Basics of the Bicycle Maintenance
Just like any other technological device, the bicycle needs careful and attentive maintenance. Bicycles include many moving parts which have their specific lifetime and service life.
For example, when we ride a bicycle, we erase break blocks, tires, cogs’ teeth and chain links. Moving bicycle parts, the greased ones, collect vast amounts of dirt and dust. Old grease turns into tough clumps with time. Saddle sheathing can get covered with wrinkles and cracks.
All these nuances could accumulate, making cycling much less pleasant than it should be. The badly-serviced bike will not work well for you so, you need to be careful and attentive even to the smallest signs of malfunctioning.
It’s pleasant to ride on a clean and tidy bike. Despite that bikes and their parts are made of strong alloys and dense plastics, even a small number of dirt and dust can irreversibly damage it.
Road dust and dirt mostly consist of dense and tough particles of stones or sand and once they meet greased bicycle parts such as the gear shifting system, cog sets, hubs and chain, they begin to erase and damage them.
Prolonged cycling on a dirty bike will end up badly for your bike. Cogs’ teeth, chain links, and hubs could be damaged. Also, dust penetrates through rubber seals into inner bicycle parts. If it happens and if you don’t manage to clean your bike on time, the next cycling ride may end in the nearest service station.
The bicycle chain needs proper maintenance the most because it is exposed and vulnerable to all external factors and aggressive elements. The chain should be cleaned and lubed regularly, especially after some extreme rides through the wild terrains.
Badly-greased and dry chain significantly complicates hear shifting and lowers your cadence and cycling efficiency.
Bicycle maintenance includes more important steps that should be mentioned. Configuration of cables and tires is another important aspect of bike maintenance.
Wires could be stretched and cable housings could be unbraided with time. In the first case, a timely replacement can solve this problem, otherwise, gears and brakes would not work properly, which could be fatal for a rider. In the second case, wire housing could be carefully trimmed along the perimeter.
Tire pressure is another important aspect of bicycle maintenance. Different tires and riding conditions require different air pressure but, in general, it should be maintained at the normal level. In most cases, too low pressure can cause tire and tube damage because rims will grind them, piercing them in many places.
If you ride a road bike, always look after tire pressure. It should be high because frangible rims of road bikes could be easily bent or damaged if the tire pressure will be too low.
Cross-country and mountain bike tubes need to be pumped up strong enough to not let tires significantly bend under the rider’s weight. But they should be soft enough to provide comfortable riding over the gouges, rough terrains, and curbs.
For example, fat bikes are designed to cope with the toughest terrains such as snow areas, hills, and slushes. Their tire pressure is extremely low compared to road bike tires.
The way how you store your bike affects many things. Storage is another important part of bicycle maintenance. All of them are important but if your bike will be stored all winter in the wrong conditions, other steps of bike maintenance will be useless.
In wintertime, a bike should be stored in a dry, dark place in a comfortable temperature up from fifteen degrees Celsius. Tires should be half-flat to avoid damage.
In the summertime, direct sunlight should be avoided as much as possible because it damages rubber and plastic parts of your bicycle, as well as high temperature, does.
During the exploitation, many bicycle parts are deteriorating and if a proper service wouldn’t be provided, irreversible damage will be caused eventually. Such bicycle parts as tires, tubes, gear cables, hubs, greasing, brakes, etc. need regular service or, at least, examination.
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