Bicycle Maintenance

The following advice is given to get the most out of your bicycle and to cut down on problems on the road.

A. Before every ride
1. Check tire air pressure.
2. Check brakes and cables.
3. Be sure your crank set is tight.
4. Be sure quick release hubs are tight, but not too tight.

B. After every ride
1. Inspect tires for glass, gravel shards, and cuts on tread and sidewall.
2. Check wheels for true.
3. Clean the bike’s mechanical parts as necessary.

C. Once a week or every 200 miles:
Lubricate chain (with dry lube; or every other week or 400 miles with wet chain lube).

D. Once a month
1. Completely clean the bike, including the drive train if necessary.
2. Inspect chain and freewheel. Measure the chain for wear, check for tight links and replace the chain if necessary.
3. Inspect and lubricate brake levers, derailleurs and all cables.
4. Inspect pedals and lubricate SPD style cleats.
5. Inspect and check for looseness in the:
a. stem binder bolt
b. handlebar binder bolt
c. seat post binder bolt (or quick release)
d. seat fixing bolt
e. crank bolts
f. chain ring bolts
g. derailleur mounting bolts
h. bottle cage bolts
i. rack mounting bolts (use thread lock on these)
j. brake and derailleur cable anchors
k. brake and shifter lever mounting bolts
l. brake mounting bolts (do not alter brake centering)
6. inspect tires for wear; rotate or replace if needed

E. Every Three Months
1. Wax bike. A clean, shiny bike always seems to go faster and farther.
2. Inspect frame and fork for paint cracks or bulges that may indicate frame or part damage; pay  articular attention to all frame joints.
3. Visually inspect for bent components: seat rails, seat post, stem. handlebars, chain rings, crank arms, brake calipers and brake levers.

F. Every Six Months:
Inspect and readjust bearings in headset, hubs, pedals and bottom bracket (if possible; some sealed cartridge bearings cannot be adjusted, only replaced)

G. Annually:
Disassemble and overhaul; replace all bearings (if possible); and remove and if necessary replace all brake and shift cables. This should be performed at 6000 miles if you ride more than that per year. Commuters who often ride in the rain or mountain bikers who get dirty should overhaul their bicycles more often. (This is usually done by a bicycle shop mechanic and costs around $100.00)