The ABC’s of Bicycle Maintenance

Yesterday we asked: What are the ABC’s of bicycle maintenance? This question was posted on our Facebook page. The answer is AIR, BRAKES, CHAIN.

The ABC’s are the basic things we recommend that you check prior to every ride. They are also a good starting point for any maintenance review.

Air: You should check the air pressure in your tires before every ride. It is a great way to prevent the likelihood of flats. If you have a little more time it is always a good idea to check the tires for cuts and debris that is embedded in the tire. I sometimes prefer to do this on the post ride clean up with a beverage nearby. Need to know the proper tire pressure of the tire? It is printed on the sidewall of the tire.

Brakes: The goal here is to make sure that the brakes are properly working. Squeeze the breaks and make sure they pads hit the rims properly. I’ve seen a lot of bikes where the pads are rubbing on the sidewall of the tire and slowly damage the tire. Do the brakes contact the rim firmly before the lever hits the handlebar? Check you brake cables to make sure there is no damage to them and they are going to hold up. You should also monitor your brake pads for wear and check them for debris. I like to do this during the bike cleaning post ride clean up.

Chain: Here you want to check your chain to make sure it is properly lubricated. A lubricated chain is a happy chain and it is going to last longer and offer a quieter ride. This is also the time to run through the gears on your bike to make sure it shifts properly and doesn’t get thrown off. If your riding a single speed bike check the tension of the chain.

Regular maintenance of your bike will alert you to any problem areas before they happen.  Bike maintenance is relatively easy and can be a lot of fun. I find it very therapeutic to go out for a ride and then come home and clean up my bike. It is generally during the bike cleaning maintenance that I uncover potential issue. We’ll save that for another blog.

Now that you have done the ABC’s go out and have a great ride!

About Ernest

Ernest is the owner of the Crofton Bike Doctor located in the Village of Waugh Chapel Shopping Center. Ernest has been in the industry since 1989 when he first started to work at the Bike Doctor of Arnold. During that time I developed a love for cycling and retail. I graduated from the University of Maryland and live and ride locally.

I enjoy riding off road and on the road as well as doing a little bike touring. As a teenager I did a trip in Maine and then over to Novia Scotia which helped cement my love for riding. Since then I have done tours in the Canyons of Utah as well as several trips along the C&O Canal. Today I have both mountain bikes and road bikes that I enjoy riding. One of the most exciting things now is my wife is beginning to develop a passion for riding and we have begun mountain bike together as well as some light road riding.

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