How To Maintain A Mountain Bike
If you want to keep riding smoothly, you have to know how to maintain your mountain bike. With use and time, a mountain bike gets dirty, its gears wear down and its tires wear thin. Protect yourself and your bike by practicing regular maintenance.
To maintain a mountain bike, you will need:
- Kickstand for your bike or repair stand
- Bicycle degreaser
- 2 Buckets full of hot water
- Scrub brush
- Rags or sponges
- Allen wrench
- Miscellaneous gear, such as new brake pads, handlebar grips or tires
- Secure your mountain bike in the repair stand or prop it up with its kickstand. Knock any loose dirt off of the bike.
- Give your mountain bike a good scrubbing. Add a squirt of soap to one bucket of water. Dip the rag in and gently soap up your bike. Use the scrub brush to remove any grime from your bike's chain.
- Degrease the chain. Take another rag and dip it in or spray with the degreaser. Gently grip the chain with the rag. Turn the pedal backwards so that your chain moves freely with turning the wheel. You will probably have to flip your bike over on its seat to this.
- Lubricate the gears, brakes and gear shifters. You only need a dab of lubricant in each spot. If you use too much, wipe it off. Turn the chain, shift gears and brake to distribute the lube evenly.
- Inspect your brakes, tires and handlebars before every ride. If anything is worn down, replace it. Look for scratches, nicks or threads in the pads, tires and grips. If you can see your inner tube through the tire, it is definitely time for a new one. Brake pads have a wear indicator; if the pads are worn past that mark, get new ones.
- Adjust your seat. If the cover on your saddle is torn, it's time for a new one. Use the allen wrench to the remove the saddle and replace it. Straddle your bike and position the saddle under your butt. Place one foot on a pedal and position the seat so that it is directly under you when your leg is fully extended. Use the allen wrench to tighten the seat post in place.