In this post, we start with the fundamentals of Basics Maintenance of a Mountain Bike: a pre-ride examination, tightening bolts, and cleaning and lubricating important parts.
Don’t forget to have a bike technician do routine maintenance. If you ride often, take your bike in for twice-yearly tune-ups to ensure that intricate, challenging-to-assess parts like spokes, bearing surfaces, derailleurs, and cables are constantly examined and maintained. Experienced technicians should constantly maintain and tinker with specific bicycle components.
Shop Degreasers and Lubricants for Bikes
Examining Your Bicycle
Pre-ride inspections are the most significant line of protection against loose parts. This will assist you in identifying possible issues before they become safety threats. A basic bike multitool may be used to do most pre-ride inspection changes.
Air, Brakes, and Chain are the ABCs.
Check the “ABC’s” before every ride to increase safety and extend the life of your bike.
chain, brake lever, and bicycle tire
The letter A stands for air because properly inflated tires help avoid flats. The appropriate tire pressure is listed on the sidewall of your tire. Make sure your quick-release levers and through axles (if you have them) are correctly tightened as you check the pressure in the tires. Next, make sure you have a patch kit and a pump with you before you ride.
To ensure that the brakes engage correctly and smoothly, squeeze the front and rear brake levers.
Look at your chain and all the gears—C is for Chain. Your bike will shift more easily and the drivetrain, which consists of the chain, back cassette, rear derailleur, and front chain rings, will last longer if you keep everything clean and greased.
The many nuts and bolts that bicycles use to hold them together. Keeping everything “tight ship” is crucial since poorly fastened, or loose bike components may cause major damage, poor performance, and a safety concern.
Consult your owner’s handbook for the correct torque specifications before tightening any bike bolts. The failure or destruction of a component might result from overtightening.
Keeping Your Bike Lubricated and Clean
washing a bicycle
A regular maintenance schedule (monthly, weekly, or more often, depending on the kind of riding you do) is crucial. Plan to clean your bike more regularly if you frequently ride in muddy, damp weather or if you ride aggressively.
For optimal functioning, bike components must be regularly cleaned and oiled. Moving components are shielded by lubrication from excessive frictional wear, “freezing up,” and rust and corrosion.
Basic Maintenance of a Mountain Bike
But be cautious. Over-lubrication may result in subpar operation and component damage (excess lubricant will attract dirt and other abrasive particles). In general, extra lubrication should always be gently wiped off before riding the bicycle.
Remember to apply the lubricants in the correct sequence when lubricating many components at once. Giving the lubricants time to sink in, remove excess lube in the same sequence as you applied it.
Most lubrication and cleaning operations may be completed with these basic tools:
Rags, brushes, and soapy water for cleaning ( Basics Maintenance of a Mountain Bike)
Keep plenty of clean rags on available for operations involving grease, oil, and wax as well as for routine cleaning and drying.
Brushes: Have a variety of sizes and shapes so you can remove filth that rinsing alone can’t reach. Old toothbrushes are quite useful.
Water: When utilized properly, water may be useful, but exercise caution in this situation. Water from high-pressure hoses, in particular, might damage your bike’s sensitive bearing systems.
Use mild dishwashing soap or a specially-made bike wash cleaner to clean the frame.
Avoid using kerosene or turpentine when cleaning greasy items like your bike chain. Instead, use a degreaser designed for bikes. Select a solvent that is environmentally friendly (and you). Use appropriate disposal for all solvents.
Chain lubricant: Properly lubricating your chain can help your powertrain last longer. Always lubricate a clean chain using bicycle-specific lubrication oil.
Lubricant comes in two varieties: wet and dry. When biking in damp circumstances, moist lube is recommended. The drivetrain is tightly adhered on, and rain is less likely to wash it off. However, grit and grime can also adhere to it, so be sure to wipe off any extra lubrication.
In a dry atmosphere, dry lube performs best. Dry lube helps grit and grime lessen its ability to stick to it, but if you find yourself riding in the rain, it does rinse off easily.
Bike stand: This will let you position the bike so that you can work on it at a comfortable height. Additionally, it will enable you to flip the pedals or take the wheels off to clean all the moving and difficult-to-reach components.
How and What to Clean ( Basic Maintenance of a Mountain Bike)
The majority of grimy bike parts may be cleaned by delicately wiping them with a moist (or dry) cloth. Other parts sometimes need to be brushed, scrubbed, and relubricated.
The most regular maintenance should go to your drivetrain (front chain rings, rear cassette, rear derailleur, and chain), so watch our video for some helpful advice.
The chain is the lubricated component on your bike that is most “at danger.” Chains should be frequently cleaned and lubricated to reduce the rate of wear.
Use a cloth and degreaser to clean chains that don’t have a lot of built-up filth. Use a chain cleaning tool for particularly grimy chains since it is more comprehensive and much less messy.
Apply droplets of lubrication gently to the chain, getting some on each link, once the degreaser has dried. Let the lube dry before wiping up any leftover lubrication to prevent it from attracting additional dirt.
Generally speaking, lube your chain each time it squeaks or seems “dry.” Chain lubrication after damp rides will help prevent corrosion.
Turn the pedals while brushing and degreasing the front chainrings and the rear cassette. If there is a lot of accumulated filth, wipe off any leftover dust and “floss” between the gears using cloths.
Lever pivots and barrel adjusters on brake and derailleur levers should be lubricated frequently to keep them operating correctly.
For the brake and derailleur cables to successfully relay your orders to the component groups, they should be checked periodically (particularly in rainy weather) and sometimes relubricated.
Derailleur and brake systems are made up of several tiny moving components. Watch out for their arms, wheels, and pulleys to prevent binding or rigidity. Don’t forget to lubricate the pivot points.
List of bike repair supplies
Tools for an essential bike repair kit
Bring them in a compact saddle bag with you on every ride:
a spare tube or tubes, as well as a patch kit
multi-tool for bikes (with Allen wrenches)
Tools for Longer Rides on Bikes
For maximum readiness, bring them in a bigger bag when going on multiday rides or riding on dirt terrain. Bring just what you are familiar with using.
Extra tire (sometimes foldable)
tire blower with CO2 (with cartridges)
spare wheels (minimum of 6)
Duct tape for repairs
tidy rag (s)