Bicycle maintenance Well, it’s that time of the year again, time to take out the bikes, dust them off and get them ready for another season of fun. It is always best to take care of all of your bicycle maintenance at the beginning of the season to avoid problems when your out and about. A well maintained bicycle is safer and easier to operate.
Lets start off with the visual inspection, start at the front of the bike, look at the front tire and rim, check the tire for any signs of dry rot, cracking or separation. Spin the wheel, does it spin freely? Is there much wobble? Try to wiggle the wheel side to side to check if the axle and bearings, a little is ok, if it is sloppy, you will need to remove the front wheel and check your bearings. It is quit easy to do and you can get a bearing packing tool at most auto parts stores that make it a snap to repack the bearings.
Actually it is a great tool to have on hand because repacking all the bearings on your bike periodically will add years to the life of your bicycle. Next check your fork tube for free play. It should turn easily but have no noticeable wobble. Check front brake pads if equipped. Make sure there is enough rubber left on the pads and that they firmly grasp the rim when applied, adjust and or replace as needed. Also give the cable a look over, checking for rust or where it may have frayed. Lubricate or replace if needed.
Check the handlebars and seat for tightness. Next take a look at the crank and pedals, again we are looking for anything that feels loose or wobbly, Most of the major moving parts on a bicycle have bearings, and bearing failure or lake of grease is usually the cause of mechanical problems with bikes. If all is well at your cranks move on to the rear wheel.
Check your tire for any issues and spin the wheel again checking for free movement and side-play. Check your chain and sprockets,make sure your chain is adjusted properly, apply a quality chain lube and wipe off any excess with a rag. Check your rear brake, If the are hand brakes check the cable and pads just as you had done on the front, if the are coaster brakes make sure the L shaped arm coming off the hub is securely fastened to the frame. and lastly snug up all of the nuts and bolts on your bike. Take care of your bicycle and your bicycle with take care of you.