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How To Maintain Your Bicycle
15 January 2014
How To Maintain Your Bicycle

Bikes are very useful items to own no matter what your age. When you were growing up a bike was good fun to have. You could go anywhere with your friends and even race them. A lot of students own bikes to travel as public transport can be very pricey and this is a cheap way to both get to where you’re going and to stay fit. Regardless of why you use your bike, it is very inconvenient if it unexpectedly breaks. This is exactly why maintaining and regularly cleaning is essential for a long lived bike.

Cleaning your bike
Cleaning a bike is much like cleaning a car. If you have a stand to rest the bike on, the whole job will be much easier for you. If not, simply turning it upside down so it rests on the handlebars will suffice. Don’t rest it on a hard surface if possible as it will damage the surface of the handle bars and seat. Using bike cleaner, apply the solution to the entirety of the bike frame and use a sponge to give it a deeper clean. Using soapy water, dip your sponge in the solution and wipe away the entire bike cleaner substance. Use the same solution to wash down you wheels, cleaning the spokes and everything else on the wheels.

For the chain, use a chain brush or something equivalent to apply the degreaser solution. Scrub the gears, chain and sprockets while slowly rotating the wheels to get into every gap. Any degreaser left on the bike, use an old cloth to wipe it away. Apply lube onto the chain and slowly move the pedals to spread it evenly across the chain. Any moving part should be very lightly lubricated to ensure efficient turning.

Maintaining your bike
Maintaining a bike only takes a few minutes and should be done before and after every ride. Before you go on any ride, check both wheels to see if they are properly aligned. You should also check that the brake pads are aligned to the wheel so that when you brake, they don’t rub against the wheel and wear it down. Check the tire pressure is correct and make sure they aren’t too worn as it will dramatically affect your braking. Other things to check are your handle bars, your seat and your chain. Your handle bars should be tight and they shouldn’t move around freely from the wheel. If you can turn the handle bars and get the wheel to stay in the same position, you need to tighten the bolt that connects them or you will end up trying to turn one way and actually turn the other. The seat shouldn’t we worn down and should be at waist height. Check that your chain is rotating efficiently and is on properly by rotating the pedals a few times.

After a ride, you should give the bike a wipe down and possibly degrease the chain if it has become dirty.
Bike frames rust very easily and should therefore be stored in a dry place such as the garage or the shed. If you’re using it often then keeping it outside shouldn’t be too much of a problem but if you leave it outside and you aren’t using it multiple times a week, then the moving areas will become stiff and corrode and the rust on the bike will build up. You can buy a rust solution to get rid of any that forms but it isn’t guaranteed to get rid of it all.

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