With more spare time on hand for most of us and limited things to spend it doing, why not spend some time getting to know your bike better? Some basic maintenance at home can go a long way to prolonging the life of components and can be carried out with minimal tooling. All bike maintenance tools and accessories are deemed essential items, so here’s a few easy things you can do at home to kill some time.
Loose bolts can lead to trouble. Best case scenario a bolt works its way loose and a component wears quicker. Worst case scenario a bolt works its way loose and something falls off leading to an accident. Most multi-tools have all you need to complete a basic bolt check. Things we recommend checking regularly include:
- Stem bolts (both faceplate and steerer tube clamp bolts)
- Brake mounting bolts
- Rear derailleur mounting bolt
- Seat tube clamp
- Suspension pivot bearings
Most of these bolts will have a recommended torque setting printed on them somewhere. It will typically be a number followed by ‘Nm’. These are important to follow, especially for suspension bolts or if you’re tightening bolts on carbon parts (stem bolts with carbon bars, brake/shifter bolts with carbon bars, carbon seat posts etc). A fixed-value torque tool such as this is fine for most carbon components, but if you want to properly torque everything on your bike we suggest an adjustable torque wrench.
Bike Wash and Lube
Aside from making your bike look its best, a clean bike runs smooth and prolongs the life of components. We recommend giving your frame a good polish and your drivetrain a degrease. An old toothbrush will work wonders on your drivetrain, and an old tee shirt will do a good job at polishing up your frame. Definitely worth making sure you keep any cleaners away from your brake pads and rotors to avoid contamination. You can view our range of cleaning products here.
Once everything’s clean, apply some fresh lube to your chain, making sure to remove any excess with a clean rag, and your bike is ready to go. You can view our range of chain lubes here.
Truth be told, modern day components are so reliable that there's not much more than the above that needs to be done between servicing. Keep everything clean and lubricated and there should be no need for anything major between services!