We are seemingly bombarded by all the things we ought to be doing to our bikes to help them last longer - I'm as guilty as anyone else! And if I were to try to turn all of those into a Friday Five topic - well, it would take weeks!
So let's make it simple: What should you not do? Give these a try:
- Don't wash with pressurized water. Yeah, you could just keep it on the frame and try not to get it near any bearing sets (the pressure can blow past the seals and flush out the grease); but let's be realistic: it is safer not to use it at all. Soapy water on a sponge like you're washing a car or my favorite - Simple Green - are good alternatives.
- At the same time - don't forget to clean it. A clean bike is a happy bike. At least wipe it down once in a while to remove dust and grease. Dry it off after a wet ride. Clean and lube the chain from time to time.
- Don't go too long between tune ups. I know - we're all on a budget these days - money is tight and we all go without some things. But, some periodic and predictable maintenance is easier to budget around than going too long and receiving a BIG repair bill because you've worn out all your components and they need to be replaced.
- Don't neglect your tires. Where all the action happens - its a wonder some of us pay as much attention to them as we do. Inspect them from time to time - look for cuts, threads, missing or worn tread (here's a quick photo guide of a few things to take notice of) all of these are signs that your tires need replacement. They might need to be inflated more often than you think too!
- Don't forget to ride from time to time! For two reasons: 1) after all this maintenance on your bike it can feel like there is no time to ride it. Don't let that get in the way of doing what it's made for (Here's a few ways to make more time to ride though) and 2) A bike that is just sitting develops problems of its own - rust, dry rot, congealed grease, among others. Seriously: riding your bike helps it last longer because it actually prevents some of the issues mechanics regularly see. GO RIDE!
Here's to hoping you get out for some two-wheel time this weekend! Have a good one!