*Without adding a motor.
Riding a bike is great fun, that’s why we do it. However, regular riding can gradually make your bike less efficient. Here are 10 ways to keep your bike working at peak performance.
Over time, air pressure in tyres can reduce. Maybe it seeps out, maybe it’s the air pressure in the atmosphere, maybe the tyre fairies break into your place and fiddle with your tyres. Either way, now and again, you will need to re-inflate your tyres. Running tyres at recommended pressures offers the best performance and puncture protection.
Cables are under constant load from the powerful springs in your brake calipers and deraileurs. The gradual stretching of cables makes itself apparent more on deraileurs – more noise starts coming from the drive train and your gears gradually get slightly out of sync. Replacing cables is a relatively straight forward task and can have your bike feeling like new.
We know. The LAST thing you want to do after a hard ride is start cleaning your bike. However, regularly neglecting your bike after riding will store up problems which could surface while on a future ride… After a shower and food, spend a little time on your bike – it will love you for it!
Cassettes and chains don’t last forever. Particularly if they get neglected and ridden in all sorts of nasty weather. A chain wear tool is all that you need to keep an eye on your vital transmission parts. A worn chain will also wear other components which should last longer such as chainrings and jockey wheels.
The best bang for your buck in terms of pimping your ride is bar tape. As well as coordinating a nice colour with the rest of your bike, consider extra padded tape or under tape gel pads to reduce road vibrations which can be the source of nigly aches and pains.
Merlin Bar Tape
Slight rocking play in the front of your bike when braking? As headsets get older they can gradually become loose. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new headset, but it might mean you need to adjust it!
- loosen stem bolts holding the stem to fork steerer. (Remember Righty tightey / Lefty loosey)
- Insert allen key into top cap bolt and turn gently to the right. Any play should now be taken out.
- Re-tighten stem bolts holding stem to the fork steerer.
Following tightening your headset, test the stem-to-fork interface is solid, tight and secure before riding.
Sit On It
Bolts get slightly loose over time. Gravel trails, rougher roads and even slight vibrations off smooth roads can gradually loosen the bolts securing your saddle and seat post. Once in a while, check the saddle bolts are tight. At least once a year take out your seatpost from the frame and re apply grease. This should stop it becoming stuck in the frame.
Are you sitting comfortably? Reduce fatigue on longer riders and reduce those niggly aches and pains by dialling in your perfect riding position. Finding your ideal position can be a little trial and error but try to aim for a balance of comfort, aerodynamics and good bike handling.
Pre Ride Check
Get into the way of giving your bike a quick ‘once over’ before hopping on and riding away. The main things to look for are; cuts in tyres, true wheels, gears selecting properly, everything feeling tight? It’s much easier to sort an issue out at home before you set out, rather than at the side of the road.
Tool Away Troubles
The best way to properly look after your bike is to have the basic tools needed to make sure everything ticks over nicely. Looking after your own bike also leaves you less reliant on other people. A quick regular ‘once over’ can stop any potential issues before they become serious. Love your bike and it will definitely love you back!