Remember the big bicycle boom of 2020? The amount of bicycles sold soared during the first UK lockdown due to pandemic restrictions coupled with the perfect weather conditions at the time. It’s one thing knowing how to choose the right bike, but do you know how to increase its life span?
Maintaining a bike takes a little bit of time and effort to keep everything looking ship-shape, so it’s well worth educating yourself on the basics to help your investment go further. Here are a few pointers to help you get started.
Keep it clean
Start with the basics of maintaining your bicycle by keeping it dirt-free. It’s recommended that the amount you clean your bike aligns with the seasons – so in summer, this only needs to be once a week, while in winter, it should ideally be after each ride. Once you create the habit, you’ll be able to stay on top of it easily enough. Simply wet the bike and add degreaser, which takes a few minutes to kick into action.
After cleaning and drying the bike, it’s recommended that you add lubricant such as those by suppliers like RS to the chain to keep it functioning effectively. Make sure you don’t overdo it, or you could risk reducing its effectiveness. In some cases, it might not even require lubricant. Test it out to see if there’s any squeaking or dryness. Keeping your chain in good knick will mean that your drivetrain will run more easily. To take it up a notch, you could even purchase a chainchecker to assess its wear if you ride regularly.
Other essential maintenance
Other key areas of maintenance include checking your brake pads, which inevitably wear down with time. When cleaning your bike, you’ll want to be careful of accidentally contaminating the disc brake pads, otherwise their performance will go drastically downhill. You could have an expensive replacement ahead of you if this is the case. Be sure to apply any lubricant strategically and with this in mind.
Additional tips come down to how you store your bike. It’s recommended that you hang it up so that the tyres stay inflated. Otherwise, constant contact with the floor paired with tyre pressure that hasn’t been topped up can be a bad combination. If you have the means of doing so, this is a simple but effective technique for improving the longevity of your bike. While on the topic of tyres, it’s worth checking them regularly so dislodge anything that might have been picked up on your ride. Failure to do this could result in a puncture or tear, which again, can lead to an unnecessary cost.