Just like a car, a bike will last longer and work better if you take the time to care for it properly. If you get…
Just like a car, a bike will last longer and work better if you take the time to care for it properly. If you get in the habit of checking your bike regularly – simple checks and maintenance can help you enjoy hassle-free and enjoyable riding.
Maintaining your bike doesn’t have to take up lots of time, but if you’re in doubt, leave it to the professionals. Bike mechanics are much more affordable than car mechanics, and some will even collect your bike from home and return it when all the work is done!
Tools for looking after your bike
Here is a list of basic tools that you may find useful when carrying out simple bike maintenance:
- Puncture repair kit
- Old toothbrush
- Lubricants and grease
- Cleaning rags
- Tyre levers
- Allen keys and screwdrivers
- Small set of spanners
Tyre levers are small plastic tools that attach to the spokes of your wheel and help to ease the tyre away from your wheel rim, they’re really helpful if you have a puncture. An allen key (also known as a hex or zeta key) is a tool used to drive screws and bolts that have a hexagonal socket in the head. It’s extremely handy for maintaining bicycles.
If you keep your tyres fully inflated then you run less risk of getting a puncture. Not only will this reduce punctures, it will also make life so much easier – even a slightly under-inflated tyre will slow you down.
Thankfully, punctures don’t happen often, but when they do they are easy to fix. If you don’t fancy repairing a puncture on your journey, carry a spare inner tube, some tyre levers and a pump so you can change the tube, then fix the puncture when you get home.
If you don’t mind repairing punctures when they happen, make sure you carry your repair kit and pump at all times. All puncture repair kits have full instructions with pictures. Alternatively, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty just take it to your local bike shop and they will fix it for you.
Regular checks for your bike
These quick and simple checks will keep your bike in good condition, saving you time and money in the long-term.
|Ensure that brakes, tyres, lights, seat and handlebars are in good order and tightly secured. Any wheel quick releases must be in the closed position.
|Are your brakes squeezing the rim of the wheel (if they’re touching the tyre that’s not good) and are your handlebars and saddle secure?
|Check if your light batteries need replacing or your tyres need more air.
|Give your chain a really good wipe clean and lubricate with chain oil. Be careful not to get any oil on wheel rims or brake pads. If you do, just clean it off with some lubricant spray and a rag.
|Clean away any dirt from your wheels.
|Check the tread on your tyres for any bulges or bald spots. If you spot any it could mean that you need new tyres.
|Check your brake pads aren’t touching the tyres, and check there is still life in the pads – if not change them.
|Check for damaged or frayed gear or brake cables.
|Are your gears changing smoothly? If they need adjusting or repairing, it’s best to go to a bike mechanic.
|It’s worth taking your bike to an experienced mechanic once a year for a thorough service. All good bike shops will have a mechanic who can answer any questions you might have
Connected can help by providing Bike Maintenance workshops in your workplace, Adult Cycle Training sessions, there is also the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £25,000 to help with the cost of providing better cycling facilities at your workplace.
Did you know?
Cyclists are the most punctual of employees and also the most productive with 25% less sick days than the national average. (SOURCE: Sustrans 2013)
If you would like to join the Connected Network, or just have a chat about what we can offer, you can contact us now on 01332 641759 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org