Monday, February 8, 2010

Bike Maintenance Tips

How to Tune Up Your Bike in Ten Minutes
Here are some important yet simple maintenance tips to follow when owning a mountain bike and will only take approximately ten minutes before each ride. Following these step will extend the life of your bike, prevent unnecessary costly repairs and increase the safety of the bike.

10 Minute Tune Up

Check tire air pressure - This needs to be checked before every ride with a pressure gauge. Tires are just like balloons, they lose air and should be inflated to the proper air pressure before every ride. Running too low of air pressure can affect handling and efficiency of the bike. Low pressure can also result in more pinch flats. Recommended tire pressure ranges can be found on the side wall of the tire.

Wipe Down Frame and Shocks, Inspect  - Using a Bike Wash or Frame Polish, wipe down the frame and shock seals. After the frame is clean, you'll be able to inspect it for any signs of cracks or damage. The same goes for the front fork and rear shock if you own a full suspension bike. Also keeping the shock seals clean will increase its performance and life.

Clean and Lubricate the Chain - Part of extending the life of the drivetrain is to keep the chain lubricated during each ride. This will prevent premature wear on the drivetrain parts and keep it running quiet with every pedal stroke. It's important to use chain lubricants sparingly. Applying less lube more often is better than applying more lube less often. Using too much will just result in a big greasy mess on all the drivetrain parts. Always wipe the excess off with a cloth rag after applying.

Check All Nuts and Bolts and Secure Wheels - All that off road riding can rattle things loose. Grab your multi-tool and check for any loose nuts or bolts. This includes checking the quick release skewers on the wheels.

Check Brakes and Shifting - Give the wheels a spin and check to see if the brakes are engaging properly. Check for any unusual rubbing or noise. Next check for proper shifting. Make sure you are able to shift into every gear smoothly. Please have your local bike shop make the necessary adjustment if needed.

Now your bike is safe and ready to hit the trail! Remember to practice these steps before each ride and you will greatly increase the life and fun factor of the bike.

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