Mountain Bike Maintenance – Do it Yourself
Assuming you’re just getting started with mountain biking, it may interest you to know that there are many things a beginner can do to carry on routine mountain bike maintenance. A lot of what’s required isn’t all that difficult and can save you money in the long run. Here are some tips you can use.
Mountain Bike Maintenance for Beginners
If you own a mountain bike, you can save money and improve your enjoyment of riding it by performing your mountain bike maintenance. You can save money by performing your own maintenance as you won’t need to pay someone else to do it, and your parts should last longer if you’ve looked after them well.
One of the first issues to consider if you plan to do your maintenance is the getting the right basic tools. As you learn more you may want to get more specialized tools for your bike. It’s important to remember to also carry a toolkit with when you ride. You can get compact toolkits to take with you that are smaller and easier to carry than the tools you’ll use at home. It’s very important to remember to try all your tools at home before you take them out.
Another vitally important thing in basic mountain bike maintenance, before you even think about getting some tools, is to keep your bike clean.
The next stage of basic maintenance includes lubricating the chain as this is vital to keep it functioning efficiently. There are many good lubricants available, including some self-cleaning ones, and you should get into the routine of applying it at least a few hours before you ride, even the night before.
Another step in basic maintenance is to check the air pressure in the tires. Checking this regularly will protect them and provide you with a comfortable ride. You also need to change the tires now and again and be sure you know how to repair a puncture.
Other items to check on a regular basis are brake and gear cables, which stretch over time and therefore can become ineffective. You should replace them every 6 – 9 months but the exact time depends on how often you ride your bike.
Checking your brake pads is the next really important task on your list of maintenance issues to deal with. They can wear out fast and you should also be checking the alignment of the pads against the wheel rims. They should be free of the sidewall of the tires when not applied but sit squarely on the rims when they are applied.
Lastly, on your basic maintenance list check all the nuts and bolts on your bike and tighten any loose ones with an Allen key or a spanner.
Breakdowns will happen regardless of the maintenance you perform, but some can be prevented, and it is better to be able to deal with them and stop them when possible with regular bike maintenance routines.
Mountain bike maintenance is more often than not cheaper than the repair so look after your bike well with regular checks. Also with just a little maintenance knowledge you can ride further for longer and feel safe that you can fix things when they go wrong.