How to Tune Up a Bike
How to tune up a bike is a question that many bike owners ask. Develop a habit of performing tune-ups for your bike in preparation for fantastic rides. A well-maintained bike motivates you for the ride. Keep your bike running as if it is new through tune-ups, which includes occasional maintenance and cleaning. Maintaining your bike is a fantastic way to keep it moving for long periods. The following are tips on how to tune up a bike.
Checking Treads and Tire Pressure
Ensure that the tires of your bike are in the best condition before going for a ride. Using a pump ensures that you fill the tires to the recommended PSI depending on the type of road you are using. For road tires, a high PSI is generally used, and for mountain bikes, is it usually a lower PSI. After inflating the tires, check them out to ensure the right PSI is reached. You can also check the pressure of the tires after some hours for stability.
In case your valve caps are missing, replace them immediately to avoid dirt from entering the valve system. Always ensure that you have extra valve caps as part of your accessories.
Additionally, check the treads for any tear and wear then replace your tires if you notice any. If your tires are leaking, your treads seem worn out, and your bike does not handle well, then you need to consider changing the tires.
Notably, bike tune-up involves performing some adjustments, lube, and cleaning. Check dirt build-up in the chain and wipe it using a towel. If the chain is rusty and extremely dirty use a degreaser and a smooth brush to clean it. When using a degreaser, ensure that you wipe the chain using a dry towel to make it fluid free and allow it to dry and then re-lubricate it.
You can also polish up the frame of the bike. Do not use a pressure washer to clean your bike; instead, use a microfiber and a gentle soap to remove dust and dirt from the frame. Through this, you reduce the risks of damaging the inner parts of the frame. If your bike has stickers and they are peeling off during cleaning, remove them, and clean the entire frame. Apply and adhesive to remove sticky residues.
After cleaning the frame, apply polish and a protectant on the metallic areas since they will help protect your bike from rust and make the cleaning process easy.
Tune-up the Height of the Handlebar and the Seat
This is essential for both adult and children’s bikes. Always start by looking at the height of the handlebars and the seat. You can adjust this so that they accommodate any changes regarding height for safety and comfort. If your seat and handlebar do not alter, apply a lubricant to the affected areas to make the sturdy connections loosen.
Lubricate Your Bike
Most problems associated with a bike arise from a lack of adequate lubrication. Check the lubrication of your bike twice a month, consider checking the metal rubs, bearings, and bike stop to ensure that they run smoothly.
Use Teflon-based lube to lubricate your bike’s chain. Using other types of lubes attract grime and dirt to the lubricated parts.
Adjust the Brakes
When a bike is frequently used, its brakes start underperforming. The implication, in this case, is that you will have to squeeze the hand brakes to the handlebar for them to work effectively. That implies that you can quickly get an accident in case you need emergency braking. Additionally, at times your brakes can be damaging or rubbing the rim. Use the following ways to adjust the tension of your bike’s brakes.
Lay your focus on the brakes’ barrel adjusters, loosen the nut, slide the barrel out of the braking system, and then fine-tune the tension. Tighten the nut and squeeze the brake. If the resistance of the brake handle is high, then your brakes are excellent. Repeat the same on all brakes.
In case the barrel handles do not give you the expected results, use your V-brakes. The V-brakes are used to pinch the back and front rims when braking. V-brakes consist of cables that can easily be adjusted manually. This cable is held on the brake with a bolt. You can loosen this bolt and tighten the wire as it determines how tight or loses the brake pads will be on the rims. Hold the cable back and downwards, squeeze the handbrake until it is back in the recommended shape.
You can learn more about adjusting your bikes brakes by reviewing the article we have here
Replace Brake Pads
When checking your braking system, check whether the brake pads are to be replaced or cleaned. The rubber that holds the brake pads is subject to wear and tear over time hence reducing their efficiency. If your brake pads are dirty clean them, but if they are worn out, consider replacing them entirely.
You can change the brake pads by loosening the cable, removing the wheel, and swapping in the new brake pads. This is ten followed by reassembling the bike, adjusting the brakes’ tension, and the barrel then spinning the wheel.
Your bike could be having problems like misaligned wheels and loose headsets. This can be challenging to fix, and you might need to take it to a mechanic. However, you can fix such issues by reading the user manual. If you have no clue what is expected to be done, you can easily ruin the misaligned wheels and over tighten the headset. To avoid this, take your bike to the mechanic for help.
Fix the Flat
If your bike has not been used for a long time, you will need to check for the flats. You need to understand the type of tube your bike uses; if it is tubeless, you can use a plug kit to fix it. Spot the hole, use the plug kit to remove the object, and then insert a rubber plug. Inflate your tire with the appropriate PSI level and check for any leaks. In case the plug kit fails to work, remove the tire and perform the repair. You are expected to remove the object that caused the puncture, discard it, and double-check to ensure that nothing is stuck in the tube.