Bikes take a lot of punishment, whether you’re ducking and diving through city traffic on the morning commute or blasting down country lanes on a weekend adventure. The upshot is that wear and tear is unavoidable, and even a relatively new bike can start to feel a little long in the tooth quite quickly. With these handy bicycle maintenance hacks, you’ll be able to make your bike seem like it just rolled out of the factory, even if you’ve been through a lot together.
This is a seemingly sensible but often overlooked option for effective cycle maintenance. The tyres are in constant contact with the tarmac, so will need replacing after a set amount of use. On average you can expect a bike tyre to survive up to 2,000 miles before it needs swapping out. However, if you only use your bike occasionally then this limit might be lower, as the material could perish in poor storage conditions. The other option to consider is a full wheel replacement, as new wheels are an obvious improvement over older components with dented rims, bent spokes and worn threads.
2) Adjust the Brakes
Whether you’ve got standard calliper brakes or fancy disc brakes on your bike, if they aren’t correctly set up then they can make it feel very old and unloved to ride. Plus if you want to avoid cycling accidents, well-maintained brakes are a must-have. If the pads are worn, they will need replacing. If the cables are loose and do not respond, they will need to be restored to the correct tension. Of course, if you do not want to tinker with your bike’s brakes at home, taking it to your nearest cycling store to get it tweaked by a specialist is an option.
3) Swap the Saddle
Comfort is a big concern for many cyclists, especially if your rides are more about leisure and light exercise than all-out competition. When your saddle starts to get saggy and worn, investing in a new one is a quick and easy way to overcome this. The saddle you choose shouldn’t just come with a comfy material onboard to cushion your rear end as you ride; it also needs to be the right size for your body type and provide suitable support. Even the angle of the saddle will have an impact on comfort levels. Keep this in mind to avoid making the wrong decision.
4) Clean the Frame
Dirt and grime can easily build up on your bike if you ride it regularly, but it’s a bad idea to let this linger on the frame for longer than necessary. Cleaning your bike at the end of each trip is not just about making it look like new; it’ll also help make sure it runs smoothly for as long as possible. Corrosion can form quickly if mud is left caked on, and this detritus might also get into the chain, gearing and brake systems, giving you a lot more work to do. There are specialist products available (see BikeParts.co.uk), but a damp cloth is often enough to deal with the worst of the dirt.