for a long time. Proper bicycle maintenance will help keep your bike in top shape and make it last longer.

Most people assume that the more expensive the bike is, the longer its lifespan. But that’s not always the case. There are a lot of factors that influence the life expectancy of your bike. How you treat and use your bike will determine how long it will last. Mountain bikes do not last a lifetime, but with proper care and maintenance, they can last for several years.

Here are some tips to make your mountain bike last longer.

Develop a pre-ride checklist

Develop a pre-ride checklist

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Mountain biking can be a whole lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous. To avoid problems on the trail, we highly recommend that you inspect your bike before each ride.

Start by checking the wheels for rips, tears or cuts. Also, make sure that they are inflated according to the specification. It is also a good idea to take your pump and patch kit with you when riding.

Check the brakes. You want to make sure that you can make your bike stop at once. Otherwise, you may run the risk of getting into an accident. Stand in front of your bike and hold the handlebars. Test both front and back brakes one at a time.  The front or the rear wheel shouldn’t move if you apply pressure on either brake. If it does, then your brake needs adjusting. Don’t forget to check the chain. Make sure it is clean and lubricated. Take it to a bike shop if you notice any problem.

Having a pre-ride checklist will improve riding efficiency while maximizing safety. This bicycle maintenance tip will help you catch issues early on before they develop into safety hazards.

Clean your bike regularly

Clean your bike regularly

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It is an absolute essential to clean your mountain bike after a muddy ride. We understand that this isn’t the most exhilarating part of mountain biking, but it needs to be done. If you wait until the dirt or mud dries up before cleaning your bike, you’ll have a harder time getting rid of it.

A bucket of soapy water, old toothbrush, sponge, and a rag are all you need to clean your bike. Avoid using a pressure washer as it can cause damage to your bike. Make sure that you dry your bike thoroughly after washing to prevent rust.

Keeping your mountain bike clean is an important part of bicycle maintenance. It will help maintain its appearance and keep your bike in good shape. It will also keep your rig riding smoother for longer. Although it is important to keep your bike clean, don’t go overboard. Frequent cleaning may rob the pivot points and other parts of lubrication and grease.

Check your bike when you crash

 

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Crashing is inevitable when mountain biking. Even veteran mountain bikers crashed a few times when they were just starting out.

If you do crash, check and make sure that you don’t have any injuries. Just because you’re fine, that doesn’t mean that you can ride the bike again. Make sure you can move and feel all your limbs before getting up. Also, assess damage and injury on both yourself and your bike prior to continuing your ride.

It is important to give your bike a once over to make sure that there isn’t any broken part. This will save you from serious injury by riding a broken bike and save hundreds of dollars in extra damage.

The wheels usually incur damage during a crash, so make sure to check the wheels first. Make sure there are no spokes sticking out and that the tires hold enough air pressure. Also, examine the chain to ensure it is still in one piece. Check for a bent derailleur hanger after a crash. Don’t forget to check the position of the shifters and brake levers. Lastly, check the frame. If you’re riding a bike with carbon frame, carefully inspect the frame for deep scratches and cracks. This type of frame tends to crack more quickly, which can lead to serious injuries and add further damage to your bike.

Add lubricant

Add lubricant

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Lubricating your bike is important as it helps keep corrosion and rust at bay. A properly lubricated bike performs better and makes braking and shifting smooth. It also protects the moving parts from freezing up and excessive wear.

Lubing your bike is especially important in winter. Ice, snow, and rain can wreak havoc on your bike, and lead to premature wear and tear. Apply lubricant to the chain to make it last longer. Rotate the pedals in a counter-clockwise direction while doing so. Also, put a few drops of oil on all the small moving parts of the derailleur, brake assemblies, brake and shifter levers, brake and derailleur cables, and derailleur assemblies. Wipe away excess oil to keep from attracting dust.

Make sure to clean your bike chain thoroughly before applying lubricant. You shouldn’t lubricate your bike unless it’s squeaky clean. In winter, it is important to clean and lubricate the chain after a long ride. Lubing should also be done once it gets noisy. Apply a small amount of lubricant to see if that solves the problem. It’s fine to lubricate the chain less frequently in summer. Twice a month is fine if you ride daily. Other parts of the bike don’t need to be lubricated as often as the chain.

Lubing the chain can be challenging for beginners, but once you get the hang of it, it will only take you a few minutes to complete this bicycle maintenance step.

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