Man Inspecting Mountain Bike

BASIC GUIDE FOR MOUNTAIN BIKE MAINTENANCE

Getting a mountain bike is an investment, so why not make the money and time you spent on it worth it by giving it proper and regular maintenance? Regular maintenance will reduce the cost of repairs and replacement parts.

It’s not complicated to maintain a bike. To get you started, here’s a basic guide on mountain bike maintenance.

CLEAN YOUR BIKE

Extend the life of your bike by cleaning it properly. This won’t take too much of your time and effort but will let you reap benefits in the long term.

To clean your mountain bike, use a basic biodegradable soap, a sponge, an old toothbrush and a towel. Use these to remove dirt, grease, grime and stains. Scrub and brush everything, from the frame, chain, brakes, pedals to derailleurs and seat.

Rinse everything with a gentle spray of water. It’s also good to remove the seat post so you can thoroughly clean it. Wipe your bike dry after.

CHECK YOUR BRAKES

Checking the brakes is important. That’s just common sense. To thoroughly inspect the brakes, check every component. Check for signs of wear as fading brakes can lead to damage and accidents.

CHECK YOUR WHEELS

Checking the rims is important because these are what hold your tires in place. Ensuring your wheels are in good condition provides you with stability and smoothness while you’re on the road.

To check the wheels, raise your bike and spin the wheels. Check if both wheels are moving smoothly, without any wobble or interruption. In case of wobbly wheels, adjust them with a spoke wrench. However, if there’s excessive damage, I would see if the cost of getting them repaired is cheaper than buying a new set.

INSPECT YOUR TIRES

Another important step to mountain bike maintenance is to regularly check the bike tires. Tires need to be in excellent condition to let you ride on a variety of unlikely surfaces efficiently and safely.

To inspect the tyres, check the tire pressure first. Tyre pressure varies depending on the terrain you’re riding. But to keep it simple, the general guide is to maintain a 30-45 psi. Next, check if your tyres have any splits, cracks or tears. You will get more out of your tyres if you store your bike indoors. Tyre walls tend to crack and split due to exposure to sun, heat and rain.

LUBRICATE

Adding lubricants to the chain and other parts of the drivetrain not only maintains the efficiency of your bike but will extend the life of those parts. To lubricate your mountain bike, apply an even layer of lubricant to the chain while slowly rotating the pedals. Rotate it in a counter-clockwise direction. Don’t forget to lubricate the moving parts on the derailleur, the pivot point on the brake levers and any cable wire that’s exposed. Wipe off the excess oil with a clean and dry rag.

Regular mountain bike maintenance is simply the best way to get the most out of your investment.

 


 

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Peter Williams
peterwilliams@dinga.com.au

Peter loves bikes of all kinds. He has a passion for mountain biking right through to cycling long distance. He is sharing his experience here OnDECK.