People can take care of their bikes, but it can sometimes pay to have a professional bicycle tune-up. Please remember the maintenance myths below before you decide to tune up your bike yourself, so your bike gets the best care.
Buying A Bike Online Means You Can Ride It Immediately
E-commerce makes it easier to buy almost anything, including bikes. But when you purchase a bike online, remember that it probably isn’t fully assembled when it arrives on your doorstep. And you will likely have to do some tune-up work, too.
For instance, you may need to calibrate the front and rear brakes, move the handlebar up or down, and set the seat height.
Your bike should be in new condition when you receive it, but it’s still recommended that your local bike mechanic check it out before you hit the road.
You Should Wash Your Bike After Each Ride
People are accustomed to taking a bath every day and may think their bike needs the same treatment. Not so! Not only is this incorrect, but it’s also completely impractical.
However, it’s always a smart idea to wipe off grit and dirt after every ride. If it’s wet from road spray, you may need to lubricate the chain.
Always Break Out The Torque Wrench
Yes, most bike mechanics will say you should use your torque wrench when you tighten bolts. This is critical when handling carbon fiber parts and other lightweight bicycle parts.
But should you use a torque wrench to make brake adjustments? No, especially if your bike has steel or aluminum parts. Bike mechanics have used regular wrenches for many years. You just need to practice common sense and never overtighten.
Using A Powerwasher Is Always Ok On A Bike
When you get your bike dirty, you may be tempted to drag the powerwasher out. If you do so, be careful.
While you’re blasting away dirt and grime, it will take lubricant from various components with it, which can leave the bike dry.
If you want to use your power washer, be sure you’re spraying it from above or below your bicycle. This will reduce the chances that any water will get into the hubs or bottom bracket.
You Have To Have A Bike Degreaser
Many bike degreasers on the market do a fine job, but they aren’t required. Instead, some bike experts say just using plain dish soap is effective and cheap.
However, you should steer clear of auto degreasers because they can damage your paint and rubber seals.
WD-40 Works For The Drivetrain
Despite what most think, WD-40 is a degreaser that will leave your bike components dry and creaky. You need a bicycle-grade lubricant to keep everything running smoothly.
You Can Wait Until Something Breaks
If you take your bike on 50 or 100-mile rides, you probably don’t want to skip maintenance until the chain breaks or the derailleur fails. However, doing routine maintenance and cleaning will find minor problems before they become serious.
Doing regular work on your favorite ride also will make the parts last longer and save you in the long run.
Biking is one of the best exercises out there. You can get a fantastic workout, enjoy the outdoors, and socialize with fellow bikers.
But if you delay maintenance, you’ll eventually be left stranded and could even be involved in a nasty accident if there’s a catastrophic failure. So be sure to tune and clean your bike regularly or have your local mechanic do it for you.