We all know the importance of up keeping our bikes in good condition, it doesn't matter whether you're new to cycling and just starting to fix your own bike, or if you've been riding and fixing bikes for a long time, you may be making more mistakes than you think when it comes to bike set up and maintenance.
We’ve put together a list of the most common maintenance mistakes with our top tips of how you can avoid them.
Using Too Much or Not Enough Lubricant
Lubricating your chain is a process that shouldn’t be rushed. Lubricating a bike too much is a common mistake that can happen when people get carried away with over spraying chain lubricant from an aerosol can. |It’s also not uncommon for cyclists to be worried about using too much lube and not being generous enough, resulting in a squeaky ride.
To know exactly how much lubricant you should be using on your chain we suggest adding one drop of lube per link, concentrating on the pins that hold them together. If you’re using a spray lubricant be sure to keep it controlled and avoid getting any spray on the disk rotor and braking surface on the rim by keeping them covered with a cloth.
Rotate your crank backwards as applying, then leave for a couple of hours so the lubricant can work its way in before wiping off the excess.
Too Much Tyre Pressure
Checking your tyre pressure to make sure it’s right can save you from a very harsh and bumpy ride. If you’re used to pumping your tyres up to the maximum pressure printed on the tyre you’re probably used to bouncy rides.
As a general rule if you’re a lighter rider you will likely want a lower pressure than heavier riders but it’s a good idea to always check the pressure before starting your route. If you ride a lot, we suggest experimenting with a range of pressures, adapting to the ground you're riding on. You will soon notice the difference and appreciate how one slight change can improve your whole riding experience.
Irregular Maintenance and Using The Wrong Tools
It can be surprising how many riders will splash out on spending thousands of pounds on a brand new bike but as soon as it comes to maintenance products they are using all the wrong tools and are in fact damaging the bike.
Updating your toolbox and investing in some new tools from a reputable manufacturer will keep your bike in the best condition. Purchasing a good set of tools can last you a life time but any sign of wear and they should be replaced.
Bad Headset Adjustment
Headsets can be a pain to adjust but they can completely change how your bike feels and handles if corrected to the right position. If you are noticing rattling coming from the front of the bike or a vibration when riding, it’s a sign that it’s probably time to tighten your bike's headset.
A common mistake that cyclists make when tightening up a headset is adjusting it too tight which can make you feel like you’re fighting the bike and could potentially cause damage. On the other hand if your headset is too loose you’ll feel like you're struggling for control.
If you want to tighten up the headset, firstly loosen off the stem bolts onto your steerer tube. Next, tighten up your stem cap until it’s snug but don’t over do it as keeping it incredibly tight could cause all sorts of trouble.
Line up the bars correctly with the top tube and front wheel before tightening up the stem bolts on the streerer. If there is any movement between the headset, the bolt isn’t tight enough so try again and again until you get there. A bike-specific torque wrench like our Cyclo 2Nm - 24nm Adjustable Wrench will make this job a lot easier!