If you are a cyclist looking to save money you should not over look the importance of doing regular basic maintenance on your bike and you should consider doing it yourself. Here are some guidelines for basic bike maintenance that you can easily do yourself. They will save you money and help your bike perform better and insure a safer ride.
Keep in mind here that visiting your local bike shop to have your bike get a check up is very important. This should be done once or more per year depending on how much you ride. Of course serious repair work should also be done by the bike shop mechanics. But there is some maintenance work you can do and should do yourself.
First, when you return from a ride it is important to clean your bike. Your bike is made up of many moving parts and when you ride they are going to get dirty. Dirt and moving parts do not combine well. If you neglect to wash away the dirt and then go riding again the dirt will cause excessive wear on your bike's moving parts and they will deteriorate faster than if they were clean.
Be careful spraying your bike with hard water pressure. This can be harmful to some of the more sensitive parts. Spray the bike lightly. Especially make sure you get the dirt out from the chain and gears. In some of the more sensitive areas you may want to just wipe them clean with a dry rag. You can use a mild detergent and water solution to clean the frame of the bike. Be sure to clean the brake shoes and brake pad as well.
The chain and gears are a very important part of your bike. Occidentally you should spray them with a solvent and then scrub the chain and gear teeth with an old tooth brush. The tooth brush will help you clean in those hard to reach areas. Be sure to use a solvent that is good for the environment. Stay away from kerosene and turpentine and use something your local bike shop recommends.
Inspect your bike to see if anything has become loose and may need adjustment or tightening. There are many nuts, bolts and screws on a bike and these can become loose once in a while. Have the proper tools so you can keep them tightened. Do not over tighten; just make sure they are not loose.
Keeping your bike properly lubricated is very important. It will help your bike perform better and the parts will last longer. Lubrication will also protect against rust, corrosion, excess wear from friction and "freezing up" of the parts.
Be sure not to over lubricate and use a proper lubrication for the temperature and weather in your riding environment. It is best to check with your local bike shop on the recommended lubrication for your area.
Here are the parts that should be lubricated:
o The chain
o The brake and derailleur levers
o The derailleur cables
o The derailleur assemblies
Follow these simple suggestions for maintaining your bike regularly and you will save yourself money and your bike will operate better and safer.
Source by Mark S Myers