A good bike is a great way to keep fit, stay active and they’re heaps of fun. But there is nothing worse than a bike that’s rusty, seized, has flat tyres or simply broken – you can’t ride it. Whether you’re bike is brand new or an old second hand bike that’s new to you, here are 7 easy tips you can do to make sure your it stays looking new and is ready to roll when you are.
1. Store under cover
No bike is built to withstand prolonged periods out in the elements. If you leave your bike outside it will get rusty, rubber parts will deteriorate and the paint or finish will fade. Even aluminium bikes will oxidise. If you have to store outside, use a cover or waterproof tarp.
2. Use a floor stand
When your bike is not being used, keep it in a floor stand. This will keep it out of the way, and stop you from having to lean your bike up on the nearest wall or table. This prevents damage and scratches from your bike falling or being knocked over.
3. Store your bike hanging up
If you are storing your bike over winter or for long periods, find a spot in the garage or shed to hang your bike up off the ground. This will keep it out of the way, again preventing damage from being knocked over and stop flat spots in your tyres. Wipe down the bike to remove dust, pump up the tyres, clean and lubricate the chain and exposed cables.
4. Clean after dirty use
If your bike gets dirty or sandy during a ride it’s very important to give it a wash down after you’re done. First step is to rinse off the main dirt or sand with a gentle spray from the hose. Don’t use a pressure wash or steam cleaner, there are exposed areas on your bike that don’t like to have all their grease washed away. After rinsing, the second step is to wash down. Start top to bottom and front to back. Use a soft sponge and a soft bristled dust-pan type brush with a mild solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Third step, rinse your bike down with the hose again. Fourth and last step is to dry your bike with a clean towel or cloth, again dry top down, front to back. Dry off the frame completely ensuring you dry in all the tight areas. Fifth and last step is to re-lubricate the chain.
If you’re bike is left out side, it will get rusty and dirty.
5. Keep up with maintenance
If something wears out or breaks on your bike, fix or replace it as soon as possible – you always want your bike to be ready to ride when you are. The longer you leave your bike broken the more likely it’s going to stay that way.
6. Service regularly
Most bike shops and manufacturers recommend a new bike is serviced within the first 3 months. Parts will loosen over time, so these need to be checked to ensure your bike is safe. Even a second hand bike should get a full servive by a professional bike mechanic every year or two. They will check the brakes, cables, wheels and spokes as well as inspect the frame for damage. If you haven’t ridden your bike for a long period of time, get it serviced before you take it out for a spin.
7. Ride regularly
This not only keeps you fit but it’s also a great way to know when something on the bike is broken or loose.
These tips are pretty much common sense. There are a whole lot of other things you can do to keep your bike new, i just wanted to list out the basics. If you value your bike, treat it well and it will be there, ready-to-go when you need it.
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