Bike Maintainence. What you need to know.
Just like a car a well maintained bike will run smoother and will increase service interval times.
You dont have to be a Cytech qualified mechanic to do your own maintainence. Basic things can help to keep your bike running smooth.
Firstly a clean bike is a happy bike!!
Basic cleaning of the bike will keep your bike looking good but will encourage you to check over the frame and components for damage. This can be done with hot soapy water and specific cleaning products from such brands as Muc off.
The most important parts to keep clean and lubricated are your chain and cassette. By doing this you will stop the build up of dirt and grime that will increase wear and decrease the friction on the chain rollers leading to faster rolling and smoother shifting.
*insert our how to video for bike chain cleaning and lubrication*
Once your bike is clean it is now time to do a bolt check. To do this get a decent quality set of allen keys, sizes you should need are 3,4,5,6,8mm and a t25 torx key.
Check all of your stem bolts are tightened as well as all controls on your bars, hold opn to the front brake and push the bike forwards and backwards. if anymovement is detected you will need to adjust your headset.
Then move down and tighten all brake bolts and disc rotors if you have them. You may need a t25 torx for this). Soin your wheel to make sure you have no brake rub.
*insert brake adjust video*
If you forks have bolted crowns theses should also be checked as should your wheels to make sure they are correctly secured and tyre pressures are correct and there ar no tears in the tyre. If there are replace the tyre straight away.
Next check your pedals are tight. You will need a 15mm soanner for this. Shift the bike into outer chain ring as if the spanner slips if will stop you hitting the chainring. Next use an make sure your crank arms are tight. This may vary from chainset to chainset usually involving two 8mm allen keys on each crank arm or on more modern 2 piece cranks a preload bolt and pinch bolt.
Once you have done this check your chainring bolts. This is often overlooked and can ruin a ride if you loose one.
Next make sure your saddle is tight and in the correct position, too nose high can put pressure on the perineal nerve, too nose down and your body is not supported. Experiment and find what suits you best.
From time to time you should remove your seat post from the frame, especially if you ride in wet conditions as water can run down the seat post and into the seat tube causing bondiing issues. To do this get some electrical tape and put it on the seat tube right above the seat clamp to mark you saddle height. Remove the post and wipe it down with a rage and clean inside of your frame. now for alloy posts in alloy/steel/titanium frames you can use a standard grease. For any carbon posts or frame you must use a carbon assembly paste as grease is not reccomended on carbon products.
Now at the rear of the bike make sure your wheel is correctly secured. now tight your brake bolts as you did on the front brake and spin the wheel to make sure it spins freely.
Nearly there now!!
With your chain and cassette all clean you can check your jockey wheels on your derailler with a 3mm allen key and make sure the dereailler is tight and hanger is straight. if this looks all ok you can now adjust your gears
*insert gear adjust *
So thats it a few simple steps to keep you bike running sweet.