Bike Maintenance

Here are the most important steps in maintaining your bike in good working order.

Parts of a Bike

 bike parts


Drive Train (chain rings, chain, cassette, derailleur front and back)

  • clean weekly or after a wet ride
  • clean drive train using degreaser, avoid placing degreaser in contact with of axels or bottom bracket where bearings are
  • rinse bike down with warm water and dish soap or bike soap then rinse again with water only
  • lubricate chain, best done after a ride so bike can sit to absorb lube into joints, 12 or 15 drops spaced on the chain

Chain: replace every 2500km (a stretched chain loses its pulling capabilities on cassette/chain ring and can damage them with improper wear) - tires: replace every 3000, switch front and back every 1500

Brake Pads: check for wear once a month (each has wear indicator grooves)

Brake Cables: if operating properly have them checked annually

All Fasteners (Allen bolts, screws): check monthly or after transporting bike

Tools to Own

  • pump: small one to ride with and perhaps a floor pump with pressure guage to prepare bike before rides
  • bike bag on your bike: extra tire, three levers, pump, patches, multi-tool (allen keys, wrench, spoke wrench), money, identification

How to Change a Tire

Note: Low tire pressure is a leading cause of flats. Make sure to inflate your tires to the recommended pressure printed on the side of the tire.

  • take wheel off bike
  • go around the bead of the tire pinching the two sides to loosen tire on rim
  • place tire lever directly across from valve, loop it to spoke
  • take 2nd lever and insert between rim and bead about 3 inches from first lever
  • lever the bead so that it comes over rim
  • place hooked end of lever on bead and pull it along bead to bring rest of bead out over rim edge
  • pull the tube out from beneath the tube, unscrew and release the valve to complete removal of tube
  • carefully check the inside of the tube with your finger to see if any sharp objects are imbedded in rubber
  • check the rim liner to ensure there are no sharp surfaces that might come in contact with tube
  • grab the replacement tube and pump a little air into it
  • place the tube into the tire and screw the valve into place
  • pinch around the tire to ensure the tube is sitting over the rim
  • fully deflate the tube
  • starting from the valve (least slack), pull the second bead onto the tire
  • when there is only a few inches left, work your way around the tire pinching the two beads together - this creates a little room to finish pulling the second bead on
  • once the tire is on, add a little peak at rim tape to see that the tube is seated in the top of the tire
  • fully inflate the tire