Top Five Bike Maintenance Tips
with JESSICA BROUSSEAU, Pro Bike Mechanic for Liv Racing
Service Your Fork and Shock!
Just like the rest of your bike, your suspension requires maintenance. It’s important to keep up with this maintenance to ensure your bike parts work like they should and last a long time. How often you service your fork and shock depends on the amount of riding you do. Your suspension manufacturer (Fox, Rockshox, DVO, etc) will have recommendations for service intervals for both your fork and shock. Typically, a basic service including changing oil, cleaning seals, and/or replacing dust wipers and o-rings should happen every 30-50 hours. A quick trip to the bike shop will have you riding on suspension that fells like new!
Watch Out for Too Much Lube!
When it comes to lube, more is not better. If you have too much lube on your chain, it can attract more dust, dirt and grime and actually wear the chain (and the rest of your drivetrain) much faster. After you apply lube, wipe away any excess with a dry rag. CLICK HERE to learn more about cleaning and maintaining your drivetrain.
Don’t Touch Your Disc Brake Rotor!
No matter how much you wash your hands, your fingers have natural oils on them that can contaminate your brake rotors. If you touch your rotors (or get chain lube or another contaminant on them), your brakes will become super squeaky and might not work as well! If you accidently touch your rotors, just make sure you clean them with isopropyl alcohol or soap and water before riding. CLICK HERE for more tips on how to fix squeaky brakes.
Don’t Squeeze Your Brakes with the Wheel Off!
If you have hydraulic disc brakes and you need to remove your wheels for any reason, be careful not to squeeze the brake lever. Squeezing the lever without a rotor between the brake pads will cause the calipers to push the pads together. You won’t be able to put your wheel back on! If this does happen, you can use a brake pad separator tool or a CLEAN flathead screwdriver to pry the pads apart.
Check Your Tire Pressure!
Your tires are porous and will lose pressure over time. Check your tire pressure at least every week (if not every ride). Tire pressure is the first step on the “ABC” safety check – air! CLICK HERE to learn more about how to perform a safety check on your bike.