When you buy a mountain bike for the first time, all of the components will be in there peak optimal condition. However, mountain bike components will degrade over time, requiring you to perform some regular maintenance and checks. It can be daunting, but it will eventually ensure that the bike runs smoothly and effectively.
In the following article, we will look at the importance of mountain bike maintenance. While you can consider taking your bike to any one of the bike shops, you might find that it can be expensive, which is why we often recommend that people try it for themselves. We hope that the following guide will highlight the importance of maintenance.
How Do you Maintain a Mountain Bike?
Regular mountain bike maintenance is vitally important to ensure that the bike performs at peak capacity. However, many people ignore the plight of fixing up the bikes, and when they eventually break; they have to spend hundreds of dollars on replacement parts. Here are a few important reasons why you should do regular mountain bike maintenance:
Reduces Long-Term Costs
If you have been doing rounds in bike shops or online, you might have noticed how expensive it can be to replace shifters and drivetrains for your bike. It is often best to do some regular check-ups, as it will ensure that the bikes are in peak condition, which reduces your need to spend heavily on replacement parts.
Investing in a good tool kit like the Bikehand Bicycle Repair Tool Kit with Torque Wrench can be worth it. Fixing and repairing your bike with your own tools can be humbling and rewarding.
We all want to be safe when riding a mountain bike, which means that the bike and especially the brakes need to be in optimal condition. To ensure this, you might need to follow our guides on brakes and make sure they are in the best condition at all times. Safety on tough trails can be one of the most important things to consider.
Most people, who can afford performance mountain bikes, often want to perform when they are riding. However, performance can be tough when you have to work against the grain of the bike and it does not function as intended. Much like safety concerns, it could also lead to falling or you might need to apply more pressure to brakes that can slow you down.
Promotes Bike Longevity
This point might link to the previous one, but if you keep the bike maintained, all the other parts will last longer. Aside from reducing the long-term costs as we stated, you can just reduce the effort and stress. We all want to ride our mountain bikes with the same peace of mind we have when we just bought the bike to start with.
More Overall Fun
The combination of these features and the peace of mind will lead to you as the rider having more fun. When you understand your bike and know that it is in peak condition, you can take more risk and place more reliance on the equipment, rather than placing all of the reliance on yourself. Trusting equipment is one of the reasons that the experts excel at what they do.
Top 5 Tips For Mountain Bike Maintenance
With you understanding why mountain bike maintenance is important, it is time for us to get into the nitty-gritty tips of maintaining your bike. While our checklist will give you a more detailed guide to maintenance, these tips can supplement the guide. However, they are not to replace the informative checklist, which goes into more detail:
1. Make Sure The Bike Is Clean When Starting
Before starting the maintenance process, you need to make sure the bike and the environment are clean. It is much easier to work on a clean bike than it is to work on a bike with mud and dirt stuck to the frame or tires. For instance, checking for punctures can be hard when the tires are full of mud and objects that could have potentially caused it.
Look into a good mountain bike cleaning kit like the Park Tool BCB-4.2 Bicycle Cleaning Brush Set to help remove any stubborn dirt and their Park Tool CG-2.4 Chain Gang Bicycle Chain Cleaning System.
While you don’t need thoroughly wash the bike, a simple clean with a hosepipe or some hot water should remove most of the dirt that is in your way. Many people also consider using a pressure washer to ensure that most of it have been completely removed. However, not every rider has a pressure washer lying around and they could remove some important grease if not careful.
2. Thorough Inspection
Once you have cleaned the bike, it is time to do a thorough inspection of all the components. It is best to break this down to one by one and check each of them individually to see if you can spot any issues with the bike. A thorough inspection can take time, which is why you should not rush the process and be diligent.
Keep lubricant’s on hand like the Finish Line Premium Bike Care Value Pack to keep the drivetrain in good condition.
As you might notice in the maintenance checklist, many smaller components are referred to, which means it takes time. As a rule of thumb, we recommend that you set aside an entire day to give you enough time to complete the process.
3. Understand What You Are Doing
One of the common issues we have seen is that many people blindly follow the checklist. While you can follow the checklist without any issues, it is best that you also understand what you are doing. Once you have a broad understanding of what you are doing, it will be much easier to go through each of the parts.
You don’t need to be an expert to do maintenance, but many videos and guides explain each of the parts in detail. When it comes to mountain bikes and maintenance, the devil always remains in the detail.
4. Buy New For Replacement Parts
While we understand how expensive it can be to replace parts with new parts from the same manufacturer, it is best practice to buy brand new parts when some of the older parts have been worn. For instance, the drivetrain can wear out after some time, but with a brand new drivetrain, the bike can feel as good as new.
Additionally, you should stick to the same manufacturer and part number if possible. One way to find out which parts are used for your bike is to consult the manual. All the technical specifications are indicated, including the smaller parts.
5. If In Doubt Consult An Expert
As you might have noticed, there are many things to consider, which are important. Instead of risking safety or potentially having to pay a hefty price for the replacement parts, you can simply just consult an expert for some advice. Most experts have the skills to restore bikes and replace parts before they cause any other damages.
Following a strict mountain bike maintenance schedule is important when you are serious about the sport. While it can be an expensive sport, it is worth every penny when you start seeing results. Our in-depth mountain bike maintenance checklist will ensure that you get the best possible results and your bike remains in top condition.