Like any piece of equipment with mechanical, moving parts, it is important to make sure everything is working as it should and repair any parts that aren’t. A bike service doesn’t need to be difficult and it can be done at home.
We understand a service may be an additional cost you may prefer to spend on new cycling gear, so we’re going to take you through these 5 easy steps to get you and your bike back out on the roads, all from the comfort of your own home.
Start with a clean
Whether you’re a mountain biker or road commuter, your bike is still going to get its fair share of puddles. It is going to be a little difficult to figure out how your bike is doing whilst being covered in mud and sand, so start by giving it a good clean.
Do try and be thorough, a good clean will help prevent rust and maintain the paintwork. Keeping a stock of products to keep your bike gleaming is definitely a good idea, make sure to include a degreasing spray in your stash, it will help you break through those dirt layers. Although it can be useful, you don’t need to have all the fancy cleaning equipment – a handy tip for cleaning the chain is to using an old toothbrush.
Test the brakes
Go for a little bike ride (only a few feet) and test both the front and the back break carefully and individually. You can also test them by keeping your bike stationary, holding down the brake and then trying to push forward. If they’re not working as they should, you may find that you missed a bit when cleaning the brake pads – run a cloth on the brake pads and make sure to loosen any remaining mud.
If you do need to replace the bike brake pads, you can do this by loosening the brake calliper, taking off the tyre, removing the existing brake pads with an allen key and replacing with the new. The general rule of thumb is that your brake pads should last around 1000 miles, so it really depends on how much you use your bike and how long your rides are to how frequently they will need changing.
Really importantly, you want to make sure your chain hasn’t stretched as this could lead to slower and sloppier gear changes. The metal doesn’t actually stretch but as the inner link wears, the chain’s overall length will grow. Check how much ‘lift’ there is when pulling the chain away from the gripping teeth, if you can pull it out almost entirely from the teeth then it is probably time to replace the chain.
Alternatively you can purchase a chain measuring tool that will help you assess the situation.
How to prevent punctures
If you love cycling as much as us, I’m sure you will have experienced a flat tyre at some point in your riding history and what a pain it can be. Of course, a puncture repair kit on hand would be super helpful and very responsible but it isn’t always as easy as that. The best way to avoid punctures is to ensure your tyres are happy and healthy before heading out. Always check the tyre pressure specific to your bike but you can see some tyre pressure examples below.
Check nuts & bolts
All Reid bikes are built with quality products that provide the high standard you’re used to. Over time nuts & bolts can loosen and should be checked regularly. The last step of your bike maintenance should be to make sure the nuts and bolts are tightened up, but don’t over-do it as you could cause damage.
For this step it would be helpful to get your hands on a spanner and allen key set.
Now you’re good to go! If you have any questions or need some bike help please feel free to get in touch. We’re always happy to help!