One of the essential parts of safe cycling is to have your bike in proper working order. If your bike is routinely checked and maintained, you will enjoy riding a steady, safe, and trouble-free bike. Like any other mechanical equipment, a bicycle requires regular repair and maintenance to keep it in good shape. During any repair that requires a part to be replaced, always find the correct spare parts. If you practice this, you will have a long-lasting and adequately functioning bike. It will ease the functionality of your bike.
Why You Need to Maintain and Repair Your Bike Regularly
For you to have a smooth-running bike and one that will last longer, always prioritize its repair and maintenance. Looking after your bike will make you get the best out of it. While you are doing the repairs and maintenance, always get the right bike mechanic, not just any mechanic. However, if you're experienced and have the right tools, you can repair your bike.
You have to understand specific measurements, fluid viscosity, and volumes and apply essential knowledge on gas and pressure. To carry out a comprehensive repair, you need some mechanical aptitude, manual dexterity, and keen attention to detail. Besides, you need to know how to keep records.
Here are reasons why you should maintain your bike regularly;
If you are preparing to go for a ride or a fun competition with friends, always have your bike in good shape. Regular repairs and maintenance can accomplish this. When you do this, you take the necessary measures of riding on a safe bike. It is healthy to take preventive measures before regretting later. If you have your bike well maintained, you don’t have to worry about your bike breaking down in the middle of your journey. Any mechanical problem on a bike could easily lead to:
- Injuries to the body
- Damage to the bike
- You might cause accidents
If your bike is well-tuned and maintained, it ensures a better working order. It is one of the significant safety measures to avoid risk to injuries.
Saves Money in the Long Run
If you want to avoid substantial future bills on repairs, it is good to take the necessary precautions. You can identify the problem early and have it fixed to avoid fixing a bigger problem in the future. Don’t overlook any small problem because soon, you’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets. It will drain you financially if your bike does not receive regular maintenance.
Having your bike in good shape all the time will save you money in the long run. If you don’t identify and fix any minor problem at the moment, the problem will amplify with time, and you may have to replace your bike. To avoid this, make sure you have your bike well maintained and repaired on time.
For you to enjoy smooth rides to any place, the secret is just proper maintenance and repair. According to experts, your bike needs a tuneup at least twice a year to keep it in optimal shape. However, this would depend on the bike’s use and how it has been handled. For a top-notch smooth ride, you may require an expert to evaluate some of the complex parts of your bike that may be difficult to evaluate, such as the cables, spokes, derailleurs, and bearing surfaces.
It Prolongs the Bikes Life
Regular maintenance and repairs are a sure way of ensuring your bike will serve you for a long time, and it is the best therapy for your bike. A well-maintained bike means a prolonged life span. After a ride in the mad, one may be tempted to leave it in that condition and expect to ride it the following day. It is wrong. Ensure you clean any dirt from the bike because it can cause rust. Any repair and maintenance is an extra addition to its life span.
You need to lubricate the moving parts to avoid them drying up, which will reduce their functionality. It will help maintain it from wear and tear. It is keeping the parts strong for the next day's ride.
Simple maintenance, such as washing your bike regularly, will prolong the life of your bike. You only need soapy water, a bucket, and a piece of old cloth or a brush. The brush is suitable for the gear set and the nooks.
Bike Parts that Need to be Checked Regularly to Maintain the Quality
The bike is held together by numerous bolts and nuts. These bolts and nuts have to be tight because loose or wrongly tightened parts can cause adverse wear and tear or even a severe accident. Besides, it will hamper the bike’s performance and create safety problems.
You may have to consult the owner’s manual when you're tightening bolts for the correct torque specifications because over-tightening some bolts may damage other components or cause them to fail.
These are the parts that require a regular check.
You always need to check for pressure to ensure the tires are properly inflated. Find the correct air pressure range for each tire. When you're inflating, ensure you use a bike pump that comes with a built-in pressure gauge. Such a pump will ensure you'll achieve the tires’ optimal pressure level.
If the tires start sagging immediately, it could be an indication of a puncture, and if you're on travel. It's advisable to have a spare inner tube. It is not advisable to use the gas station air pumps because they are powerful and could easily blow out tires.
A tire with the right air pressure has a good grip on the ground, making it easier to slow down or accelerate. When checking the tire, be keen on the following wear and tear:
- Exposed inner tube when there are significant cuts into the tire.
- Excessively worn-out tread patterns.
- When the rubber becomes brittle and loses its grip, in most cases, such a tire may have cracks developing punctures regularly.
The above wears can be inspected and checked in different ways, such as;
- By checking any minute or small cracks in the tire.
- By auditing for bald patches on the surface of the tire
- Checking if there are small bulges on the tire
If you find the above problems by any chance, know your bike requires a new tire. It is wise to buy a new tire than recycle the old one. By recycling, you are just carrying forward the tire's problem. The same problems will emerge, and the effects may be more extensive and costly.
Chains are essential parts of a bike that can easily sustain damage, and therefore they require regular checking. It should be one of the first places to check each day. Any weakness in the chain will affect your ride.
You can check for wear in the chain by:
- Checking the presence of rust and dryness - Rust is always a sign of a problem, and they can be easily spotted due because of their orange and brown colors. You can check dryness using your fingers. You can tell if it is dry or not by touching the chain. A well-lubricated chain is lightly coated in a very thin layer of oil. The chain should always have enough lubricant that allows for free movement and prevents rust. However, it shouldn't be overlubricated.
- Checking on the stiff links - Links should be parallel to each other. If they are not, you will notice that the chain will skip and click after every few crank revolutions. Stiff links wouldn't bend around the chainring and jockey wheels. You can quickly identify the stiff link by back-pedaling the cranks as you watch for a link that jumps and clicks as it goes over the lower jockey wheel.
You can use your hand or a chain tool to loosen any stiff link, then lubricate.
Brake pads are essential in controlling and stopping the bike. If the brake pads fail to work while riding, it can lead to severe injuries. Always check to ensure the brake pads are not worn out. To establish a problem with the brake pads, you should take them off from the bike and examine them closely. If you cannot do it, take it to your local mechanic.
Various bike models use different types of brake pads. Rim brake pads are common in hybrid bikes, while disc brake pads are standard on Mountain bikes. If your bike has rim brake pads, then you need to check if the teeth or grooves in the rubber are still visible, and if they're not, it's time to replace them.
You need to check if any grit or metal may have found its way into the pads because they will damage the rim and often render the pads ineffective.
Or the disc brakes you have to check for any wear, and at least 0.5mm of the material is still intact. The wear angle is also critical because it indicates that the brake calipers need some adjusting.
Brake cables generally control the brakes on your bike, and using them for long can make them become frayed, stretched, or damaged. They can cause significant problems even if the chain or brake pads are new.
If you want to check for the cables' wear, you will have to inspect the outer cable for any rust, kinks, or any other damage that may be visible. Rusty and stiff cables perform poorly. You may have to replace or lubricate to have them in good form.
Pedals and Grips
Check to ensure the rubber or foam material on the grips is not slippery, sticky, or showing signs of decomposing. You may also want to check if the grip is firm on the bars. Try holding the grip and rotating it to establish if it's firmly.
There should be no cracks on the pedals, and the crank arms should not play. Any play on Crank’s arms could indicate worn-out ball bearings and may need replacement.
The bearings are dead and need to be replaced. If the play is only on one arm, it could be a loose bolt requiring tightening or replacement.
Ebike parts that need regular repair and maintenance
Electric bikes are the best to ride on, and like any other type of bike, it requires maintenance. If the repair is ignored, it may be costly in the future; make sure you check on it;
A battery is a crucial component that needs proper attention. Check on the instruction before charging so that you can extend your battery’s life. For instance, you need to keep your battery fully charged and leave it to discharge for long. Besides, it's not advisable to leave it exposed to the sun for long or exposed to freezing temperatures for long. Lithium batteries are better maintained when they are always topped up, even when they're not in use.
If you're riding a short distance, it's advisable to recharge after the ride rather than letting it run down and charging it again.
Regularly check for any loose bolts. If you find any, tighten it properly to reduce the damage it can cause
Like other bikes, ebikes also require regular cleaning and lubrication for optimal performance.
Safe Cycling Tips to Avoid Accidents and Mishaps
While on the road or even before hitting the road, some necessary precautions require your attention. Disregarding some of these safety measures could lead to severe injuries to yourself or other riders and road users.
Don't Ride too Fast
When you are on the road, always mind your speed; too much speed may be a danger to you, your bike, and the people around you using the same road.
Avoid Using Headphones
Wearing headphones or earbuds while riding in areas with traffic is dangerous. Remember, you are always vulnerable when riding a bike, and you need to be conscious of your immediate surrounding environment. A rider is like any other driver who needs to have 100% of their concentration on the road.
Double Check Your Brakes
Before you set your foot on your bike, remember to check and ensure that the brakes work perfectly. Once is never enough; double-check the brakes again to ensure they are good to protect you on the road.
Checking and double-checking should be done to both the front and back wheels. You may need to adjust the calipers and align the pads if they are loose.
Always Wear a Helmet
A helmet is a safety gear for any rider. It will save you from injuries that can potentially alter your life. Wearing a helmet can reduce serious head injuries by up to 70%. According to the CDC, helmets saved the lives of 1,859 people in 2016. Every year, the US spends $1billion in economic costs due to cyclists and motorcyclists who do not wear helmets. Helmets can reduce the risk of death by 37%.
The best advice to any bike rider is always to wear a helmet. It can make a difference between life and death. Never wear damaged helmets. It is not advisable. Once damaged, dispose of it and get a new one. It is your life that is at stake.
Secure Bike When not in Use
Apart from keeping safe during cycling, you should also make sure to keep your bike secure when parked or not in use. Make sure to choose the right locks and learn how to properly secure and lock your bikes to avoid bike and bike parts theft. The last thing you want is to have missing bike parts.
Bike Regular Maintenance
Having your bike in good shape is an indication you are ready to protect yourself. If you ride a bike that is out of shape, then that is a risk to your life and others on the road. You can never tell where it may land you. Before you grab your bike and set your foot on it, it has been properly maintained.
Regular maintenance will also prolong your bike’s life and give you a safe ride. It is essential to carry regular maintenance by checking critical areas in your bike and tightening any loose parts. You also need to have your bike examined by an expert even when you have not experienced any problem.
Have your bike serviced by an expert once or twice a year, depending on how often you use it.
eBike Safety Cycling Tips
When you are riding on an electric bike, there are tips that you should put in mind. Such as;
- Wear reflective clothing - Make sure you can be seen from a distance, and wear bright clothes.
- Mirrors - Have your bike mirrors adequately installed. It will help you when overtaking or a car coming from behind and the proximity.
- Always protect your head - Wear your helmet all the time when you're riding.
- Use bike cushions - Adding seat cushions can help make your rides more comfortable especially when going on long rides. This can also help relieve some back tension.
- Remain alert all the time - There are many obstacles on the way that could include animals, other cyclists, pedestrians, cars, road bumps, holes, and many others.
In conclusion, bike repair and maintenance are critical for your own safety and others. Regular maintenance will ensure your bike will continue giving you a smooth ride for years to come. In the long run, it is much cheaper to carry out maintenance. Always your bike is in good shape before hitting the road.