How to look after your bike

To keep your bike in tip-top shape, you need to spend a little bit of time looking after it. The good news is that as with many things in life, a little bit of TLC goes a long way, and regularly using our quick, simple tips can prevent a lot of the most common bike blues.

 

Tyres

It’s really important to keep your tyres nice and hard. Riding on soft tyres will wear them out quicker, lead to punctures, and make your quick commute feel like a slog up a mountain slope. To keep things fun, you’ll need to keep your tyres pumped to the correct pressure; different types of tyre have different pressure requirements. To find out what pressure makes your tyres happiest, look on the side of it for a number followed by the letters PSI (often there will be a recommended range rather than one single number). It’s worth investing in a pump with a pressure gauge so you can pump them up just the right amount.

Brakes and gears

Every bike you buy from us comes with brand new brake and gear cables. Because they’re new, after a month or so of riding, they might stretch a little. Feel free to bring your bike back to us and we’ll adjust them for you at no extra charge. Alternatively, it won’t cost a lot to have them adjusted at your local bike shop.

Chain and cassette/freewheel

It’s vital to oil your chain regularly. Before you start, always remember to wipe off the muck with an old rag. Next, drizzle a little chain oil on the chain and spin the pedals backwards a few times to let it settle in, before wiping off any excess. As your chain wears, your cassette or freewheel (the rear rings around which your chain spins), wears with it. Check the wear of your chain regularly using a chain checker – you only need to do this once a month and it’ll take you literally 30 seconds. Or, if you prefer, have it checked at a bike shop.

If your chain is more than 0.75% stretched, then you need to replace it immediately. Early action will save you time and money, since a stretched chain will stretch your freewheel/cassette and ultimately both will need to be replaced.

If the chain checker shows that the chain is more than 1% stretched, you’ll need to replace both the chain and the freewheel/cassette. If you wait too long, you endanger the chainset (the front rings around which your chain spins).

If you have any questions about what is written here, please contact us. Our qualified mechanics will be happy to help.