Our basic maintenance tips:
- If your brake levers on your handlebars can be pulled almost all the way to the handlebar, your cable needs tightening. Where the cable meets the brake, loosen the bolt, pull a small length of cable through and retighten the bolt.
- Keep an eye on your brake pads, if you can see your brake pad surface, there should usually be grooves visible if they’re not too worn.
- Keep tyres well inflated to avoid punctures, reduce tyre wear and make cycling easier! You can read the recommended pressure from the side of your tyres. If you cycle often, it could be worth investing in an upright pump.
- Use liquid oil to oil your chain at least once per month, especially if you can hear it making a small squeaking sound. Start by wiping dirt off the chain, and apply drops of oil to the joints in the chain, not directly onto the cogs. Pedal several turns and then wipe off the excess oil with a rag.
- If a part that’s supposed to move is showing resistance or one that’s not supposed to move is wobbling, the longer you leave it, the harder and more expensive it could be to repair.
For further guidance, we recommend the following sources of info:
- Sheldon Brown, especially for exhaustive reference on parts for older bikes, measurement and sizing references and in-depth instructions about for example building wheels.
- RJ The Bike Guy (Youtube), particularly for rescuing the most extremely neglected bikes.
- Park Tool (Youtube), Repair Help series gives clear instructions on many procedures.
- GCN (Youtube), especially for modern road bikes.