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Bike maintenance: essential steps

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By Detovart – Adobe Stock

Maintaining your bike is essential to ensure a long life but also to ensure your safety through small, simple and frequent checking of the bike and parts. Today we give you the essential steps of bike maintenance.

Bike maintenance: the prerequisites

No matter what type of bike you have – road bike, mountain bike, etc.. – the general maintenance remains the same. Conversely, the frequency of maintenance will be different depending on the use you make of your bike.

It is also worth mentioning that weather conditions have an impact on bike maintenance. A dry environment will have a different impact on the bike than a wet environment.

Bike maintenance equipment

Before you start maintaining your bike, make sure you have the following equipment:

  • A high-pressure cleaner or garden hose or at least a basin of water
  • A big brush
  • A more precise brush (toothbrush type)
  • A rag
  • A WD-40 Multifunction Product
  • If possible, products specialized in bike chain maintenance: degreaser and lubricant. There is for example the WD-40 Bike range which offers 5 bike maintenance It will however be necessary to check the availability of these products in your country and if necessary find alternative products.

Once you have the necessary equipment, you will be able to proceed to the bike maintenance which includes:

  • Cleaning the bike
  • Verification of documents
  • Lubrication of the chain
  • The finishes

Cleaning the bike

The first step in bike maintenance is cleaning. Place yourself preferably outside near a sewer to facilitate water drainage and near your workshop or garage to have all the tools at your disposal.

Place the bike on a bicycle stand or turn the bike over with the saddle and handlebar facing the ground to allow easy access to the chain and turn the wheels.

Once the bike is in the correct position, rinse it with water using the high-pressure cleaner at the lowest pressure level or the garden hose. Insist on parts that are dirty, dusty or muddy, such as sprockets, chainrings, derailleur and chainrings.

The ideal solution is to use soapy water to facilitate the removal of dirt or specialized products such as a cleaner and degreaser. For these, we recommend WD-40 Bike Cleaner and WD-40 Bike Degreaser. If none of these products are available, you can use the WD-40 Multi-Use Product.

Remember to degrease your chain completely, even if it means spending more time on it. In this case, use the large brush and the small brush to remove all traces of dirt.

Once all these steps have been completed, rinse the bike with water. It is thus ready for further inspection and maintenance.

Checking of elements

Bike maintenance continues by checking the parts.

Check brake condition

First, check your brakes regularly. There are two types of brakes: brake blocks and disc brakes.

For brake blocks, check front and rear wheel for block wear. After a certain time, the block wears out and no longer brakes. In this case, it is important to change the brake block quickly to ensure your safety! You can find this type of item in sports shops or specialty bike shops.

For disc brakes, check the condition of the pads, clamps and discs. They last longer than skates. However, always keep them clean and do not cover them with a greasy fluid such as chain lubricant. However, if you apply a greasy fluid to your brake discs, degrease them immediately using a specific product (do not use the Multi-Use Product).

Check the condition of the chain

Then check the condition of the chain by inspecting the links, sprockets, derailleur and chainrings. If a part appears broken or damaged, ask a professional at a sports or bicycle store.

Bike maintenance: essential steps

Check the rest of the moving parts

Finally, we invite you to regularly check the condition of the saddle, handlebars and brake levers. Sometimes they require a small tightening of screws for a good hold.

Lubrication of the chain

Once the parts have been checked, you can continue with the bike maintenance with the lubrication of the chain.

Your chain is now clean and neat, the residues of old lubricants have also been eliminated. You must therefore lubricate it again to ensure good performance of the bike.

If you do not have any specialized bicycle lubricant available, we advise you to apply WD-40 Multi-Use Product to your chain. However, lubrication will be less effective than if you use a specialized product. We therefore advise you to use it in exceptional cases and to equip yourself with a specialised lubricant for your bicycle.

For a perfect bike maintenance, it is better to adapt the chain lubrication according to the climatic conditions.

In wet and muddy conditions, a rather greasy lubricant should be used to protect against corrosion and prevent the accumulation of mud. For example, there is the WD-40 Bike Wet Chain Lubricant (check availability according to your country).

On the other hand, in dry and dusty conditions, a dry lubricant should be used to prevent dirt from sticking to the chain and thus clogging the links. For this, we offer the WD-40 Bike Dry Chain Lubricant (check availability according to your country).

Once the right product has been chosen, turn the chain by operating the pedals and apply the product to the chain, carefully avoiding the brakes. Then shift the gears so that the product is applied to all the pinions.

The finishes

Finally, finish maintaining the bike by protecting it and making it shine.

Apply the WD-40 Multi-Use Product on the frame with a clean cloth, as well as on the mudguards and shelves. The product will make your bike shiny and protect it from corrosion.

Your bike is now ready for new outings!

Frequency of bike maintenance

For daily use of the bike on short trips, we advise you to do these bike maintenance steps every week or two weeks.

For use on dirty paths, we advise you to maintain the bike after each ride, or at least wash it after each ride.

Keep in mind that the most important thing is the condition of your chain and brakes!

Disclaimer

The uses shown and described for WD-40 Multi-Use Product were provided to WD-40 Company by the users themselves. These uses haven’t been tested by WD-40 Company and do not constitute a recommendation of suggestion for use by WD-40 Company. Common sense should be exercised whenever using WD-40 Company products. Always follow the instructions and take heed of any warnings printed on the packaging.

Contact Us

IB McIntyre & Co PO BOX 342 No 8 Loop Street Maitland, Cape Town South Africa 7404

© 2019 WD-40 Company