Your bicycle can give you many years of trusty service, but only if you treat it right in return. Just like your car requires regular oil changes to work properly, your bicycle needs regular maintenance. Some parts of your bike require only the occasional check-up – but others need monthly attention. The good news is that anyone can handle basic bicycle maintenance. Here are five bike parts to maintain and how to spot trouble:
Your chain is a crucial component of your bike, but it can also be the most fragile. You should inspect your chain every month and look for rust, dryness, looseness, or stiff links. Relube your chain if it is stiff and/or dry, and consider getting a brush set to clean your chain. A brush can get between the links easier than a cloth.
Bike tires typically need to be replaced when they’re worn; a patch kit is great for an emergency, but will only buy you a limited number of miles. Check your tires after every ride looking for nails, rocks, or other debris that need to be removed. Every 2,000 miles or so, look over tires for bald patches and dry rot. Look for large cracks in the outer tire that expose the tube (if you can repair the crack and maintain the inner tube, you may be able to put off tire replacement for a bit).
Loose spokes are often overlooked, but they are an important part of routine bike maintenance. Check your wheels monthly for loose spokes. Broken or loose spokes could be a sign that your wheels need to be trued (or have the spokes adjusted for even tension).
Most brake pads will last a full year (or about 6,000 miles). Check for the original grooves on rim brake pads, and measure to ensure at least 0.5mm of material on disc brakes. You should also lube the pivot points on your brakes every month or so if you ride regularly.
Cables control your brakes and gears, so they are vital to your bicycle. A visual inspection will usually reveal any rust or breakdown and alert you to the need for replacement. Frayed cables are also a bad sign. Give your cables longer life by lubing them regularly and keeping your bike out of conditions conducive to rust.
Bike maintenance is important, and learning how to lube a bicycle is just the beginning. Get into the habit or regular visual inspections of everything from your brake handles to the bottom of your tires. Check out the sixthreezero inventory of the best biking accessories and use our Body Fit tool to see which bicycles are designed for your body type. Our sixthreezero 21-Speed Bikes are made to handle any terrain, so they’re a good place to begin if you plan to hit mountain trails.Looking for more adventure on your well-tuned bike? Join our Journey Club to uncover new and exciting ride locations around the globe!
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