How to maintain your bicycle
A lot of people have bicycles nowadays, and whether you use yours to commute to and from work or just for occasional use, it is important that you keep it in prime condition to make sure it stays in good working order. A lot of wear and tear commonly seen on bikes can often be easily caught early on by proper maintenance, and the job of maintaining your bike isn't even an especially difficult one.
Even if you haven't got a lot of bike experience you should be able to carry out some of the following maintenance jobs, although if you do find it difficult or you want to make sure it gets done properly you could always have it checked over by a professional instead.
Here are our top tips for keeping your bike in good order:
1) Keep your bike clean
Just as it can with a car, dirt can eventually damage your bike if it is left to build up over a period of time. This is why you should regularly clean your bike as part of your maintenance routine, but you will need to make sure that you do it properly. You don't need to buy any particularly expensive products to do this and you can get what you need from local bike specialists. You will need to use a special bike cleaner, some degreaser, a bike cleaning brush and will need a bucket of warm water to hand.
2) Keep bike parts lubricated
Once you have cleaned your bike you will need to lubricate some parts, such as the bike chain, the v and cantilever brake pivots, the brake lever pivots, the brake cables, the front and rear gear mechanisms and the gear cables.
3) Check for and repair punctures immediately
Bike punctures can happen very easily, even if you are the most careful of riders. However, a puncture can be very easily repaired and you should do so as quickly as possible to make sure it is safe to ride your bike. You should always carry a bike puncture repair kit with you when out and about should it happen to you when cycling, and you should have a separate kit available at home. To repair a bike puncture you will need a repair kit, tyre levels, a spanner for the wheelnuts, a bike pump, a spare inner tube, some chalk, a crayon, and some sandpaper. You can also get bike punctures repaired by specialists if you don't feel confident doing it yourself.