There’s hardly any feeling that can match the feel-good rush that comes with riding your MTB across different terrains and beautiful landscapes. However, in order to continue with the breathtaking adventures on two wheels, you need to take care of your bike properly. Here are some basic maintenance tips you can easily implement for the good health of your bike.
Cleaning Your Bike
If you’re a regular MTB cycler, you must be familiar with your bike’s look after a muddy ride. Commit to cleaning your bike right after the ride as it can significantly prolong its life span. In addition, it’s advisable to clean it at least once a week. Firstly, rinse all elements of your bike. This loosens grit and debris. Then, use a cleaning product and thoroughly clean the frame, cogs, gears, and the chain. Wait ten minutes or so, for the product to soak in, then rinse it all again, and wipe the cleaned parts. Ask around to find the perfect product finish for the ending phase of cleaning, as it will prevent rusting.
Check the Brakes
When it comes to maintaining brakes, we usually take a look only when a problem already occurs. For example, if brakes start squeaking, you know you need to oil them a bit or clean them to free the mechanism from dirt. But be smart and embrace preventive practices: always check the brake pads, as it is better to be safe than sorry. Brake pads tend to wear out with time, which can endanger the safety of the cycler. Basically, if brake pads are worn out, the brakes won’t function properly. If you notice the grooves look a bit frayed, it’s time to replace the pads. They don’t cost much and it’s best if you turn to renowned brands such as Shimano, so you know you’re buying something of great quality and that your investment will pay off. After you’re done, taste the brakes: they should start to grip at approximately 1/3 pull.
Keep the Tyres and Wheels in Order
You may be puzzled about the right tyre pressure for your MTB. Tyres that are usually seen on mountain bikes are 30-50 psi, but it also depends on the cyclist and his or hers weight, the frequency of riding, and a number of other conditions (e.g. riding style or weather). You may ask for a professional advice or try different pressure a couple of times, until you get it right. In any case, tyres have to be optimally inflated so that they don’t get damaged. As for the wheels, flip your bike upside down and spin each wheel to ensure it turns freely. In case it wobbles, it needs fixing, i.e. “truing”. The procedure is quite simple, but still – it should be handled by a professional.
Check the Saddle and Adjust its Height
We all know how unpleasant it can be to end up with a sore behind after long-distance cycling. This is why it’s important to choose a comfy saddle that will be positioned for the best possible support during the ride. The perfect saddle position depends on your riding style, comfort, and personal preferences. If you notice some leg pain, it might be that your saddle is too low. It happens that the saddle gets lower over the time due to the constant pressure or weakened screws. Wondering what’s the best saddle height? Stand overside to it: it should be positioned somewhere around your hip. Another way to test the best height is to go for a ride. If when pedaling, your legs get almost straightened in the knee, you got it right.
When it comes to your bike, a little responsibility goes a long way. Prevention is the key here, so repay your bike for taking you places by investing your time and effort into taking care of it.