We know that the bicycle is a very precious asset for you and that you want to take care of it as it deserves. To do this, it is important that you know which are its most delicate points, the most susceptible to failure and those that need more specific care. In addition, you will be interested in knowing how you should store it when it is not in use, how to get it ready in a few minutes before going out and how to check and clean it after several hours of use.
In this line, we want to offer you some tips that will be very useful to do a good basic maintenance of your road bike. But first, let's find out why it is important that your bike is regularly serviced and in its optimal condition despite being in disuse for a while.
Why is routine maintenance on your bike important?
The road bicycle is a vehicle that, like any other, is vulnerable to certain wear and tear, either due to its own use or due to the passage of time. In that sense, you should know that even in disuse it can be affected by external agents that cause its performance to decrease.
Thus, doing a good road bike maintenance and carrying out routine checks of its condition to apply the necessary cleaning and repairs will not only help you extend its useful life, but will also help you prevent mechanical failures that can lead to inconveniences. greater. In this sense, we not only recommend that you check your bicycle before and after your outings, but also that you make it a habit to check its condition and store it properly when you know that you will not be using it for a while.
Tips for setting up your bike before an outing
As you already know, making sure your bike is in perfect condition before a road trip is essential. This will not only help you prevent mechanical incidents during your routes, but it will also have to do with the health and general good condition of your bike, directly related to its useful life. A well-maintained bicycle can be your best ally.
Before going out and spending several hours riding your bike, you should take into account the importance of checking, first, your safety elements.
1. Checking the brakes
Brakes are undoubtedly a determining element for your safety on the road and for this reason they are the first components that you should check. First of all, we recommend that you check the travel of your brake levers. To do this, you must press the levers and check that their travel is not too long. In the event that the route is long, reaching its maximum point, it will mean that the brakes are too loose, which can end up being a danger.
Checking the condition of the brake pads is the next step you should take. This will be easier for you if you have a conventional brake, since with disc brakes, abnormalities in the pads are somewhat more difficult to locate (although if there is any oddity it is likely that they make noise during pedaling and braking when braking. rub against the disc). If the brake pads on your bike are too worn, they will not work effectively, so you will need to change them. As we mentioned, in the case of the traditional brake, you will be able to see the wear easily without having to disassemble it, thanks to the indicator that the pad holder usually carries.
If the brakes of your bicycle are of the conventional model, it is important that you also check the condition of the cables and covers. Being metallic, they can rust if they have been exposed to moisture or have gotten wet, which will make them lose resistance. In that case you will have to replace them to make sure that your bike will brake correctly.
2. Checking the tires
The tires are the bike's only contact with the track and their condition must be optimal on your routes. Therefore, checking that they have the correct pressure before leaving the route is essential. However, before doing so, we recommend that you look at the general condition of your tires. The normal thing is that after certain kilometers they will wear out, especially in the case of the rear wheel, although cuts can be observed on both wheels.
Sometimes your tires may not be worn with use, but you should be aware that a material such as rubber can dry out when the bike is not being used, causing your tires to crack and lose grip. It is important that the tires are in perfect condition if you want to feel safe on the bike, you will also feel greater comfort and achieve more aerodynamics.
3. Review of transmissions
The transmission (made up of the chain, the sprockets and the chainrings) is the third and last element that must be checked for your safety on the bike, but not the least important for that. The gearing of your road bike and its resistance have a direct impact on the power you transfer to it and, therefore, your speed during routes.
The most important thing at this point is to check that the transmission lubrication is correct, and that the chain flows correctly from the chainrings to the sprockets. In this sense, it is likely that after many hours of use and many kilometers, your chain has become loose or loosened, something that will intensify if you do not take care of it correctly and let it dry out too much.
To give it the attention it deserves, it is important that before your outings you check that it is lubricated and clean. If it is not, you should clean it carefully and grease it with an oil or a specific greasing material, such as Teflon or wax.
Tips for cleaning and care after a road trip
The correct cleaning of your bicycle after the outings is a fundamental element for its maintenance, since the dirt that it has caught during the routes can become a threat and cause mechanical problems in the most extreme cases.
When you return from an outing you can also focus on the safety elements that we have previously established (the brakes, tires and transmission), and start the review without forgetting any of them. In this sense, we recommend that you take a look at each of the parts, removing any superficial dirt that may have adhered to the bike during the route, especially if the track was wet or muddy.
Once you have carried out a general review that has allowed you to clean the most "visible" parts of your bike, it is important that you spend a few minutes to check the state of the transmissions, since being so close to the track, they can contain more dirt than you imagine.
To clean the transmissions of your bike, you must apply cleaning fluid or degreaser. Placing the chain on the large chainring and the small sprocket will make it easier to scrub, and you can also use a brush to make sure you don't get dirt in the holes. As important as cleaning the transmissions is that you dry them and then apply the products. Subsequently, you must grease the chain and make sure that you remove the excess oil.
Tips for storing and protecting your bike properly
If during the months with lower temperatures you decide to park your bicycle and say goodbye to it until the weather conditions are with you again, or you simply decide to spend some time without using it, you have probably wondered what is the best way to store it to protect it from external agents such as cold, humidity or dust. Ideally, in this case, you should store it as you would like to find it when you retrieve it. Of course, you will most likely have to inflate the tires then.
Therefore, we recommend that you keep it as clean as possible. The dirt that you may have accumulated in one or more exits will not disappear and it is important that you remove it as much as possible so that nothing gets between the small spaces and gaps in the parts of your bike.
Once you've cleaned it and made sure the pedals, transmissions, brakes, and wheels are clean, don't forget to dry them. Humidity is a great enemy for your bike, as it can cause some parts to rust, and in that case you will need to replace them.
Once you know that your bike is perfectly clean, hanging it is the best thing you can do, especially if you are not going to take it for months. If the vehicle is not in use for a long time, your tires will probably lose air and, when they lose that pressure, they can become deformed if they are resting on the ground.
On the other hand, we recommend that you cover it with a blanket or plastic that covers it entirely. That way you will prevent it from getting wet and trapping dust. This will save you a lot of cleaning time when you go to use it again, and will help ensure that its performance remains optimal despite a long period of rest.
Do not forget that these tips can help you to do a basic maintenance of your road bike and to detect faults that may need repair, but the truth is that an in-depth examination of the condition of your bicycle is necessary if you use it a lot, as well as being a periodic review by a specialist is highly recommended. If you need our specialist cycling technicians to review your bike in detail so that it provides you with more security, do not hesitate to contact us.