10 Tips of Amateur Road Bike Maintenance

Posted by tan xiao yan on

Since road bikes being comparatively a simple mechanical device, many amateur cyclists only focus on one or two parts when it goes wrong and then tries to fix and maintain. The road bikers might be fastidious about staying their bike clean and well-lubed or ensure that the gears and brakes can work right. However, the maintenance of other parts are often ignored until hearing the noise from something or they are broken or fail to work.

This part is going to talk about commonly ignored areas of road bike maintenance and also provides some tips on how to solve or avoid some problem by this maintenance and stop it from becoming a repair.
You may hope that some kind of natural law can help you increase your cycle fitness, automatically your mechanical competence increased in equal measure. After finishing the full maintenance, you feel that if you can ride 60 miles in or within two hours, at least, making you able to change a tubular or adjust a gear without losing the ambition to live and becoming to run across the country and to avoid bike maintenance.

Tips 1 Gear cable

You may kink or fray the gear cables sometimes, leaving you to stay on the road and your bike cannot move. This happens especially when confronting the older 10-speed Shimano groups whose the gear cable is external. These cables are constantly bent in the shifter and are said to become easily weak over time.

Provided that you have external cable routing, you may shift the relevant derailleur into the largest sprocket. Now, when the chain keeps the derailleur in this position, stop moving the cranks and click the shifter all the way down reversely, this will release all tension from the cable and make you pull it free from its guides. You can poke the cable out of the shifter and check for any fraying or kinks, and replace if dubious. If you cannot find any kind and have done the steps for lubing a cable, go ahead and drip some dry chain lube on that inner cable.

Tips 2 Headset

If you keep your bike horizontal and remake stem and handlebars, make sure you learn how to tighten the headset. Even the well-maintained bikes you thought often have the hidden spoiled headset bearings. You can prevent this by removing your stem and dropping the fork out of the frame, which can be done easily with the bike on the ground. Newer frames will have sealed bearings, which just need a thin coat of grease on the surfaces. Just take it all back together and torque to spec. It can be a real pain to find the right replacement bearings for your headset or frame. If you've let it go too far and the bearings feel rough, you must now try to source the right replacement headset bearing. This is also a perfect time to check your fork steerer for any signs of stress or broken problem. Make sure to inspect close to the bearing races contact and the stem clamps.

Tips 3 Chain

Keeping your chain clean and well-lubed at correct pressure is prime, but don’t forget to inspect for wear regularly. For a road bike you race on, it is worth changing chain every 1,000 miles to get better efficiency and make expensive cassettes last a longer time. List an extreme example, many pro cyclists replace their chains every 1,000km so that over three seasons they very seldom wear out cassettes or chainrings. Of course, there is no need for amateur riders to change their chains often, but it does give you a concept or awareness that if you replace your chain often enough, you’ll get longer life out of the rest of your drivetrain.

There are plenty of chain checkers on the market and they all work in a similar way generally, offering a rough guide on when to replace a chain. Personally, I recommend a Feedback Sports Digital Chain Gauge and it's highly accurate but quite expensive. When you get beyond your knowledge base, you also can try Google and YouTube which are invaluable resources.

Tips 4 Pedals

In fact, many cyclists will repair or maintain everything but ignore their pedals, even when moving old, clapped-out pedals across to a brand new bike. After the rain, speed play pedals need greasing like mad unless you want to keep working out about £200 for a new pair. Be careful of the loose bearings and worn cleats. Cyclists always tighten or service pedals to keep them spinning smoothly but cannot fix the worn cleat surface on the pedal body, and the off-axis movement this causes can lead to knee pain and other issues. For example, older pedals without a metal contact surface would wear in this manner.

Tips 5 Brake Pads

You can find the wear indicators brake pads because it's easy to see if they have life left in them, but you should notice that if they are wearing evenly and still contacting the rim square. If not, you can use a coarse file to get a little more life out of unevenly worn pads. Once you've squared them off, adjust the pads so that they touch the rim right. Note that your levers should have a light feel and do not need to force much for pulling the brake. If they do, consider to change your brake cables and give the caliper a service.

Tips 6 Bar Tape

It happens frequently that many cyclists ride with ripped, torn or old and compressed bar tape. Actually, it's cheap to replace and change new tyres, brings new life to any bike. Another important reason of the replacement of your bar tape occasionally is to give you a chance to safety inspect your handlebar for cracks or corrosion. Before you replace the tape, consider doing new cables too, because cables are tucked beneath it and replacing the bar tape is just as time-consuming as replacing cables.

Tips 7 Freehubs

Despite it is widely believed that you can define the quality of a good freewheeling by its noise, most free hubs shouldn’t sound like that. If your hub has gotten noisier over time, it's possible that it's dry or dirty that needs your attention. With the proper guidance and tools, such as the Allen keys and cone spanners, and sometimes a bench vice, this isn't a hard or long work. Just make sure to read up on the process in the instruction for your hub before beginning, and be careful not to drop small parts. To ensure you don't get chain drop or drops, it's usually best to stick with the recommended lube. If in doubt, go with a thin grease or thick oil, standard grease will often cause drag and sticking. Many quality brands will specify their own lubes.

Tips 8 Derailleur Hanger

The derailleur hangers are easy to bend on modern road bikes for their soft alloy material. If you have a not good shifting, inspect if your derailleur hanger is straight. If your bike ever falls derailleur-side down (whether you’re on it or not at the time), you should always check that the derailleur hasn't been hit or knocked out of the right place. Otherwise, you could be pulling the chain out of your spokes before you know it. A derailleur hanger alignment gauge really should be in the toolbox. If you're keen to do it yourself, the Park Tool DAG-2 is one of the most affordable and trusted hanger tools on the market. Brands such as X-Tool and Life Line make cheaper versions too.

Tips 9 Tyres

Inspecting your tyres between rides may prevent the dreaded roadside puncture. Look for cuts or tears in the tread and sidewalls. If your tyre is getting flat in the center, then it's likely that it’s worn. Any protruding glass or wire must be removed, and if the tyre is punctured through the casing, consider replacing it. You also should learn how to repair a puncture without getting a pinch flat which means that you may use hands rather than tyre levers. After putting on, go all the way around both sides of the rim to make sure no inner tube is stuck between rim and tyre.

Tip 10 Loose and rattling parts

How loud does that annoying noise on your bike? Then you finally attempt to fix it. To endure the noise may solve many bike maintenance problems. But, notice that bike noises can trouble you again and again. Bike noises can be irritating for you to find the source, but sometimes bike noises are nothing more than a wheel not correctly fitted. You can avoid the rattles and creaks while some can be a pain to find, most of the time it’s the simplest of things that is causing them. Firstly, inspect the loose bottle cage bolts and jingling items in your saddle bag. It’s surprising how often bikes have a slightly loose bottle Another ordinary reason of rattling is the loose cassettes, hubs or headsets. Rattling shifters is another one, but it can be harder to fix depending on the model. The chain ring bolts can make them loose and easy to disguise themselves as a creaking bottom bracket or pedal. You should know that tools for chainring bolts are different.

In all, the most basic advice I can give is to check your fluids regularly, change your oil and filter at least as often as the manufacturer recommends, let your engine warm for a couple of minutes before you ride, check your tyres and tyre pressures frequently, keep your chain lubed and use clean fuel. Buy or download a maintenance manual for your bike and start with the routine, some simple stuff. When you get beyond your knowledge base, try Google and YouTube which are invaluable resources.

Your best way is usually to go to the bike shop because the staff there know more and are professional.You will save your time and money. You’re better off taking it to an expert rather than trying to do it yourself.

Our life is not so straightforward. not only do we cyclists have to train through wind, rain, and sleet, but we also have to learn the intricacies and challenges of bike maintenance. Never rush bike maintenance. You will pay for it in the long term. Take your time, use the proper tools.