Are you the type of person that shies away from maintaining your bicycle? Do you often make up excuses as to why you cannot maintain it? If so, then I am here to tell you that you need to stop with your excuses and that it is a lot easier to maintain your bike than you might think. Maintaining your bike could add as many as five years onto its life expectancy, so it is definitely worth doing.
Get a Brush Set
A clean bike is one that works a lot better, especially with regards to its moving parts. Just think about the number of times that your bike chain will touch the cassette over the course of a three-hour bike ride. Now, add some dirt and grit to the equation and just think of the damage that can be done to these parts. A wet rag with some WD40 can get the muck off, but it will not clean the links where the grit can collect. A brush, on the other hand, will. Bigger brushes are also great for getting in behind the front mechanisms, brake calipers, and the jockey wheel cages. Using a brush will extend the life of your cassette, chain and the other moving parts.
Cleaning your bike is a type of art. Look after your bicycle and it will last longer, ride better, and will be safer. There are plenty of cleaning products available on the market, and most will work well with a rag or a sponge. You can do quite a bit with some water and a sponge, but cleaning products will do a much better job. One of the most important cleaning products is a water repellent spray that you can add to your cassette, chain, and derailers after you have cleaned your bike. This will stop you bike from rusting - you need to take off any excess cleaning product before applying lube.
We bet you did not know that you chain will stretch over time. Well it does, and it will do so at different rates depending on the type of riding you are doing, how often you use the bike, and the conditions you are cycling in. As there is no standard guideline for chain wear, there is no information available about when you need to change your chain. You should purchase a chain checker and check your chain every so often - they are easy to use and provide numbers for when you should change your chain. If you get a new chain before it becomes too worn, then there is the possibility that you will get away with added the new chain on your old cassette. If it is too worn, then you will need to replace both.
An Allen Key Set
A 5mm Allen key is a cyclist’s best friend. However, you should also have a 4, 6, and 8mm Allen key for a complete set. Your bike is built using bolts that all have Allen key heads, so if you need to do a bit of tightening or loosening, then you can only do so if you have the required Allen keys available. Cycling with a loose handlebar, for example, can cause a serious accident, which is something that nobody wants.
Most of the time you will be able to use a 6 or 8mm Allen key to take the pedals off your bike, but for that other one time you will require a 15mm pedal spanner as the pedals have become too tight. When you are attaching pedals to your crank, you need to make sure not to tighten them too much. There is no need for it to be tight and you should also check that the thread has no grit on it. You should also bear in mind that the threads will be different. For example, the right-side thread is tightened by turning clockwise, while the left-side one is tightened by turning anti-clockwise.