Bike Maintenance Tips from a Pro

Keep your bike clean, simple yet important bike maintenance tip | Lachlan Gardiner
Keep your bike clean, simple yet important bike maintenance tip | Lachlan Gardiner

Bike Maintenance Tips from a Pro

Happy bike, happy life, right?! We checked in with Adventure South NZ's bike mechanic Abram, who just happens to be Shimano technology education certified, to see if he could share some simple bike maintenance tips. You'll be surprised how simple they are.


The “M-check”

 

The 'M' check is a great way to give your bike a simple once-over to make sure it’s in good riding condition. You'll need your pump, chain grease and a set of allen keys.



 
 
Bike M Check |  <i>Bikethere.org.nz</i>
 
 
1. Wheels
 
  • Check that your wheel is tightly fitted. The nuts or quick-release lever on either side of the middle of the wheel should be tight. Apply the front back and try to move your wheel from side to side - their shouldn't be any movement in the axle.
     
  • Check your spokes are tightly done up. You can do this by pinching two spokes together and seeing if their is much movement.
     
  • Check your tyre pressure matches the recommendation on the tyre and spin your wheel check they are moving smoothly. See the guide from 'Bike There Wellington' below for different types of bikes.


Road tyres

  • 90 PSI for a 70kg rider. Add/subtract 2 PSI for every 5kg over/under 70kg
  • Should be very firm to touch and almost impossible to make an indent with your thumb


Hybrid/city bike tyres
(wider with tread)

  • 50 PSI for the front wheel and 55 PSI for the rear wheel
  • Should feel like squeezing an orange
     

Mountain bike tyres (wider with very thick tread)

  • 36 PSI for a 70kg rider. Add 1 PSI for every 5kg over 70kg
  • Due to the large volume of mountain bike tyres they don't need as much inflation
     

2. Saddle/Seat
 
  • Make sure your saddle is on tightly by moving it from side to side. If it moves, use your allen keys to tighten the frame around the seat post.
     
  • If you have a dropper seat post - make sure it's moving smoothly up and down.

 

3. Chain

 
  • Check your chain is clean, lubricated and free of rust. If your chain looks dirty, get your cleaning kit out - making sure you don't add too much oil as it will only pick up more dirt.


4. Pedals

 
  • Your pedals shouldn't have any sideways movement and should spin freely. If they aren't, they may need a service.


5. Handlebars

 
  • Check that your handlebars are done up tightly and are straight. You can check this by holding the front wheel tightly between your knees and trying to rotate the bars. They shouldn't turn - and if they do, tighten the bolts. When doing this, make sure your handlebars are straight by looking directly down on them from above the forks.


6. Brakes
 
  • Slowly wheel the bike alongside you and apply one brake at a time. When you squeeze your left (rear) brake lever the back wheel should lock up. When you squeeze your right (front) brake the bike should stop. If the brake lever pulls all the way to the grip you'll need to get some maintenance done.
 
 

No Rattly Bolts!

It’s a great habit to check over each and every bolt on the bike to make sure nothings has worked itself loose over time.

Keep in mind, it’s important not to over-tighten the bolts. If you have a torque wrench, set it to the manufacturer-recommended settings. Otherwise, at least just tighten any lose bolts until you feel a bit of tension but do not tighten completely. Just take out the slack.



Treat Your Bike to a Spa Day

 

Give your bike a good clean! You don’t need anything fancy. Warm water with a little dish soap, an old toothbrush, a sponge, and some clean cloths. Get into all the nooks and crannies and get rid of all the hidden grit and grime.

Two things to keep in mind: if you clean your chain, gears, or any other greasy bits, make sure you don’t use the same cloth or brush on or near any parts of your brakes. You want to avoid getting any grease onto brake pads or rotors!

Secondly, don’t forget to thoroughly lube your chain after you’ve cleaned it and let it dry! A clean bike is a fast bike. Take a picture and show off your hard work!


Got a simple maintenance tip you can share with our community? Please leave it in the comments below.

 

Comment (0)

Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.







b i u quote


Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/SHX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Sherpa Expeditions</div>
Sherpa Expeditions is a specialist in self guided and guided walking and cycling holidays in the United Kingdom and Europe. Detailed route notes provide a definite guide to places in Europe for active walkers and cyclists.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.