Most people love their bike. It gives freedom, fitness and provides the same head clearing-happy-joy it has given since childhood. However, there are dark, sinister, destructive forces which can kill your bike. Watch out for these seemingly innocent elements – protect your pride and joy! These 8 things can kill your bike.
Salt n Chips 🍙
Sodium Chloride (Salt) eats bikes. Sodium Chloride – is a proper chemical which gets delivered on trucks with a hazard sign so avoid it come into contact with your bike. If it does, clean it off! Regularly using your bike on a trainer? Clean the sweat off every time to stop your salty sweat doing its thing. Regularly riding on gritted roads through winter? It is really important to wash the salty gunk off your pride and joy ASAP!
If you build a bike without using grease on key components, your are storing up trouble for the future. Smearing a small amount of grease on threaded parts will ensure that when they get worn out and need replacing, you will be able to do the swap. Get your grease on; Seatpost (aluminium), Headset Cups, Pedals, Bottom Bracket, Derailleurs, Stem bolts. For carbon components use carbon assembly paste.
Jaws of Doom👹
Like a super-sinister (initially friendly) bad guy in a film… You think the workshop stand loves your bike, and likes helping to maintain it. WRONG! Clamp your carbon frame on the main frame tubes and your stand will try to EAT your bike. Yes EAT it.
Well actually, it is kind of user-error. Carbon frames are not designed to resist crushing forces on main tubes. Clamp your carbon bike using your seatpost, or if you have to, make some big foam rubber fads to protect the frame and don’t clamp too tight.
Riding a bike through winter and not looking after it at all is a sure-fire way to kill off your bike. The first thing to fail will be the gearing / transmission and cables. There is a far wider range of filth on the roads through winter and into spring and your bike needs your help to get through it!
Rack of Fear 🍗
Nothing can go wrong transporting your bike on your car can it? Wrong, unfortunately Youtube is awash with bike rack fails. From the classic ‘forgot the bikes were on the roof under the McDonalds barrier’. Or the horrendous ‘unsecured bike flying off at high-speed’. Always fit your roof bars / rack to manufacturers specifications and double-check everything is secure before setting off. If your bike rack clamps your frame tube – Be Careful, remember, carbon is very easily crushed!
Regular repeated wet rides, without any degrease & lube on your transmission, will kill lots of bits of your bike at the same time. Gear cables, Chain, Cassette, front and rear Gear derailleurs can be ruined within days with the dreaded combination of daily rain and no maintenance.
If you live in a house which suffers from damp, be careful how your bike is stored. After living next a river a few years ago, my cleaned and safely packed away steel race frame came out of storage riddled with holes. I was absolutely gutted. If your house does suffer from damp, store your bikes with moisture absorbing crystals.
Pad Wrecker 💦
Accidentaly spraying de-greaser on your brake pads is a sure fire way to wreck them. Try to mask-off your disc brake calipers with cardboard before spraying fast and loose with the degreaser.
If it is too late and you have already wrecked your bike, fear not. After giving your bike a decent burial (AKA Listed on Ebay with no reserve) Merlin Cycles huge Bike Sale is in full swing, check out our awesome deals on new bikes here. Now please, lets try to look after the next one…