Whether you bike once a month or commute to work every day, you should perform some routine maintenance that will not only save you money, but also extend the life of your bike. Keep in mind, maintenance will vary from bike to bike depending on your frequency of usage, the condition of your bike, whether you live in a dry or humid climate and the terrain used on.
The following four tips will help keep your bike in solid working condition. As a safety precaution, remember to always inspect your bike before riding.
1- Clean Regularly
After a ride, it is recommended to clean the chain, frame, seat post, etc. with water, soap, brushes and bike-specific solvents. Remember to always keep a few cleaning rags in close proximity for drying.
Once you’ve cleaned and dried your bike, lubricate all main parts such as the brakes, chain and derailleur levers, cables and assemblies. For proper lubrication, use bicycle greases and oils (avoid WD40 on your chain, the multi-use product will strip your chain of oil, causing metal-on-metal grinding).
3- Store It Indoors
Keeping your bike indoors will help reduce the risk of rapid deterioration. Outdoor storage is not recommended as the humidity and temperature variations are not good for the bearings and unpainted surfaces. If indoor storage is not available, keep the bike covered when not in use.
4- Secure Loose Bolts
Safety first! Bicycles are held together by dozens of nuts, bolts and screws. Before you ride, make sure that everything is properly fastened. However, be careful not to over tighten as it can lead to bike damage.
For proper usage and maintenance instructions, always refer to your owner's manual or contact the UCLA Bike Shop for additional maintenance tips.