DIY Bike Tune-Up At Home: Save Money, Save Time
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Do you know, you can save a lot of bucks just tuning up your bike at home?
Well, you may think that you know less or nothing about maintenance. No worries!
No one comes in this world with comprehensive skills, but learn later on regarding any sphere they like! And, learning necessary skills should not take you more than a couple of days.
You may even take the assistance of a professional or buddy who knows about bike maintenance. Generally, you will need to spend around one hour in a week to give your bike a cleaner and shiny look. Ultimately, it will reward you with a considerable saving.
Who does not love to save! You might not be an exception, right?
Choose Proper Place!
The dirt and dust might be one of the great enemies of a bike. Make sure you get a clean and open space for tuning up. You may sweep the dust out first if needed. This tip especially is applicable for a driveway if you wish to tune your bike up there. So, get rid of dirt and dust by any means.
Leave No Inch Uncleaned!
Cleaning is quite simple and straightforward, but essential to keep your bike tidy and ever-new! Experts say drivetrain and the chain are the core parts of a motorcycle. Check and clean the dirt around the drivetrain and the chain. Wipe them with a cloth.
If the chain is rusty, dirty, and sticky with grease, you will need to spray degreaser as WD40. It will surely polish your chain giving a shining looks.
You will also need a brush to clean the chain links thoroughly, and a powerful magnet to attract metal filling if any. Remember to free your chain from fluid if you have applied a degreaser.
Once you are done with the chain, it's time to wash the bike gently if you get the mud on your cycle very often! You need to use a light mist to do the job! Please, keep your hubs, headset or bottom bracket safe from a direct outflow of the water. Otherwise, those might get rusty from inside. You may even discover a crack on them over time if you are unwilling to follow this tip!
A light leather and dish-washing soap may assist you to rinse your bike flawlessly. Oh, yes! Never forget to dry the bike out with the natural process or wipe out all the excess water with a regular towel.
Nevertheless, you may buy a chain cleaning kit for a USD 30 - USD 50 to make your job easy. Usually, this kit comes with magnets, greaser, and brushes. So, leave no stone untouched!
Lubricate Your Bike!
Lubrication is quite essential for smooth riding and to keep your bike workable. The bikers generally get numerous bike problems as grind bearing and metal rubbing due to lack of lubrication. So, make sure that you check the lube once a month.
Be mindful that you are not over lubricating the bike making it a dust and dirt magnet. The perfect lubricating would barely be visible, and you will be leaving a mark of oily residue. Have a sharp and close eye for this job.
If the weather and roads are good, use extra-dry lube (i.e., Teflon-based) in your chain. This lube will be slightly wet in nature keeping the chain dry. And then you will get very less grim and dirt in your chain.
If you aim to ride the bike in the rainy weather or there is a chance of getting wet any time, there would be no alternative, but to use damp lube!
Lube some links of the chain with few drops on the bottom and tops and then move your chain following the gears, up and down.
The cable housing, which is related to the brakes and gears should get some lubrication as well especially when you got wet in the rain.
Adjust the Brakes!
Checking your brake pads are must before riding your bike. Adjust the pads if you need to. Getting some noise means the pads are hitting the rims too high or too low. In that case, you will be adjusting the pads with a fine Sandpaper or Steel Wool. Also, make sure that there are no imperfections with the rims, leading to some trouble to the pads.
Air Pressure on Your Tire!
Don't forget to check the air pressure. The standard air pressure is 40-80 PSI for mountain bikes and a maximum of 120 PSI for road bikes. This figure usually printed on the side of the tire.
Keep 5-10 PSI less on the front as most of the weight of yours is carried by the back. You need to make a gauge with the air pressure or have a pumper with a pressure indicator.
If you are unable to do a gauge or have no such kinds of a pumper, go and purchase a nozzle gauge.
If you ride your bike periodically, checking the pressure is a must before you land on the road. If you are a regular cyclist, do this job once in a week. This tip will help you to avoid flats every now and then.
Troubleshooting: Headsets, Gears, and Wheels!
Check the nuts, bolts, and screws of the headsets, gears, wheels, and what not on a regular basis and keep all of them tight. Make sure you don't over-tight them and keep them loose!
You can buy a handy toolkit that comes with screwdrivers, wrenches and other kits of different sizes to do this job. Always keep an extra set of bolts and nuts to replace any missing or malfunctioning one!
The nuts, bolts, and screws have a specific torque limit so know the limit and tighten them up accordingly.
You may also ask the seller to allow you to have an extra set of bolts and nuts while buying a new bicycle. They may give you so for free if you are lucky. Otherwise, you need to pay few bucks, which will keep you in a preponderant position.
If you need further troubleshooting for headsets, gears, and wheels and you do not know what or how to do, go and visit a repair shop nearby. Sometime, it might be a good idea to let some bucks go in saving you from a great mistake.
Learn, Fixing a Flat!
It is always better if you know how to fix a flat tire. Check the YouTube videos, and you will definitely find numerous excellent videos on that.
Initially, you need to learn how to remove a flat rim and remount the tire after repairing. The easy-to-fix-a-flat-tire kit is well available in the market, and the price is also reasonable.
Watch some videos how to do this job. For example, initial preparation, patching technique and put them back again. Double check you leave no protruding spoke or sharp object what might have caused to flatten your rim.
In no time, you will be a master and can fix your tire without any trouble if you believe in yourself and get enough time and put the necessary effort to learn.
However, you will need some patience and two levers made out of plastic if not steel. Once you are equipped with proper knowledge and relevant tools, you will be in a good hand once you have a situation of a flat tire in the middle of the road or on the way to your destination. Keep faith in yourself and go ahead.
To conclude, if you get very less time to invest on to fix the tire, you may visit a repairing shop and let them do this job.
Again, you might need to walk a long way to reach there. So, better to be equipped and travel/commute with the tool-kits and the necessary equipment. Also, learn the basic maintenance skills to save your time and money in such situation.