To get the most out of your bike riding experience, the bike must run smoothly and be free from malfunctioning parts. You can only attain this state of health for your bike if you regularly follow a bike maintenance schedule.
Before going out for a daily ride, please do the following:
- Check wheels for proper adjustment.
- Check tires for wear and tear.
- Test brakes.
- Check chain for adequate lubrication.
- Check shifting performance.
By doing the above listed steps, you can easily determine if your bike is fit for use and if not, you can immediately do or have someone do the necessary adjustments and repairs.
This simple habit of checking the bike before using it is one way of keeping yourself safe from accidents.
On a monthly basis or after a 500 mile total ride, the following maintenance check is recommended:
- Check wear and tight links on chain. Replace when necessary.
- Inspect cassette for damage.
- Inspect and lubricate brakes, brake levers, derailleurs and cables.
- Lubricate pedals.
- Check proper tightening of all bolts.
- Inspect shoe cleats.
- Degrease drivetrain.
Regular application of lubricants will keep the components running smoothly and last longer. Rust can easily sit in if lubricant is not regularly used and friction easily adds up to the wear and tear of metal parts. Aside from that, an old rusty chain can add quite a bit of work to your ride. You should, of course, also check that your brakes are working well and not rubbing and that the derailleurs are adjusted to shift smoothly.
Shoe cleats also require grease which keeps rust away. You need to regularly check your shoe cleats to see if the screws are loosened aside from the rust problem. Remember that your shoe cleats might have been exposed to moisture as you may have stepped in puddles or got caught in rain.
After three months or after traveling for a total of 1500 miles, do the following maintenance check on your bike:
- Inspect frame and fork for cracks or bulges.
- Check brake pads for wear and alignment.
- Visually check entire bike for bent or damaged components.
- Check tool kit.
After six months or after traveling a total of 6000 miles, the following maintenance checks are recommended:
- Inspect and adjust headset bearings and hub bearings.
- Inspect pedal bearings and bottom bracket.
- Inspect cassette.
- Clean drivetrain.
- Clean and wax frame.
- Inspect handlebar tape and replace if necessary.
The headset is the bearing assembly that connects the front fork to the frame, and permits the fork to turn for steering and balancing. Bearings might be loosened by over use and exposure to road impacts. Loose bearing may result in either shakiness or stiffness.
It is said that a clean drivetrain speaks volumes about the kind of biker who owns the bike.
On a yearly basis or after the bike has travelled a total distance of 6,000 miles, it is recommended that you:
- Disassemble and overhaul all bearings.
- Remove and replace all brake and shifter cables.
- Remove seat post and stem and reinstall with proper lube.
Keeping this bike maintenance schedule can lengthen the life of your bike as well as make your bike riding experience more than satisfactory. It is also possible that the risks for accidents can be reduced by keeping a well-maintained bike. We hope this article on bike maintenance schedule was of help to you.