Whether you hit the trails occasionally or love riding every chance you can get, your mountain bike is an expensive piece of equipment that will serve you dependably and repay your investment in many ways both tangible and intangible. This is especially true if you heed our advice and take some simple, straightforward mountain bike maintenance steps presented here.
While certain tips are easy -– such as giving your chain a quick wipe-down after every ride or cleaning the dirt off your bike from time to time -– the following three tips are a bit more involved. However, if you love the thrill of the ride and want to keep whipping through those trails -– without spending a lot of money on professional bicycle repair services –- you'll do yourself and your bike a favor by keeping the following three tips in mind.
To make sure your wheels are well tuned and trued -– trued meaning the tires don't jiggle from side to side or experience any rubbing against the brakes -– simply turn the bike upside down and give both front and rear wheels a good spin. Hopefully, the wheels should turn smooth and in line. If you do notice the wheels aren't smooth or wobble side to side, use a spoke wrench and a truing stand and follow some simple steps to fix this issue.
To maintain your tires, consistently check the tire pressure. As this is such a crucial task that, as air naturally escapes over time, you'll be doing fairly often, consider investing -- if you haven't already -- in a good floor pump with a pressure gauge. While optimal pounds per square inch (psi) will vary depending on your riding surface, a good rule of thumb is to maintain tire pressure at around 30-45 psi.
Your bike's drivetrain include the chain, chainring, pedals, derailleur –- the oddly named but truly awesome invention that allows you to change gears with a flick of the wrist –- and the rear-wheel cassette, which is the set of teeth that connect your chain.
To check out your drive-train, turn the bicycle upside down and keep it in place with a friend or a stand. While pumping the pedal, cycle through every single one of the gears to make sure they shift easily and smoothly while also visually inspecting the various components of your drive-train. Watch for signs of dents, scrapes, missing teeth in the rear-wheel cassette or any evidence of excessive wear.
Lube is great for maintaining the smooth functioning of all the components of your drive-train, brakes and cables. Lubricating is the single, easiest and most beneficial thing you can consistently do that will allow your bike to perform at a high level for a long time.
To apply lube to your chain and drive-train, turn your bike upside down, again. Apply bike lube to the chain while rotating the pedal slowly in a counter-clockwise direction. Always remember to use a clean, dry cloth to remove excess oil, especially from your chain, after every lube application.
For a smooth and pleasant bicycle shopping or browsing experience, consider Litespeed as a great bicycle dealership destination for any and all of your bike-related questions, concerns or needs.