Getting started with your new mountain bike

A new bike can be harder to look after than you might think, but if you follow these simple tips, you’ll keep your bike looking and feeling fresh for years to come!

Frame protectors

You’ve just bought a new bike, so if you’re looking to keep it in showroom condition, the best thing you can do besides leaving it your garage and never touching it is to cover it in frame protectors. These thin sheets of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are applied directly to your frame. Designed to safeguard your bike from rock strikes, scratches and shuttle marks, the extra time and money it takes to adhere these to your frame will be well worth it in the long run.

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Recommended product (above) – All Mountain Style Honeycomb Frame Guard

Tune your suspension

Setting up your suspension correctly is essential to help your bike feel and ride well. You’ll have to set the sag, the amount the suspension compresses when you sit on the bike, before you ride. A common rule of thumb for Fox and Rockshox suspension is to put your weight in kilograms in the fork, and twice your weight in the shock, for example, a 70kg rider will need about 70 PSI in the fork and 140 PSI in the shock. You’ll still need to fine tune this, but if you’ve never set suspension before, it’s a good place to start. Your sag should be between 20 and 30 percent of the travel of the suspension. If you like climbing hills, it should be closer to 20, and if you love bombing descents, you may need up to 35. Take the time to get it right, it will make your bike feel much better. For an in-depth explanation, check out our guide, How to Tune Your Suspension Perfectly.

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Recommended product (above) – Topeak Pocket Shock DXG

Keep it clean 

Every part of your bike is going to get caked in dirt, mud and, if you’re unlucky, maybe even some blood. This means you need stay on top cleaning. After any particularly muddy ride, you should be washing your bike, wiping down your stanchions and cleaning your chain. Because mountain bikes, especially full suspension bikes, have so many more moving parts than road bikes, keeping dirt out of them is essential. Dirt will get into every one of your pivots and bearings and will wear them out in no time. Every few months you should pull out your bearings and forks to clean and regrease them. It’s a time-consuming job but it will save you money and increase the performance of your bike.

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Recommended product (above)Park Tool Chain Gang Cleaning System

Carry spares

You need to be self-sufficient out on the trails, so being able to fix punctures, snapped chains and broken derailleurs are essential skills for every rider. Always carry at least one spare tube, a multi-tool, a chain link and a few cable ties. More importantly, know how to use them.

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Recommended product (above)Fabric 16 Function Multi Tool

Looking after your mountain bike doesn’t take long if you do it regularly, and it’s better to spend five minutes after every ride instead of hours and hundreds of dollars every few months.

About Tim_Davis@Pushys

I'm a Science Graduate and Medical student at the University of Queensland, specialising in anatomy and physiology. More importantly, I'm all for any type of riding; road, mountain, dirt jumping, I love it all! Let me know if there is anything you want to know about nutrition and health, and I'll do my best to help you out!

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