Bicycles are effective in different ways and an essential possession for any cyclist. Some people rely on their bikes as a means of transportation, for exercising, sports or competition, and recreation. While you require your bike to meet your needs, it’s crucial that you also take good care of it to function best. Without proper maintenance and regular cleaning, problems may arise, which may result in damage. Here are top cleaning and maintenance tips to keep your bike looking brand new and extend its lifespan.
Regularly Clean Your Bike
Keeping your bike clean is one of the simplest things you can do to prolong the life of your bike. Using a hose occasionally is not enough since grit and dirt may corrode vital components slowly by slowly. Instead, a bucket of soapy water, disposable rags, a sponge, degreaser product, and an old toothbrush is all that you need to ensure that your bike is thoroughly clean. Use a toothbrush to clean the cogs and chain, then apply a degreaser. You can also use a flathead screwdriver to remove larger muck from the rear derailleurs, jockey wheels, and chainrings. Sponge down the frame and clean the wheel rims. Make sure that you get off all the dirt you possibly can, then rinse and lube your bike to give it a new look and feel.
Properly Store Your Bicycle
Bikes kept outside are prone to damages caused by sun, rain, and dust. Luckily, storage sheds help protect your bicycle from wearing out and offer security. There are various bike shed options to choose from. Bike sheds are best for families or individuals with multiple bikes and those with large yards or unused parking spaces. They vary in size and price depending on your needs and style.
Inflate Your Tires
The pressure of tires has a lot of effect on the quality of your bike. Low pressure will require a lot of effort to retain the same speed compared to a tire with high pressure. With low pressure, you will also be at risk of getting punctured easily. Bicycle tires are different, with each requiring a certain amount of air. Check the suggested pressure from the side of your tires that tells you the amount of air to put in. Ensure that you check the pressure of your tires once every two weeks and keep them inflated even when the bicycle is not in use. This helps prevent cracks on the tire’s sides.
Adjust Your Brakes and Change Your Brake Pads
If you hardly see the grooves, your brake pads are probably worn out. Replace worn-out brake pads with new ones, which is an easy fix even for someone doing it for the first time. Dirty brakes often lead to screeching brakes which can be solved by cleaning or adjusting. Also, tighten saggy brakes, especially if you notice the brake moving more than halfway toward handlebars when squeezed.
While it’s no rocket science to clean and maintain your bike by yourself, ensure that you get professional service at least once a year. This helps identify problems at their onset and prevent further damage. If you are handling a bicycle for the first time, you can use the internet or seek help from an experienced cyclist.