If you have not experienced any kind of malfunctioning in your bike as a cyclist, it is because you are not cycling enough! From a strange creaking sound to a snapped chain, we have all gone through red flags that told us our rides were shouting out for assistance.
The cure? Servicing! Whether you do it yourself at home or prefer to take it to your local bike shop, servicing is key to your ride’s good performance and durability over time.
There are different ways and times to service your bike in order to keep its performance at its peak constantly. Some factors require more of your attention, while others can be saved for some time until the next service.
However, if you regularly ride, you must always take into account that periodical servicing is a must.
Bicycle Maintenance Schedule – How Often Should a Bicycle be Serviced?
Bicycle service must be done periodically. Depending on the type and time of use, service must be done every 6 or 12 months. Brakes, chains, gears, and wheels are a must in every service, although other factors must also be checked every now and then.
If you ride your bike as a routine, or you use it for training and/or professionally, you must service it at least every six months. This way, you can be sure that none of the important parts of your ride will fail while you’re on the road.
Furthermore, servicing boosts your bike’s performance to its peak, and should your category be that of a professional cyclist; results will always be better off this way.
However, this also applies to bike commuters, who regularly use their rides to go from one point to another. Urban use, even though it may not be as tough as riding on a mountain road, may also wear down some parts, such as brakes.
On the other hand, if you use your bike for recreational purposes, and you know you do not use it every single day, 12 months can be left in between services. As a relevant tip, you should not go any longer than 12 months since other factors like climate and even disuse also have an impact on your bike parts and accessories.
Thus, you are not only acting towards your ride’s welfare but also your pocket’s, since replacing a part is always more expensive than making a few routine adjustments.
What Bicycle Parts Should be Periodically Serviced?
Some cyclists rely on their local bike shop to service their rides. Others prefer to service them on their own. Depending on which case corresponds to your situation, it is relevant to always take into account which parts of your ride are a must to take into account whenever you service your ride.
Also, bear in mind that it is not necessary to experience any problem to consider servicing. In other words, unbroken things can also be adjusted and taken care of.
- Brakes – Brakes tend to lose tension with every use. This is because of the way they work, a cable being responsible for moving another accessory (no matter what type of brakes you have) in order to clap either a wheel or a disc to make the bike slow down or come to a halt. Thus, lax brakes are less responsive and ineffective. They must be checked and adjusted in every service to prevent failure.
- Gears – Gears work pretty much like brakes but need accuracy in order to keep their performance as good as needed. If they are not checked at every service (6-12 months), ghost-shifting, shift skipping, and other inconveniences may appear.
- Chain – Lubing and adjusting your chain is also a must every time you service your bike. If not done, it may become rusty, loose, or even snap while riding. Chain links must also be checked so as to make sure that no potential malfunctioning may appear.
- Wheels and tires – Tires can become worn out by use and friction. Depending on the terrain where you usually ride, times may differ. Fortunately, it is something one can become aware of by just looking at them. Grip is of vital importance for both rural and urban cycling. On the other hand, minor wheel true is usually needed, so as to keep them in good shape.
- Light cleaning – Cleaning your ride is also important. Not just for aesthetic purposes (which is also relevant!), but also because dirt, dust, water, or any other remnants may result in rust and damage your bike parts. Disassembling is not compulsory, though. Just get a dry, clean piece of cloth and wipe any dirt contamination you can find.
Tips for A Successful DIY Bike Service
If you correspond to the “Do It Yourself” group of people, or you want to start servicing your bike on your own, there are a few tips to take into account to do so. This video shows you how to service your bicycle (credit to Cycling Weekly):
Bike Maintenance Checklist
Follow this list in order to service your bike the best you can, and get back on the road as fast as possible.
- Get a bike stand – Bike stands are very useful when servicing a bike. In this way, you can make sure it will not move while handling it and that you can comfortably get anywhere.
- Degrease your bike entirely – Getting dirty is always part of a job, but if it can be avoided, so be it! Degreasing your bike will help you do a cleaner service. Moreover, as greasing all necessary parts will also be a service step, you can make sure the amount and type of grease is the one you need.
- Don’t forget to check every single accessory – Finishing your service is quite satisfactory, but realizing you forgot to check or adjust something can be exhausting! Have a checklist in hand, follow the same steps every time you service your bike, and you will not leave anything behind!