Family Adventure Resource

Maintain Your Bike

Taking Care of Your Bike: Bike Maintenance

You know how to ride a bike but do you know how to diagnose a problem with one? Be sure that your bike is well tuned before you set off on your day of fun or exercise. It can prevent problems later.

Before you leave the store with your new bike, purchase a tool kit. Many bike shop owners will suggest this but you need to know so you can be prepared if they do not. Regular maintenance checks will keep your bike operating in perfect condition for years to come. It starts with purchasing a sturdy reputable bike but ends with you doing your part before and after each bike ride.

Some bikes require more maintenance than others. A mountain bike stands to have more potential for maintenance needs than a bike that you ride for recreation through the neighborhood. Still, making a quick check of your bike parts can’t hurt even for an occasional rider.

What to Check on Your Bike

What do you check on your car? Unless you have a Flintstone car from the Stone Age, you’ll need to maintain the brakes. On a bike, the brake pads connect with the metal frame of the wheel when you push the brake levers on the handlebars. It doesn’t let you stop on a dime, but good brake pads slow you down so you can put your feet down and stop. Brake pads that connect with the tire ruin the pads and the rubber on the tire not to mention the fact that you could be in for one nasty accident because you have the potential then to actually stop on a dime.

Don’t forget to check your wheels. Tire pressure is important especially if you carry extra weight like books or a child. Improperly inflated tires can lead to traffic accidents. Don’t forget the tread. A worn tire needs to be replaced immediately.

Check your seat. Make sure it is tightened and at the right height for your ride. A pair of wrenches can be sued to quickly tighten a wobbly seat.

Avoid a thick layer of grime on your bike chain. Chains that have trouble gripping the gears can slip and leave you in a pickle. Prop the back wheel up on a stand and spin it as you change gears to be sure there is no problem here. Clean your bike chain after every ride.

Don’t neglect the bike frame. If it is rusty there is a chance of a weak spot forming there. One way to avoid problems with the frame is to keep your bike indoors when not in use or covered with a tarp if you house it outside.

You wouldn’t ride around in an unsafe car would you? Take care of your bike just the same so protect you and others when you are bike riding.


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