Bike Repairs and Maintenance
Whether you ride a BMX, a mountain bike or a sweet chopper, it's important to keep your bicycle in decent shape, especially if it's your main mode of transportation. By doing regular maintenance, your two-wheeled machine will last longer and be a smoother ride. Check out these tips for bicycle repair and maintenance.
Bike Maintenance - The Chain
- Always try to keep your bike chain as clean as possible. If you don't clean and oil your chain regularly, you'll find pedalling is much harder and you'll mess up other components on your bike.
- Lubricate and clean your chain at least once a month - more often if the weather is wet or you're riding your bike a lot.
- If your chain is packed with mud, hose it clean first, then wipe it down with a wet rag.
- Use the edge of a cloth to scrape out dirt between the sprockets and to wipe the teeth of your chain.
- Lubricate your chain using chain oil from a bike shop or WD-40.
Bike Maintenance - Brakes and Gears
- There are many different kinds of braking systems for a bike - but they all do the same thing; they stop your bike (so you don't end up crashing into cars, other cyclists, old ladies or anything else that crosses your path).
- Test your brakes frequently, as brake pads wear down over time.
- If you have to pull the brake levers quite tightly in order to stop, your brake pads and cables likely need replacing.
- To keep your gears changing smoothly, be sure to oil your gear mechanisms whenever you oil your chain.
Bike Maintenance - Cleaning
- Your bike will stay in better shape if you give it a good wash every couple of months.
- Hose the bike down first, then wipe down the frame, handle bars, seat and all other parts with soap and water.
- Use an old toothbrush to clean out dirt from the chain, cogs and gear mechanisms.
- Go for a ride after washing your bike to blow the water off.