Cycling is one of the most popular pastimes today. It’s fun, easy to learn, and isn’t as physically taxing as other physical activities. That’s why we’re seeing more and more people hop on their bikes every single day. However, due to inexperience or sheer excitement, many riders forget to take into account safety and basic maintenance.
If you own a bike, then you should know how to perform basic bicycle maintenance. It’s as simple as that. It may seem daunting, but if you take the time to read up on the basics, you can do many simple repairs yourself.
You have to learn to do your own maintenance and repairs if you ride a lot. It helps you to understand the concepts behind the performance of a bicycle. By understanding how a bicycle works, you can better identify the causes of common bicycle issues and take steps to rectify said issues. You don’t have to take your bicycle apart and look for a small problem.
Maintenance is also a safety issue. You’re more likely to get into an accident if you don’t maintain your bicycle regularly. While knowing a brain injury lawyer can be helpful, wouldn’t you rather not get into an accident in the first place?
You have to start with the basics before you can move on to more advanced topics. Here are a few simple maintenance tips to get you started.
1. Keep your bike clean
Cleaning may sound easy, basic even. But keeping your bike clean goes a long way in keeping it well-maintained. A clean bike lasts longer and rides better.
Most people use a garden hose and a brush to get to hard-to-reach places. If you want to get better at this thing, you will require more tools to perform the job better. Some of these tools include a chain scrubber, chain lubricant, cleaning brush, degreasing solvent, and a selection of clean rags and sponges.
When using any of the things above, partner it with soap and a garden hose. Anything runs better when it’s clean, and the same is true for your bike. Just like anything else in life, to keep your bicycle working nicely, you have to give it a bit of love and attention.
2. Learn how to fix a flat tire
If you use your bike regularly, eventually, one of the tires will deflate. You have to learn how to fix a flat tire, especially if you use your bicycle for long-distance cycling. You also need to have a tire replacement kit in your arsenal. Some of the tools you need include a replacement tire tube, tire levers, and a hand pump.
Fixing a flat bike tire is easier than replacing a car tire. If you get a flat tire, you have to detach the wheel from the bicycle and remove all the tire’s air. Use the tire lever to pry the tire off.
Once the tire has been removed from the bike, remove the tube and carefully feel around the tire for any sharp or pointed objects inside. If the puncture on the tire is apparent, use the kit to make the necessary repairs. If it isn’t, inflate the tire and put it in a bucket of water. Check for any bubbles.
However, if you’re on the road, don’t waste time trying to find a small hole. Just replace the entire tube with your spare one.
3. Check the chain
The bike chain starts to stretch the longer you use it. When it starts to stretch, it will slowly but surely affect the drive train. You’ll then start noticing lowered performance while using the bike. Once this happens, you’re better off replacing the entire chain to protect your drive train.
Chain replacement only requires a new chain and a chain breaker. The breaker is designed to push the pin out of a chain link so you can detach the chain from the bike. If you’re unsure what chain to use, you may bring your bike to a bike repair shop and ask them for their opinion. Make sure to listen while they explain which chain can be used for your bike. If you have to ensure that the replacement chain is of the right length.
A final word
These three tips will help you keep your bicycle in safe and working condition. Always follow all traffic rules and make it a point to use the bicycle lane whenever you can. Don’t forget to wear protective gear.