Bike Maintenance Recommendations
Maintaining your bike is an important part of keeping it functioning and fun for the long run. How often and what type of service your bike needs depends on many different factors (what type of bike, what type of riding, frequency of riding to name a few). We recommend some type of maintenance every year and here are some options to help you;
The Regular Maintenance Schedule
(All types of bikes and all types of riders)
Bikes all require a certain amount of regular attention. Here are a few things you can do to get to know your bike and keep it happy.
Before every ride: make sure nothing is loose (a quick check for this is to lift the front wheel of the bike a few inches off the ground and then let it bounce down. You will hear rattling if anything is loose). If anything is loose, secure it with the proper tools, check tyre pressures and pump up the tyres (tyres naturally lose pressure and proper inflation makes a huge different in ride quality and durability!). Give the brakes a tight squeeze to make sure they feel right. Check any quick releases.
After every long ride: Clean the grime off of the Drivetrain; Chain, Derailleurs and Cassette and then re-lube the chain with a proper bike chain oil and the derailleurs with a light spray oil such as TF2.(all stocked in store at Bigpeaks)
After every 10-20 hours of riding: check that all components are moving freely but without play. Check brake pads for wear. Check cables for bending, kinking or fraying. Check tyres for wear and damage. Spin the wheels and see if they are running true. Come in to the store and ask advice!. We know about bikes and we want you to be happy and safe when you ride your bike!
Every Day Cyclists
(Bike commuters, performance and fitness riders, enthusiasts)
Riding your bike often translates into caring for your bike often. You will find that brake pads will wear down, your cables will collect dirt and grit and your bearing races will be out of adjustment sooner than you think. Your drivetrain will take its share of wear and tear as well. Frequent drivetrain cleaning will help improve performance and increase the lifespan of your components. Recommended full maintenance for this bike is every 6 months.
(Recreation riders, occasional low-mileage riders, nice weather only)
It is a good idea to have your bike checked up on after pulling it out of the garage before your first ride of the season (we are normally busier in the spring, so if you bring your bike in for an annual tune up in the winter, it will be ready to ride as soon as the weather gets nicer). These bikes benefit from an annual tune-up to make sure everything is in adjustment, make sure all the bolts and fasteners are securely mounted, wipe the dust off and pump up the tyres.
Recommended maintenance for this bike: Annual complete tune-up. Repairs as needed. A good cleaning before putting into storage at the end of the season.
Off Road Mountain bike
(performance off road, off road enthusiasts)
Serious off road riding requires serious attention to your bike. The parts on your off road bike work in harsh conditions. If you want your bike to carry you through all that you should take care of it more often. Annual overhauls will keep everything in fresh, catch issues early before they turn into expensive problems and leave your bike in tip top shape.
Recommended maintenance for this bike: annual tune up or overhaul (depending on the amount of riding). Repairs as needed.
Commute Bike With Heavy Loads
(aggressive riders, professional rider)
Hard riding is hard on your bike. Riding a lot is hard on your bike. If you have a long commute, if you load your bike with heavy loads or if you ride your bike for a living as a messenger or delivery rider than you are going to require frequent maintenance.
Recommended maintenance for this bike of at least twice a year for high mileage bikes! A full service or complete overhaul (depending on the amount of riding). Repairs as needed. Custom hand built wheels for bikes carrying heavy loads.
(commuter or recreational winter riding)
Dartmoor and South Devon winters can be harsh. Harsh on us and our bikes. When you ride in the winter your bike is going to need to be pampered. Keep your bike clean from snow, ice, mud, road salt and sand. Get it prepped for the winter and have an annual overhaul to keep winter from getting to your bike.
Recommended maintenance for this bike: pre season weather preparation. Annual overhaul. Repairs as needed
What About the Issues That Arise Between Services?
Pay attention to what your bike is doing (screaming at you). Strange noises, poor performance, poor handling, changes in the way the bike responds; these are all signs that something needs to be adjusted, overhauled or replaced.
What About my Hydraulic Disc Brakes?
Hydraulic brakes are well protected against a lot of the grit and grime that’s on the roads and trails but regular maintenance will flush the system of anything that shouldn’t be in there and will be an opportunity to catch any problems before they arise.
Recommended maintenance for hydraulic brakes: to keep fluid fresh and catch any issues before they become problems; bleed once per year(if your brakes get squishy this indicates a bleed problem). Service as needed.
What About my Suspension Components?
Suspension components must be clean to function properly and the fluids inside must remain uncontaminated to have a long service life. Regular maintenance will ensure that your investment will last you a long time. Recommended maintenance varies from manufacturer to manufacturer so be sure to read your owners’ manual and ask questions if you want some clarification. There are a few things that apply to almost all suspension components and top on the list is to keep it clean! Most manufacturers recommend that you clean your suspension fork and rear shock after every ride and have the oil changed as often as every 50 hours of riding. But keeping an eye out and re-inflating air shocks and forks will involve you in less visits to get them serviced.
How Do I Get This Work Done?
The Bigpeaks Workshop is open year round to help you out. We can perform any of these maintenance procedures plus many more too numerous to talk about here. Call in and talk to our staff for good advice.