Taking Care of your Mountain Bike

 

Taking care of your mountain bike might seem a hassle and time wasting. This should not be the case though given it is the simplest way to ensure you keep getting the best out of your bike. To be sure of fewer injuries, relaxed rides and a long-lasting mountain bike, taking good care of your mountain should be a top priority.

Put in mind that the more you use your bike, the more you need to care for it. We have made this easier by looking at the how the different parts of your mountain bike should be handled.

Why do you need to take care of your bicycle?
Cost saving
Taking good care of your bicycle will prevent some problems from developing into serious issues. If you catch problems early say on the brake pad and chain, you get to prevent the more expensive parts of your bike from spoiling.
Safety
Regular checkup for your mountain bike prevents small issues from piling up to serious issues. Remember wear and tear on important parts such as the brakes might threaten safety for both you and other people using the same road.
Makes riding fun
With guaranteed safety due to well-maintained parts, you can be sure to ride comfortably without having to worry about yourself and those around you.
Prolongs your bike’s life
You can be sure of years of service from your mountain bike if you take good care of it. This is because you can easily notice issues and fix them in good time. Its parts will also be safe from wear and tear.

How do you take care of your mountain bike?
Chain
A well maintained and lubricated chain will ensure proper shifting every time you take your mountain bike out.
Always check your chain daily, if it looks dry add lube
Check the tightness of the moving and commenting parts using a wrench
Check for any wear and tear on the drivetrain and replace worn out parts at least each month
Clean the drivetrain with soapy water and brush starting with the rear derailleur;
• Turn the pedal to move the chain around as you wash
• Clean the chainring using the brush
• Wipe dry
• Wash the pedals, cranks and the front gear mechanism

Wheels
Confirm the tire pressure every day before riding your mountain bike. Fill the pressure based on the PSI indicated on your tire’s sidewall
Clean and carefully check for any signs of wear
Check for any debris on the tire tread that could cause a flat
Replace any tires in poor condition before your next ride
Spin each wheel and confirm it is true (does not wobble) and spins freely
Check for loose spokes by turning the front wheel slowly with your hand feeling each spoke

Brakes
Test both the front and rear brakes and adjust in case either does not work.
Ensure the front wheel does not move when you apply the front brake. If you pull the bike towards you, the back wheel should lift off the ground
When you apply the rear brakes, the back wheel should not move. If you keep pulling the bike towards you while holding the brake, it should skid
Check both brake cables and the brake blocks for signs of wear in V brakes. The brake blocks should also not come in contact with the rims when spinning
Ensure that the brake pads move across equally to clamp the rotor for each of the brakes
The brakes should start gripping at 1/3 pull and the brake levers should not touch the handlebars

Frame
Lean the bike against a wall and wipe the frame with a clean piece of cloth;
• Clean around the brakes and gear levers carefully
• Remove the saddle and wash the saddle tube and the seat post
Inspect for any cracks and dents on the frame

Drive system
Spin both pedals and ensure they spin freely
Check for any noise when rotating the pedals or signs of wear such as loose screws/bolts on the pedal
Rotate the pedal and use the gear lever to move the chain up and down the gears checking for signs of snagging

Lubricating
Move the chain around by rotating the pedals anticlockwise. Spray the chain with a lubricant as it passes over the rear gear cogs
Lube the teeth on the inside of the chainring near the cranks
Lube the outside of the chainring while rotating the pedal
Lubricate your suspension components at least once a month
Lube the brakes and gear cables to avoid binding

Headset
Watch out for any knocking or slack when you rock the bike back and forth while applying the front brakes

Accessories
Some mountain bike accessories will help you take care of your bike;
• A mountain bike stand will make it simpler to clean your drivetrain, lube and clean your bike as well as maintain your brake pads
• A good travel case will take care of your mountain bike frame and other parts while transporting
• Headlights will keep you from running into trees and rocks that will hurt both you and your bike. A good headlight should have a long-lasting battery, powerful lumens and should also be quick to recharge
• Tighten the screws on your bike’s accessories such as the basket

How to wash your mountain bike
Regular washing of your bike will not only give you a fresh look but also ensure smooth operation for longer.
• Hose the bike off concentrating on areas with clogged mud to remove mud coating. Use a gentle shower to avoid driving water past your suspension seals and bearings
• Secure each caliper with a small plastic bag to protect the disc brake pads
• Scrub the bike with a soft brush or sponge and soapy water. Pay attention to the areas behind the seat tube and the down tube as they are always the dirtiest
• Use a smaller brush to wash between the spokes and hub shells
• Rinse off the bike with the gentle shower before the soap dries
• Spray the drivetrain with a lubricant
• Scrub the chain, cassette and chainring while rotating the pedals anticlockwise
• Rinse the drive train with the light shower. Do not direct the hosepipe towards the left side of the bike to avoid splattering the loose oil and dirt on the disc rotor
• Shake off excess water from the bike by a quick bounce then use a clean cloth to wipe it dry. The drive train can be blow dried with an air gun
• Remove the plastic bags from the brake calipers and spray the rotor with some brake cleaner. Run the discs a couple of times through an absorbent rag until the cloth comes out clean

Well, we believe you are now in a position to take care of your mountain bike on your own. You can be sure of a durable mountain bike even when hitting the toughest terrains.

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