Getting a good road bike is no easy task. Since this is quite an investment (a couple of hundred dollars at least), all buyers wants to spend money wisely, hoping to get a bike that can serve them for many years. You can try this out for a highly-rated review of best road bike for beginners to help you made the right decision. But wait, even the best bike cannot last for long without proper care.
It is hard to talk about all aspects of bike maintenance in one post so we will concentrate on the most basic points only.
Perform pre-ride inspection
Any careful cyclist should check their bike before taking it to the road. Some lose bolts; a low-pressure tire…any of them can cause dangers, especially when you are riding at a high speed. With just a simple bike kit, you can perform a basic check and make necessary adjustments in 10 minutes.
Pump up the tires properly
The key to prevent flats is inflating your tires properly. The recommended tire pressure can be found on the sidewall of your tire; make sure you keep the tyre pressure above that range for a smooth ride. As you check the tires, have a quick look at the quick-release levers and axles too to avoid loose wheels. You should also learn to feel the correct pressure by hand: it can come in handy when you only have access to hand pump.
Never ride with dry chain
Dry chain is a sign that you neglect maintenance for your bike. It is not good for the life of your chain; plus the sound it makes is not pleasant to the ears. The solution: clean it well and then apply a drop of lube to each link. The chain should be sticky so that it is easier for you to ride your bike. When you notice that the chain is worn out (normally after 1,000 miles), replace it.
Check the brakes’ performance
Riding with poorly functioning brakes is like suicide. It is essential to make sure that the brakes engage properly before the ride (by squeezing them).
Secure all bolts
Lose bolts can affect the performance of your bike; it is not to mention that they can cause serious safety issues. You can tighten them in place with a decent torque wrench set; before doing so, it is a nice idea to grease the bolts’ threads and bases first.
Avoid over-tightening: it invites more troubles than being helpful because it can cause components to damage or fail during the ride.
Regularly clean and lubricate your ride
Surely, you can read about care tips for specific parts of the bike and follow them; however, sticking to a regular maintenance schedule will help you take much better care for your bike as a whole.
Depending on how often you use the bike and the conditions you put it through (rain, mud…), you can adjust the schedule accordingly. The basic supplies you need for cleaning are clean rags, brushes, soap and degreasers.
Another important task for maintaining your bike is proper lubrication (like with the chain). When components get dry, friction can occur, causing to wear out. Lubricants also help prevent rust and corrosion. Wet lube should be used when you ride in wet conditions and dry lube is more suitable for a dry riding environment. Again, avoid over-lubricating your components and wipe away any excess lube.
Use a bike stand, if possible
Maintenance of your bike can be done most efficiently with the help of a bike stand (of course, it is not feasible when you have to fix your bike on the road side). With the stand, you can position your bike at a comfortable height for you where you can access to hard-to-reach parts. In case you need to remove components for fixing, the stand will make it easier for you to do so.
Take your time and wear protective gloves
Be patient and take time with your bike. If you rush the process, you can be injured or forget to tighten some bolts. Also, wearing protective gloves will help you prevent unnecessary injuries so do not forget them.
Nick Soros has been tried many different road bikes and become an cycling enthusiast for a 10 years. He collected many top and affordable road bikes on the market that can help you choose the most suitable one. They’re basing your budget as well as your demand. So it would be useful if you check his informative advice before give your final decision. Not only for first riders, but experienced ones.