You’re the primary caregiver for your bike. One of your most important jobs is to ensure a well-oiled machine. You want to avoid a seize-up when you’re out riding. Regular lubrication will keep your bike out of the shop and your ride smooth.
Before you start your oil job make sure your bike is clean. You should give your bike a good wash once a week. You can stay on top of a lot of small problems with a good examination of your machine while you are washing it. Wet your bike, then spray on some bike-friendly dirt cleaner and let it sit for two minutes. Use a sponge to wipe the bike down and then rinse it off with water. Wipe rims and brake pads with a damp clean rag. The buildup of dirt on your rims and pads will cause them to wear down faster, so cleaning them is important.
Clean the chain next. Use a environmentally friendly degreaser on the inside of your chain. Use a toothbrush, or other small brush, to give the inside of your chain a good scrub then rinse with water.
Now you’re ready to lubricate. An all purpose oil is dependable. Put one drop on each bushing on the inside of the chain, as this is where the chain comes in contact with other components. Move the pedal backwards to distribute the oil. Wipe off excess oil with a clean rag. In fact, wipe off any excess oil after your next couple of rides because you’ll have some.
We get a lot of stuck seatposts here in the shop. These can take time to fix and cost you. It’s an easy problem for you to avoid. Wrap a piece of tape around the post just where it meets the frame. Take the post out, wipe it and stick a rag into the seat tube. Pull the rag out and now put some lubricant inside the tube. Put the post back to the tape line and tighten your clamp.
Next move to your bottom bracket cable guide. It gets mucked up from road dirt and all the food and drink you spill. All you need is a couple of drops of oil in here. Do this routinely and your gear shifting will be smoother.
Don’t forget your brake assemblies, located on your front and back wheel. Put a few drops on any moving parts you see, avoiding your brake pads. You’ll have a hard time stopping with any oil on your pads! While you’re focussing on brakes, apply a drop or two of oil to the moving points on your brake and shift levers. These are located on your handlebars and are crucial for braking.
This isn’t an all points lubrication guide but it’s enough to get you started. Basically, all moving parts, that touch other parts, are going to need some grease. When your bike makes a strange sound, pay attention to it. Strange sounds are usually a plea for grease.
Happy riding from all of us at Russ Hays. If you have any bike maintenance questions stop by, give us a call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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