This week, on Tri Talk Tuesday, Courtney, Miranda, and Cynthia have selected the theme “bike maintenance! I’d like to talk about specific maintenance things you need to do on your bike throughout the year to make it ride and race-ready! I actually have the luxury of my husband doing all my maintenance on my bike, so all of this information below is coming from him.
Once a year:
- Check and if applicable, change your bike chain
- Check your brake and derailleur cable
- Check and clean your bottom bracket under your bike crank
- Practice changing your tire/tube (depending on the kind of bike tires you have–mine are tubeless tires, so when you get a “flat” with these tires, you don’t actually change the tire, you just repair it with tyre sealant and then re-pump it up with CO2-this is faster than a pump, and you can get higher pressure in the tire much quicker. So I practice this every year.)
Once a week (or after a ride in the rain):
- Clean your chain (we like to use Jig-a-loo lube to clean it)
Before every ride:
- Check tire pressure. Your tires will say how much pressure you should have in them. You can see from the picture below that my tires require between 115-175 p.s.i.
- Check your brakes-make sure the pads aren’t rubbing on your tires-you should see a small gap between each pad
- Lube your cassette and derailleur
On race day:
- Check the same things you would pre-ride
- Shift through all your gears the morning of to make sure they are shifting smoothly (this is the one thing I actually do!)
- Pack what tools you need and put them on your bike. I keep all of my tools in a tennis ball container hooked into one of my water bottle cages. This way it doesn’t take up any extra space on my frame and is easy to access if I need it!
So, there’s your checklist of what you need to do to keep your bike in good shape and give you a quality ride and race! If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I’ll probably defer to John to answer them, but either way you’ll get a good answer.