Mechanical Services & Maintenance
Most of us have limited time to ride as with our busy schedules and hectic lives. Cycling is our escape from the daily grind and sometimes we just want to jump on our bicycles and ride. Getting into this habit can lead to rides that end with a phone call begging someone to pick you up because your bicycle has given up on you. To keep your bicycle running in top shape follow the brief checklist below and your time on your bike will run as smoothly as possible.
- 1. Become familiar with how proper tire pressure feels. Your tires should be pumped up before every ride. Each tire has a recommended pressure on the sidewall, find the best pressure for you that fits within the recommended range and never exceed the maximum recommended pressure. Most mountain bike tires have a range between 30-60 psi, and most road bike tires run 90-120 psi. Lighter riders should usually gravitate towards the lower side of the range while heavier riders should go higher. If you use tubular tires, do not inflate to the maximum level – running 110-130psi will minimize rolling resistance on most roads and provide the best ride.
- 2. Check the rims for slippery residue. Pull on the brake levers to see if the brakes engage correctly. If the cable pull is rough, lube it. If it binds check the routing. If the brakes work correctly, make sure the pads are tight and hit the rim squarely.
- 3. Grab the crankarms and check for side-to-side or up-and-down play. This would indicate a worn bottom bracket or a loose crankarm. Make sure the chain is lubed and has no damaged or bent links. Make sure the chainring bolts are tight. Check the shifting and adjust if necessary.
- 4. Lift your bicycle about 3 inches off the ground and drop squarely on the tires. Listen for rattles or clunks that would indicate loose parts. You should hear the “tink” of the cables and maybe even the chain on the chainstay, but other sounds could be a loose headset or wheel bearings.
- 5. Check the quick-releases. Make sure they are tight and in the closed position. A properly tightened quick-release should leave an imprint on your hand.
- 6. Check all bolts for proper torque.
- 7. Don’t forget your repair kit! This should include: a spare tube, A multi-tool that can repair a broken chain and has hex wrenches, a pump or CO2 inflator, a tire lever, a few zip ties, a bit or electrical and duct tape, snacks or energy bars, water bottles and a few dollars.
- 8. Be sure to wear your cycling shorts, jersey, helmet, gloves and shoes.