Taking Care of Your Ride
Taking Care of Your Ride
You may know how to ride a bike, but do you know how to diagnose a problem with one? Proper bike maintenance is important for any rider. Making sure your bike is in proper condition before you use it can prevent problems later.
Whether you are purchasing a new bike or riding an old one, make sure you pick up a tool kit. Many bike shop will suggest them, however, make sure you ask for one if they do not. Regular maintenance checks will keep your bike operating in top condition, for years to come. Proper bike maintenance begins with purchasing a reputable bike and ends with you maintaining it, before and after each ride.
Some bikes require more maintenance than others. A mountain bike will probably have more maintenance needs than a bike used mainly for recreational riding. Still, making sure your bike’s parts are working properly can’t hurt, even for an occasional rider. Treat your bike like you would treat your car. A great source I found is How to: Maintain and Clean your Bike in 10 Easy Steps
Check and maintain the tires
There are different types of bicycle tires and each kind requires a certain amount of air. The amount of air you must put in is usually on the side of your tire. Checking your tires regularly, especially every time you ride your bike, is a must. If you do not pump your tires properly, they may get punctured easily. Use a pump that is compatible with the valve type of your tire.
Check and Maintain your brakes
One of the most important things to maintain on your car are the brakes. When you squeeze the brakes on a bike’s handlebars, the brake pads connect with the wheel’s metal frame. While it doesn’t let you stop on a dime, good brake pads will slow you down enough that you can put your feet down to completely stop. Brake pads that connect with the tire, instead of the frame, will ruin the pads and the rubber tire. Also, you could be in for one nasty accident, as your bike might stop abruptly and possibly throw you off.
Clean your bike
he first and easiest thing you can do for your bike is to make sure that you clean it regularly. You can wash your bike by sponging or scrubbing it using water and dish washing liquid.
Don’t forget to check your wheels
Maintaining proper tire pressure is extremely important, especially if you plan on carrying extra weight. Improperly inflated tires can lead to traffic accidents. Make sure you check the tread on both tires; a worn tire needs to be replaced immediately.
Remember to check your seat
Make sure your seat is securely tightened to the frame and at the right height for you. If your seat wobbles, even a little, use a set of wrenches to tighten it up.
Keep your bike chain clean
Do not allow grime to build up on your bike chain. A dirty chain will have trouble gripping the gears and possibly slip, which can lead to trouble while you are riding. Prop the back wheel on a stand and spin it as you change gears, to be sure there will be no problem switching while you ride. Clean your bike chain after every ride. Use a brush to clean the cogs, clean the chain with a brush and then apply a de greaser.
Don’t neglect the bike frame
If your bike frame become rusty, there is a chance of weak spots forming. The best way to avoid a rusty frame is to keep your bike indoors when it is not being used or covered it with a tarp if you leave it outside.
You wouldn’t ride around in an unsafe car would you? Maintaining your bike properly keeps you protected while riding. Remember it is important you continue taking care of your ride. Go out and have some fun!