You don’t just get your bike, ride it, and bring it to the mountains. Well, that works. But there’s a good chance your bike won’t last long. Why? Because you need to maintain it!
Every biker should know how to maintain a mountain bike. This makes your bike last longer, and it helps you make the most out of your bike. You can also be faster and perform better if your bike is clean and serviced regularly.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to maintain a mountain bike. We’ll also tell you the things you need to prepare to do it properly.
Things You Need
- Floor pump
- Shock pump
- Allen keys
- Torque wrench
- Silicon spray
- Chain lubricant
- Cloth towels
Maintaining Your Mountain Bike Before a Ride
Inspect your brakes
Inspecting your brakes is important because this slows you down and stops your bike. You surely need this when riding on downhill trails or descents. Check if your brake levers are working properly.
They should be well-modulated and not feel too spongy. You also need to bleed them regularly because tiny air bubbles enter the pistons and make them malfunction.
Also, check your brake pads because they might be worn down. Using worn down brake pads can damage your brake rotors.
Inspect your tire pressure
Inspecting your tire pressure is important because very low PSI can easily wear your tires down. Meanwhile, very high PSI can lead your tires to explode if exposed to too much heat.
We recommend you have a 20 PSI upfront and 25 PSI at the rear if you’re into downhill and enduro. You can then have 30 PSI to 40 PSI up front and at the rear for cross-country bikes.
Related: What PSI for Mountain Bike Tires?
Inspect your shifting
Make sure that your gears shift fast and accurately. The last thing you want when riding is to have sloppy shifting.
Not only does this make your ride less fun. But this also compromises your safety especially if you’re in high-speed sections. Tune your bike and adjust the cable shifters. They should also work in parallel with your rear derailleur.
Inspect your pedals
Make sure that your pedals don’t have any play. You surely don’t want to slip off your pedal when riding, right? Check for any dents, scratches, or any damages. Also, grease the pivot points regularly so they rotate smoothly.
Inspect your linkages and bolts
All your bolts and linkages should all be at their recommended tightness. Check for any loose connections and firm them up.
Use a torque wrench to fit them correctly. The recommended tightness is around 10 Nm to 15 Nm, depending on the bike and parts. Also, remember to not over tighten them because this can damage your frame.
How to Maintain a Mountain Bike After a Ride
Inspect your bike
The first thing to do after a ride is to manually check your bike. Check for any scratches, dents, or cracks.
This is important especially if you’ve had a hard day’s shredding at the local downhill bike park. Small cracks can have huge consequences. You should also check your brakes, drivetrain, and suspension, aside from your frame.
Clean your mountain bike
You then need to clean your bike once you’ve checked it. Don’t use pressure wash as much as possible. The strong water pressure can seep into its inner nooks and make it rust. This can also damage the wheel bearings if done regularly.
The best way to clean it is to just use a hose with gently running water along with soap and sponge. You can also use a degreaser like the one from Muc-off to deep-clean your bike.
Deep clean your stanchions
Your stanchions are usually ignored when cleaning even if they are one of the most sensitive parts. Use water when cleaning the stanchions of your fork, shock, and dropper.
Also, use a separate towel when wiping them. So that dust and grime from other parts of your bike won’t contaminate it. Spray a small amount of WD-40 silicone spray once your stanchions are dry.
This smoothens their movement and makes them perform better.
Lube your drivetrain
Lubricate your drivetrain by applying lube to your chain. We recommend you use Muc-off’s Dry Lube because this is one of the top bike cleaning brands.
This prevents your drivetrain from rusting and makes it run smoother and more accurate.
Then give your bike a final wipe to make it sparkling clean. And you’re done!
Learning how to maintain a mountain bike is a must for every mountain biker. This helps you perform better on the trails. It also makes your bike last longer because the parts run correctly. You can also improve your skills faster when you’ve got a well-maintained mountain bike.
Hopefully, this article helped you know how to maintain a mountain bike correctly. Make it a habit and do your best to know your bike more. When you do, then you’ll surely be one of the fastest mountain bikers out there.
A writer by day, a tech enthusiast by night, and a mountain biker at the weekends.
After four years in business school and working for multinational clients, Jomar believes he can improve the world through his writings.
Jomar has six years of experience as a writer and has a degree in entrepreneurial marketing. Some of his works have been published on Blokt, Clutch Points, and iTech.