While we’re all pretty familiar with how to ride a bike, what few people seem to remember is that your bike is no different than an automobile in terms of mechanical function: it’s a series of systems powered by an energy source (you!) that work together to fuel momentum. When you think about your bicycle as a mechanical device, it’s easier to understand that a certain degree of maintenance is necessary to keep it functioning to its fullest.
But what exactly does bike maintenance consist of? You can’t exactly ride your bike down to the local auto repair shop for an oil change and a fluid flush! Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do at home to make sure your bike is in top condition, to avoid the prospect of bike repair in Boca Raton, FL. Take a look at a proper bike maintenance schedule:
- First and foremost is cleaning your bike. Whether you’re an avid, everyday rider or someone who takes your bike out once in a while, there’s no question about it: it’s going to get a little dirty. Dirt and debris can gum up the various components of your bike, so it pays to give it a good wash down and shine every month or so. Get in there with a toothbrush and a microfiber cloth for best results!
- After your bike is good and clean, you’re going to want to get up close and personal with your braking system. Check to see that your brake pads are still intact and that they’re wearing evenly—if there are signs of uneven wear or serrated wear on them, it’s an indicator that you might want to have them adjusted. Then, give your brakes a good squeeze to make sure they’re contacting the rim of the wheels at the same time—again, if there’s any lag time, it’s time for a readjustment.
- When you’re through fine-tuning the brakes, it’s onto the wheels! Here you should be looking for alignment, as well as rim integrity. Walk your bike forward a few steps and keep an eye on each wheel—if they wobble at all, a realignment and tightening is required. Make sure to get up close and personal when inspecting the rims themselves as well—any dents or dings should be addressed by a professional. Finally, make sure that the air in your tires meets the ideal PSI requirements for your tires.
- The drivetrain is your next point of inspection and this is where things get complicated. If you don’t know anything about the gear system on your bike, save this for a professional, however if you’re confident in your abilities, you can tune up this area of the bike like all the rest. For starters, make sure all of the gears shift seamlessly. Next, observe any wear on the chain to pinpoint potential misalignments. Finally, make sure your chain is properly lubricated.
Keep in mind these are the chief components you should be inspecting on your bike regularly – the full scope of tune-ups encompasses literally every facet of your bike: from the handlebars to the seat and everything in between. If you’re going to avoid bike repair in Boca Raton, FL, every little thing needs to be functioning fluidly!