Mountain bike maintenance Schedule
You’ve already spent a pretty penny on your bike, so why not squeeze every ounce of pure blissful joy out of it? Regular preventive maintenance will keep your mountain bike rolling safely for longer. Doing your own bike maintenance also saves you labour costs, and proves an invaluable skill to have in your back pocket in case a mechanical threatens to ruin your ride. It's quite easy to take care of your own bike, and can mean the difference between riding all day or walking home.
Without further ado, we present to you:
#1: Clean your bike.
Want to extend the life of your ride? Keeping it clean on a consistent basis is a sure-fire way of doing so.
What to do: Use a basic biodegradable cleaner such as Simple Green, a sponge, a towel and an old toothbrush to clean everything: the frame, chain, chain rings, cassette, derailleurs, pedals, brakes, and seat. No need to use bucket-loads of water or (especially) strong jets; a gentle rain-like spray or mist will do just fine to rinse away any soap residue. Also, remove the seat post for a thorough clean, and add a small amount of bike grease before reinstalling it. Your local bike shop's mechanic will thank you!
#2: Inspect your brakes.
Brakes are a vital part of your bike, and ensuring they are in good working condition and properly adjusted can mean the difference between a flawlessly-maneuvered corner and losing control, which could lead to serious injuries. Keep these puppies running smoothly and they’ll pay you back in spades.
What to do: Check the brake pads, the small rectangular metallic and/or rubberized surface that actually rubs against the disk (or wheel rim). These wear down over time and need to be replaced. Use a flashlight to assess whether the pads are wearing evenly and replace them if they show excessive wear.
#3: Watch your wheels.
Wheels (rims) hold your tires in place and provide stability and smoothness while riding. Properly tuned and trued wheels (that don’t wobble or rub against the brakes) mean consistent contact between tires and dirt.