Mountain Bike Maintenance
The best way to boost longevity of your bike is through some quick maintenance. It’s better to spend a couple minutes today than having to hike the bike back 10 miles in uphill in the heat.
Not having a proper drive chain can cause the following issues of:
- Increased rate of chain wear.
- Reduced flexibility of chain links.
- Added wear on derailleur assemblies and drivetrain cogs.
- Impaired shifting performance.
To upkeep the chain, follow the steps below.
- First and foremost, try to get any excess dirt that could be clogging up the chain between the links, so use an old toothbrush to catch most of the dirt.
- Flip the bike upside down to apply lubricant on the chain to allow the links to be able to maneuver more easily. Pedal the bike to be able to keep the chain moving while applying an even keel of lube.
- Absorb any spill over lubricant with a rag, otherwise on your next ride it is easy for dirt to get caught back on the chain thus defeating the purpose.
Adding lubricants provide a sleek surface ensuring that minimal dirt gets attached to the bike. The more dirt that gets attached to the bike and goes through the grinding gears, the more the bike will experience wear and tear. Make sure the bike chain lubricant has the active ingredient of Teflon, as this provides the overall protection. Trust us, there is a difference in the longevity of life for products that contain Teflon vs using WD-40.
Every so often, if you want to go the extra mile, take your chain off the bike and put it in chain solvent allowing for the it to take out the scum out of the chains links and bushings.
Brake and derailleur assembly
While this consists of a lot of small moving parts, make sure that they are still loose. If they start to get stiff, apply lube to pivot points. Get a toothbrush and generously douse it with WD40 loosening any hardened dirt. Check out the best ways to make sure your breaks are in best shape in the video below.
Check the Wheels
Spin each wheel making sure that while it turns, the tie doesn’t sway or wobble from side to side. If the wheel isn’t aligned properly, it will move left and right while you are spinning it indicating that the rim isn’t aligned. If this is the case, then it will cause insufficient friction on your brakes, as there is no longer a steady smooth surface to provide even stoppage as well as wear and tear on your tire tread.
First check the spokes of the wheel and determine if there is tension in the spokes. If one side has no tension, you have to replace the rim, If there is tension, you can adjust the tension of the spokes twisting the spoke knobs at the bottom of the rim to the right to further the tension. Twist it to the left to loosen it to allow the rim to be pulled. If the wheel has high or low spots, tighten the spokes on the high spot and loosen those on the low spot, usually opposite the high spot. But loosen the low spot spokes before tightening the high spot spokes.
Upkeep Tires and Tubes
Additionally, check the lining of your tire at the same time looking to remove any foreign objects inside the tire, tube, and rim. The longer any thorns, rocks etc stay inside, the more likely it will result in a premature popping of the tire.
Check the pressure because it is standard for some air to escape over time. Keep the tubes between a pressure of 30 and 45 psi. The lower the psi the more traction it provides for the ride, however it also raises the likelihood of the tire popping. The higher the pressure results in a faster ride, adjust the pressure based on your upcoming ride.