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Bike Maintenance for Beginners
If you are keen on doing your own bike maintenance but are not sure where to begin this guide should help you to get started in the right direction. Starting to do your own bike maintenance work is a rewarding endeavour as it allows you to get a better understanding of your bike and how to make it perform optimally. It also can save a pretty penny in taking into bike shops for simple maintenance jobs.
Get started with 3 easy steps:
1) Fix flat tyres:
Fixing a flat tyre is probably easier than you think. The first step is to remove your wheel from your bike and then deflate your tyre entirely. From then you will need to remove the tyre, prying it off the rim with a tyre lever. Take the tube out and feel the inside of the tyre slowly and carefully to ensure that no sharp items remain. If the tube puncture is clearly visible proceed to patch it up, if not you can either listen for the leak or put it in a bucket of water to locate the leak – the bubbles will indicate the location of the leak.
If you are fixing the tyre while riding, simply replace the tube and keep riding – you can worry about the puncture later. For a visual representation on the above find one of the many video’s available online or come into an Anaconda store for a demonstration from our expert bike mechanics.
2) Keep your bike clean:
A bike that is cleaned often will perform better and last longer. Some items that help to make this job easier include: A bicycle cleaning brush, a chain scrubber, a bike degreaser such as kerosene, bike chain lubricant, sponges and rags. Use these with a little soap and a water hose and your bike will not only look better but ride smoother and perform better.
3) Securing bike bolts and checking your chain:
Many bolts hold your bike together and it is important to ensure that these are all properly tightened to avoid wear and tear, maximise bike riding performance and in the worst case avoid a safety hazard. Consult your bike manual for proper tightening standards (you can probably find these online for your bike model) otherwise check with your bike mechanic.
Checking and replacing your bike chain when necessary is also very important for bike maintenance. As bike chains age they begin to stretch and weaken. This can lead to weakening of the drive train and potential slippage, whilst riding. For performance and safety whilst riding it is important to replace your chain before this happens. You can check with your ruler that the chain measure 12 inches and if it is 1/16th – 1/8th over 12 inches it is time to look for a replacement bike chain. To change your chain you will need 2 things: Chain breaker tool, and a new chain. Check with our expert Anaconda mechanics for the correct chain for your bike and if you require a demonstration for detaching your old bike chain and attaching your new bike chain.