The life of your bike will be extended with regular maintenance. Try our one-hour tune up this month!
Clean your bike – it may not seem like an important part of the tune-up, but checking out your components is much easier with a clean bike. Plus you will stay cleaner, work faster, and enjoy this tune-up with a clean bike.
Chain – your chain touches every aspect of your drive train. A worn chain can cause damage to other components of your bike. Inspect for rust, cracks, and stiff links. If you can pull your chain straight off the chain-rings and fully expose a tooth, you should replace the chain.
Bottom Bracket – this is the part of your bike that your pedals go through. These bearings take the brunt of the pedaling abuse. Spin your bottom bracket backwards (as if pedaling backwards). If you see anything other than buttery smooth movement, consider replacing the bearings.
Gears – bikes that have indexed gears (one click on the gear selector moves to another gear ring) need to be adjusted periodically. If you are unable to select every combination of gearing on your bike (front and back gears) consider re-indexing/adjusting your derailleurs.
Cables – over time break and gear cables will stretch, wear out, and become dirty. Replacing your cables is an easy job that only takes a few minutes to have your bike feeling like new again.
Headset Bearings – this is the part where the front tire forks meets your bike frame (how you turn the bike). Mud and grime tend to build up in this bearing. Cleaning it by removing the front fork and handlebars and re-greasing this bearing will prolong the life of your bike.
Seat post – your seat post can fuse to the frame over time without annual maintenance. Mark the height on the post before loosening and removing the post (and saddle/bike seat) from the frame. Wipe old grime and grease from the frame and post. Re-grease the post before re-installing and adjusting the seat to the mark you made.
Accessories – look over your bike and see what else may be installed that you are no longer using or is broken/worn. It is easy to overlook a broken water bottle cage or a missing grip or torn handle bar tape on a regular basis. Take time now to replace or remove these extras.
Performing this tune-up twice a year will extend the life of your bicycle by many years. If you’d like to learn how to perform any or all of these tasks, join us for one of our bicycle maintenance events. We advertise our events on Facebook and in our monthly newsletter.
Our articles also appear in the Montevallo Chamber Chatter - find us in print there!