To remove residue use an absorbent rag

Six Basic Maintenance Tips Before Your Next Ride

With the days starting to warm and weather becoming far more suitable for some serious bike time, we’ve put together a checklist to help ensure your next outing is a truly memorable one. 

Clean your Bike

Cleaning your pride and joy is one of the simplest but best things you can do for it.

A clean bike is often a reliable one. Give your bike a thorough clean after your final training ride. Pay close attention to all components while you’re there looking closely at the frame, checking for wear or cracks along with inspecting forks, fittings, mounts, pedals and the drivetrain.

Check your Tyres & Brakes

Closely study both the front and rear tyres. Look for wear, flat spots, any foreign objects that may have been picked up on a recent ride? 

Check your brake pads. Is there plenty of life let in them? Are they wearing evenly? If the pads are still OK ensure they are making correct and even contact with the rim. Adjust if required.

If you do replace your pads prior to the ride pay close attention to pad orientation and always ensure the open end faces toward the rear of the bike. Check the back of the new pads for L or R and fit them to the correct side of the calliper. While you are there check your rim for wear. Like brake pads, most rims have wear indicators. If the wear indicator is gone, the rim needs to be replaced.

Check Your Chain

Nothing lasts forever, particularly a bike chain. One of the bike’s most critical components, the chain is often overlooked when performing routine checks prior to a ride. Chains should be cleaned, thoroughly checked and properly lubricated regularly. With a life of around 2000kms depending upon conditions and where you ride, if in doubt change it.

Wipe your chain and re-lube it after every second ride. Do it after every ride if you’re pedalling in the rain or on gravel roads. This may seem excessive but it’s far easier to wipe and clean before it develops a build-up of road grime. Regular inspection may also help you spot any other issues such as stiff or damaged chain links. If the chain is particularly dirty you can put a bit of degreaser on the rag to help loosen the grime but for day-to-day cleaning there’s no need to douse the chain in degreaser. Always wipe off any excess lube as it will attract dirt and be counterproductive.
Wipe your chain and re-lube it after every second ride and particularly before a bif event such as the Bowral Classic. 

Check Your Quick Release Skewers

Quick releases can be a magnet for dirt and grime. Carefully clean around your skewers when preparing your bike for an upcoming ride or event. The cam action of a traditional quick-release system is all that’s keeping your wheels under you so ensure these are correctly adjusted and tensioned. Tighten the nut (not the skewer) to a point that the skewer can be pushed firmly into the locked position.

Check Your Hex Head Bolts

Ensure all hex bolts are tight and set at the tensions recommended by the manufacturer.
Ensure all hex bolts are tight and set at the tensions recommended by the manufacturer.

All bike owners should have a decent set of Allen keys. Check all bolts as, over time, it’s surprising what will gradually come loose. Stick to the recommended torque settings, especially with carbon.

Book A Service At Your Local Bike Shop

Finally – nobody knows a bike like a trained bicycle mechanic. Most bike shops offer various levels of a bike service – from a quick check and tune up (recommended prior to a race or ride) through to a full strip down and rebuild. One of life’s sweet pleasures, it must be said, is the feeling of being back on your bike after it’s been thoroughly serviced by a trained mechanic.

Registered riders of the 2017 Bowral Classic can enjoy big discounts on Premium & Platinum bike servicing from Bianchi dealers – full details here!


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