If you own a bicycle, chances are it will need maintenance to keep it operating efficiently. How many of us often delay servicing needs? Whether it’s because you don’t have time to get your bike to a bicycle shop, don’t want to spend the money or simply don’t want to be left for a few days without your bike.
Well, the good news is that a lot of the regular maintenance needs of your bicycle can be performed by you, at home, in a couple of minutes if you invest in some relatively cheap tools.
Task 1: Replacing/moving your cassette
Tools: Cassette remover and chain whip
Cost to purchase : $25
An absolute must have tool. Quickly move your training wheel cassette over to your race wheels. Have a fast bunch ride on the weekend you want to pop those race wheels on for? Get a cassette remover tool and you’ll be out the door in less than two minutes. This quick and painless task is also a great way to give your cassette a really deep ‘showroom’ clean as each cog can be attended to.
Task 2: Replacing a worn chain
Tools: Chain tool
Cost to purchase: $30
If you weren’t already in the know, you should look to replace your chain approximately every 2000km (tip: use a chain checker tool to check wear – see below) to ensure best shifting performance and increased drivetrain longevity. Avoid wasting time going to a bike store, booking in your bike and missing out on a ride. Simply replace your chain yourself. Very easy to do, even for the least mechanically savvy rider.
Optional tool: Chain checker.
Function: Check to see whether your chain needs replacing. A tool that can help you check chain wear in less than 10sec.
Task 3: Checking bolts are tightened correctly
Tools: Torque wrench or set of Allen keys
Cost to purchase: Varies
An incorrectly tightened bolt can be catastrophic. Under tightening a bolt on your bike can result in unwanted movement of the part it is securing. Imagine a seatpost slipping down, or handlebars rotating during a sprint. Over tightening can be just as bad and often costly. Tighten a bolt too much and you can damage parts or even snap the bolt head. This can lead to more complications where you may struggle to remove the remaining bolt, making the part unusable. Most parts today have safe recommended torque specifications to tighten. Don’t risk tightening your bolts based on ‘feel’. You will almost always over or under tighten. Get a torque wrench!!
Tip: Use a little blue Locktite on bolt threads to prevent bolts rattling loose
Regardless of your technical ability when it comes to servicing, these are some tasks that anyone can complete. The minimal investment in these simple tools above can save you hundreds of dollars as well as time. Check out the great range of tools Pushys have available to help keep your bike running smoothly.
By Ricky Swindale – Pushys Sponsored Athlete