There are many different types of mountain bikes out there. But, they all have one thing in common – ongoing maintenance. Mountain bike maintenance can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up damaging your bike or even yourself.
Mountain bikes require proper maintenance to keep everything running smoothly. In this article, we’ll show you what to do when things go wrong as a beginner with some easy to follow tips.
5 tips on Mountain Bike Maintenance
If you’ve never ridden a mountain bike before, then you might not know how much work goes into maintaining them. You need to make sure that you keep an eye on things so that you don’t damage your bike.
This includes making sure that you clean off any mud or dirt that gets stuck to the frame. It also means checking the brakes regularly and replacing worn pads as soon as possible.
1) Know The Parts of your bike
The first tip and a good place to start when learning about mountain bike maintenance is by learning the parts of your bike. Knowing these parts will help you understand why certain repairs need to be made and how to do them correctly.
The big benefit to knowing all the parts on your bike is that when something goes wrong you will know what is effected. As simple as it sounds, finding the problem is the hardest part for many and if you learn each part and what they do, you’re a step ahead.
2) Learn about brakes
The brakes need extra attention due to the wear and tear on them. A brake system consists of two parts: the brakes themselves and the calipers. The brakes work by slowing down the rotation of the wheel. Calipers are small metal cylinders with pads that push against the rim of the wheel when activated.
Front brake pads wear out faster than rear ones because they’re closer to the ground. Rear brake pads tend to last longer because they’re farther away from the ground. If you notice any unusual noises coming from your brakes, stop riding and check to make sure nothing is obstructing the brakes.
If you’re riding a mountain bike often, then you should replace your brakes every year. It’s recommended that you replace them after 500 miles. You should also follow how to bleed your brakes in our post HERE.
3) Know how to fix flat tires
If you’ve ever had a flat tire, then you know how frustrating it can be. It’s not just an inconvenience; it can also be dangerous. You need to know how to fix a flat tire before you go riding so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck somewhere.
First, check your tires. Make sure they’re inflated properly to the desired PSI and that there aren’t any flat spots. Inspect your rim and make sure your wheel is sitting right on the hub and not rubbing against the frame.
Before riding, check your wheels and tires for any signs of wear. If there’s excessive wear, replace them with new ones. You can see more on changing tires out in this post HERE.
4) Cleaning & Lubricating
Dirt and grime build up quickly on mountain bike parts, especially those made of metal. To prevent rust, clean your bike regularly with a cleaning solution designed specifically for dirt and grime. You should also lubricate your chain and other moving parts at least once per month.
After checking the tires, clean the chain and lubricate the gears. This will help prevent damage to the parts and keep the bike running smoothly. If you notice any unusual noises while riding, check the chain first. It should move smoothly without skipping or rubbing against the sprockets. If it does skip or rub, tighten the chain links until it moves smoothly again. Our post on how to clean a mountain bike HERE will give you much more information.
5) Maintaining your Suspension
A suspension system helps absorb bumps and vibrations while maintaining control. Most mountain bikes use front and rear shocks to help maintain traction and balance. Shocks also help prevent damage to the frame by absorbing impacts.
Learning how to maintain your suspension can be more technical and take time to figure out. If you’re not up for the task, plan to have your suspension serviced at a shop once a year.
If you’re up for the task and want to spend some time learning about your suspension, we have a great post on how to adjust mountain bike suspension HERE. This post goes into depth about your suspension and all the parts associated with.
A mountain bike is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors. However, proper care and mountain bike maintenance is essential to ensure its longevity. With these tips you will have a good foundation to care for your bike.
Remember to keep learning about what parts are on your bike to help you better understand what needs to be fixed. Also, don’t get into something over your head and remember to take the bike into the shop for certain jobs.
Best of luck!