Top Bike Maintenance Tips

Bike Maintenance Tips

photo by Alex Bruda

Maintaining your bike is just as important as when you were learning how to ride it. Like balancing (which requires subtle body interactions), keeping your bicycle in top shape calls for a balance of skills too. In this case, the knowledge needed is in the areas of parts and maintenance. Below are some of the most favored tips to keep your bike in good running condition:

 

Tires
Bicycle tires are probably one of the most important things that riders are most concerned about. A well-maintained set of tires can mean the difference between riding home or walking home. A deflated set of tires would mean heavier pedaling. Air pressure should be checked regularly to make sure that it meets the manufacturer’s specifications. A gauge that’s attached to the pump is used to measure the air pressure. Normal readings are between 50-100 psi. If a gauge is not available, a simple touch and feel should be enough for you to measure the hardness of the tires. Also check for signs of wear and tear. Like the soles of your shoes, tires lose traction over time.

Brakes
You’ll know when the brakes work if you squeeze the handles and the bike stops while you are rolling it ahead. The bicycle’s brake system has 3 basic parts – the lever, the pedal and the pad. If you have trouble squeezing the lever or if you feel it takes more effort than usual, check for loose cables or worn out pads. In some cases, it may be time to replace them.

Chain
The bicycle chain gives the bike a smoother movement. It should be lubricated regularly so that it continues to operate consistently. Otherwise, the rust would increase the chances of the chain getting stuck during the ride. Chains also lengthen due to deterioration. They can cause “skipping” when pedal ling under pressure.

Lock
A bike lock is essential in highly populated cities like New York. It is a deterrent to thieves. It works by fastening the bike’s frame to a bike rack, fence or any other object that’s sufficiently strong. Bicycle lock manufacturers categorize their locks based on security rating and size. The bigger the lock and the higher its rating, the more secure it is. Locks require regular maintenance too. They are prone to freezing or jamming and will need machine oil to defrost them. Always bring a WD-40 with you so that you can just spray away when it happens.

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