Proper Care the Key to Keeping Your Mountain Bike Like New
Mountain bikes are built to take a lot of punishment, but that doesn’t mean that you can get away with failing to keep up with failing to keep up with regular basic inspection and maintenance to keep it running properly. You need to start as you mean to continue and make keeping it in pristine condition something that is a regular habit.
Preparation Key to a Successful Outing with your Mountain Bike
If you are planning on doing some mountain biking while you are on a day trip or when you go on vacation, you definitely don’t want to let the maintenance part slide at all. The last thing you want to happen is an equipment issue on the trail. You may want to go through your mountain biking checklist to make sure you have your water bottle, gloves and First Aid items. Take extra clothing items in case the weather changes after you arrive at the trail. The kit should also include several repair items as well. You’ll definitely want to make sure that you protect your investment before hitting the road in case of other types of losses, such as accident or theft, by making sure you have bicycle insurance in place, too. That way, you can focus on enjoying the ride (literally) and have a wonderful time wherever you decide to set your wheels in motion.
Pay Attention to Your Bicycle Tires
Since your bicycle tires are made from butyl rubber they are porous enough to allow air to escape over time. After about a month, your mountain bike tires will become soft. Make a point of checking them regularly.
Riding a bike with soft tires increases the risk of damaging the rim and tube. You may even cause more damage to the tire itself if you hit a rock or a pothole. The impact will compress the tire, which allows the object to hit the rim, which may puncture the tube. You’ll find it harder to pedal with softer tires and they will wear more quickly when they are under-inflated.
Lubricate the Chain and Pivot Points
Since your bike is made up of several moving parts, you will need to make sure they are well lubricated. Consider taking your bike to a bike shop mechanic once a year to have the spinning parts (wheels, pedals, bottom bracket, and the headset) dismantled, inspected and regreased.
In between, you can keep the chain and pivot points lubricated. When the chain appears shiny or you hear squeaking when you are pedaling, it’s time to add some lubricant. Apply a small amount, because overuse will only attract dirt that will cause the parts to wear down more quickly. One drop per link should be enough to do the job. You can pedal backwards while your bike is leaning against the wall if you wish. Let the bike sit for a while and then wipe of the excess oil.
Keep Your Bike Clean
After you have taken your mountain bike out for a run, you’ll want to give it a good cleaning. All you need for this purpose is a bucket, some dish detergent, sponges and a hose.
When you return home, prop the bike up against a wall and spray it with the hose. This should dislodge the majority of the mud and dirt. Take care not to point the hose at the bike in a horizontal direction. You want to avoid forcing water into the hubs, pedals and the bottom bracket. Doing so may get dirt inside the bearings and grease in these parts of the bike. Spray from above to avoid this problem instead.
Once you have dispensed with most of the dirt, fill the bucket with warm water and add a couple of squirts of detergent. Use the sponges to clean your bike thoroughly. You may want to invest in some specialized brushes to get into all the nooks and crannies. Once you have given it a thorough scrubbing, rinse off the soap by drizzling water from above.
Store your bike inside once you have finished cleaning it. You’ll want to hang it up vertically on a bike hook or on a bike storage display stand. This choice will keep it safely out of the way in between trips.
This was a guest post by Eve Pearce, check out some of her other posts: