Gear and Bike Maintenance

Gear & Bike Maintenance

Bike maintenance is a wide-ranging topic. It’s important to regularly attend to your bicycle to keep it in safe working order.

Cleaning Your Bike

You should clean your bike routinely and according to how often you ride. The basic supplies you will need to clean your bike are water, soap, and clean rags or cloths. A brush or solvent may be required to clean some components.

Tips for Washing Your Bike:

  • Dirty bike components should be cleaned by wiping them off with a dry or damp rag. Other components may require occasional brushing and lubrication.

  • If you choose to wash with a water hose, do so carefully. Pressurized water can cause damage to sensitive bearing systems throughout your bike.

  • Some people may need to use a solvent for cleaning up greasy and gummy components of the bicycle.

Securing Bolts

Bicycles are held together by lots of nuts, bolts, and screws, and over time, these materials may wiggle loose or wear down. A loose, or improperly tightened, bicycle is not only a safety hazard, but can also lead to poor performance and more rapid wear and tear. Over-tightening can cause as much damage, so be sure to properly tension the bolt.

If you hear squeaks or rattles while riding your bike, check your bolts when you get back home.

Lubricating the Moving Parts

Lubrication is crucial for the performance and lifetime of a bicycle. Bicycle greases and oils are frequently used to lubricate bearing systems, chains, and brake and derailleur systems.

After applying the lubricant, allow some time for the component to absorb it. Then, any excess lubricant should be wiped away with a cloth before the bike is ridden.

Adjust a Derailleur

Derailleurs are the components of your bike that allow the gear to shift, and derailleurs should be maintained to ensure safe riding. Note: Maintaining your derailleurs requires tools.

  1. Put your bike in the lowest gear.

  2. Loose the cable grip on the front derailleur.

  3. Align the lower end of your derailleur.

  4. Align the higher end of your derailleur.

  5. Let the derailleur pull down towards its’ bottom end position.

  6. Tighten the cable grip.

Fixing a Flat

Though a flat tire can be a hassle, it is easy to deal with.

  1. Release your brakes. Depending on your bike, use either the knob at the end of the pull cable, or the quick release lever.

  2. Release your wheel. Use either the quick release lever or a bolt-on nut to release the wheel.

  3. Check for damage, and find the cause of your flat.

  4. Repair or replace your tube

  5. Reinstall the wheel and re-attach your brakes.

If you need assistance servicing your bicycle, there are many knowledgeable bike shops in Huntsville and throughout Alabama available to assist you. Visit our Resources page for more information.