Bike Maintenance

Author: DK

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Clean Your Bike

This is the easiest bike maintenance you can do to your bike and doesn't really require any skill. Your bike is more fun/enjoyable to ride when it's clean and it's much easier to spot problems with your frame/components when it's not covered with dirt, mud, and grime.

Wipe down and dry your bike if you rode it in the rain or got it too wet. This goes a long way for the longevity of your frame and components. Most material on bikes do not play well with water. Aluminum does not like water, steel does not like water, garden variety stainless steel (home depot, etc.) does not like water. Aluminum hates water even more when interfacing with titanium or carbon (erosion and galvanic corrosion). You get the idea. Keep your bike clean and dry. 8)

Check Brake Pad/Track

Check the pads from time to time to make sure they are clean and without metal deposit, especially after riding in the wet (more on this later).

Check Drivetrain

De-grease, clean, and lube the drivetrain. Here is a good video on what to do:

At the 2:40 mark, Simon talks about the chain cleaner. That little guy will make your life much easier for this job. 8) When lubing the chain, note which side he is lubing the chain on (inside). Supposedly, this is the 'proper' practice as the outside of the chain is what gets dirty, so you want the lubricant to go from inside out to flush out anything. I can't verify how true this is but it 'sounds' right to me so I just follow it. In California and for the type of riding most of us do, dry or wet lube probably is not going to make much difference. But we do ride on some trails with dirt here and there, and most of us do not ride in the rain anyway, so I would recommend dry lube. Do not just lube the chain when it's dirty! You run the risk of flushing the contaminates inside the chain. At least do a quick wipe down if you are lazy or short on time to do a proper degreasing.