Whether you use a bicycle daily as your main form of transportation, or for infrequent recreational use, you’ll want to keep it in top condition and avoid unnecessary wear or premature aging. Here are five simple tips which will help you maintain your bike and keep it performing well for a very long time.
1. Keep Your Tires Inflated
Under-inflated tires don’t just make your ride less pleasant–they can also damage your tubes and cause your tires to wear much faster. The tires on road bikes tend to need re-inflating more regularly than off-road bikes, but you should check the pressure before every ride regardless.
If you find that your tires are soft, use the recommended PSI on the tire to make sure you’re not over-inflating, which can also cause problems. Sometimes you may need to experiment to find the optimal PSI. Many tires have a recommended range, and road conditions and rider size play a big part in what works best.
2. Regularly Check the Bolts
Over time, the bolts holding your bicycle together can wiggle loose. When this happens, it can put stress on various components of your bike, causing it to wear faster or get damaged. Regularly checking these bolts can prevent this problem from happening. If you find any loose bolts, use the torque specifications in the owners manual to keep you from over-tightening and to properly restore the bolts where needed.
3. Store Your Bicycle Properly
One of the easiest and most important ways to preserve the life of your bicycle is to store it properly. Outdoor bike storage in an unprotected area can result in extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, moisture, and even neighbourhood animals. All of these can damage your bike and shorten its lifespan. Storing it in a bike storage shed can protect your ride and greatly minimize wear and tear, extending its life and usability.
4. Regularly Lubricate Moving Parts
Lubricating your bicycle regularly is vital for proper bike maintenance. Lube will keep away rust and corrosion and will help avoid an excess amount of friction, keeping away premature wear. An absence of lubrication, especially on your bike’s chain, can result in a bike which responds poorly and is stiff and squeaky to ride. Lubricate frequently with a proper bike lube, and wipe off any excess lube before riding it so that you don’t attract and collect dust and dirt.
5. Don’t Neglect Cleaning
When you come home from riding your bicycle, spend a few moments wiping off any grime or dirt before you put it back in your bike storage shed. Allowing mud and other substances to remain on your bicycle frame can result in corrosion and rust, and if they get in your chain or other moving parts they can cause wear and tear. A brief cleaning and drying of your ride after use can play a huge part in keeping your bicycle looking and performing in a like-new fashion.