Top Tips for Maintaining Your Bike
It’s the middle of winter here in Ireland now, and the weather this time of year can put increased strain on your bike. But no matter what the time of year, a bicycle that is well looked after, will make your tour safer, your ride more comfortable and your adventure more fun. So we thought this would be a great time to give you our top tips for looking after your bicycle.
1 – Keep your tyre pressure right. The sidewalls of your tyres have information about the appropriate inflation pressure written on them. Keeping the pressure within this range makes for a more comfortable ride, better grip, and fewer punctures.
2 – Check your tyres for sharp objects. It often takes many days for pieces of glass and metal to work their way from the outside of the tyre to the tube, where they will cause a loss of air. Inspect your tyres regularly and send any objects that you find in them on a trip to the bin. This will prevent many punctures.
3 – Look after your chain. Chains start to wear out long before they break. Bring your bicycle to a mechanic at least every few months so that a worn chain can be identified and replaced in time. Not only will this prevent breakdowns, it will prolong the life of your other bike components. Apply lubricant to your chain whenever it seems too dry, and wipe off the excess with a rag.
4 – Check that your brake pads are in good condition. You should make sure that there is always plenty of wear left on your brake pads, and get them replaced before they wear out fully.
5 – Investigate any unexplained noises like rattles, squeaks and clicks. These often indicate problems that will be much easier to fix if they are addressed sooner rather than later.
6 – Keep your bike dry while you’re not cycling. If your bike gets wet every time it rains, then corrosion will do a lot of expensive damage to your components.
These tips will help keep your bicycle in good condition. However, there truly is no substitute for the trained eye of a qualified bicycle mechanic when it comes to making sure that your bicycle is safe and road worthy. Bring your bike to your local bike shop often: Most shops will give the bicycle a quick inspection for no charge. This will help to identify problems that are easy and cheap to fix when caught early but could become more difficult to fix or be a hazard on the road if they are not addressed.
To conclude, look after your bicycle and it will look after you. Happy cycling!
Dominic Ó Gallachóir, Bicycle Mechanic, Ireland by Bike