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When should you fix your bike?

When should you fix your bike?

It may be common knowledge that we need to get our oil changed on your cars at least every 4000 kms. We also know that you need to go to the dentist at least once every 6 months. It's just things you need to do. But how often do you need to service your bike? Is it really that important that I get it serviced when it needs it?  

 

In this blog we are going over some basics on our recommendations on how to care for your bike.

 

Average Guidelines 

Rule 1: A clean bike is a happy bike. 

Using a simple spray bottle with soapy water (Muc Off works great) and a rag will give you an intimate relationship with your bike. It will let you see if spokes are loose, if the chain needs oil, if the tires need air or have any cuts. Or if there is a problem that needs the attention of the bike doctor.  It has been scientifically proven that a clean bike is 15% faster than a dirty one. 

 

Rule 2:  Air in the tires.

Check tire pressures weekly. Rubber is porus and will bleed air over time. Just like the balloon you found behind the couch. Under inflated tires leads to slowness and can greatly increase your chances of having a flat. For city riding inflate to the maximum recommended pressure stated on the side of the tire.  

 

Rule 3: Oil on the chain. 

  1. Too much of a good thing is bad.  An overly lubricated chain does nothing but give you a dirty pant leg and collects dirt that will lead to bad shifting and premature wear of drive train parts.
  2. The only part of a chain that  needs oil is the rollers between the links. A very detail oriented mechanic will apply 1 drop to each. (there are aprox 116).
  3. Wipe off any excess. 
  4. Use only lubricants specifically designed for bicycle chain use.

 

Following these guidelines will keep your bike running smoothly and keep you from being surprised in the middle of a long ride. 

How can I tell when my bike needs professional service?

Let's face it, most bikes are ridden to failure rather than kept running with preventative maintenance. If something doesn’t sound right or work right and you are not sure what it is your friendly neighborhood mechanic will gladly have a look at it and let you know what is needed.  . Your  brakes, chain, gears, cables, tires,  and bearings are all working together to give you that oh so sweet feeling of freedom.  When you ride, these things gradually wear out.  Here are some things to look out for. 

 

Brakes 

When your braking becomes sketchy and you need to apply excessive force to stop reasonably. Or, when your brakes are making loud squeaking / grinding noises. 

 

Chain & Gears 

With improper cleaning and oiling your chain can get rusty or dirty. Both cases will make it harder to pedal and shift gears.  Fortunately we may need to just clean and oil your chain for you. 

 

You may also notice that under acceleration it might feel like the chain is skipping. This means you may need to replace your chain and /or rear gears. 

Why do we replace both? This is because they are designed to be worn together. If you just replace one you may still have the same issue. 

Cables 

These are the wires that connect your brake levers and shift levers to the brakes and shifters. Inside the black wires is a small steel cable. Over time these cables can fray, rust, get kinked or even snap. All of which lead to a poor cycling experience.
You can tell these need attention when you need to pull harder then normal on your  brake levers to stop or when shifting gears.

Tires 

A worn out tire or flat tire can make a massive difference in how your bike feels. A worn tire is more likely to suffer from punctures. An underinflated one will be slow and make it hard to pedal, also it will be more prone to flats. One of the biggest misunderstandings riders have, is what pressure your tires should be at. Without a gauge you can’t tell. The “thumb press test” is just a guess. Like looking out the window at your car and deciding that you have enough gas to get to your cottage. A proper bike pump  will have one built right in. So you can quickly do this at home before your ride. 




Bearings

If wheels are wobbly or don’t seem to want to spin. Or if your cranks make crunching / ticking  sounds when you pedal. Chances are that you've got bearing issues.

All of the above can be learned to be fixed by the willing home mechanic. Keep in mind the expense of purchasing specialty tools and the time it takes. Which leads us to…..



Can you fix my bike if I didn’t buy it from you?

Absolutely Yes!

Our mechanic has over 20 years of experience fixing bicycles, and a passion to match. We have seen everything from cruisers from the 1930s to race bikes of the ‘70s and the latest carbon fiber Mountain bikes from Norco.

We are familiar with most brands of bikes such as Trek, Giant, GT, Kona, Norco, KHS, and more!


If you purchased a bike from a department store, we recommend that you take it straight to us before riding it. 

Most department store bikes are assembled by the same kid who stocks the shelves, not tuned by a professional. Issues we have seen are: fasteners are not torqued to spec, braking is not even, and shifting isn’t smooth, bearings improperly adjusted. We have seen many department store bikes break within their first year because they were assembled incorrectly. Our tune up for 69.99 will fix most of their issues. 


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