Bike Tune Ups and Maintenance: When is it time?

March 02, 2023
Bike Tune Ups and Maintenance: When is it time?
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Your bicycle needs maintenance like any other piece of equipment. Whether you’re a casual rider or on your bike daily, you should be aware of your bike’s health and what routine maintenance it requires. There are important performance benefits to routine bicycle maintenance, and some potential consequences to ignoring a tune up.

  • Safety. Your bike has breaks and moving components that if they fail, could result in serious injury.
  • Product Life. Simply put, things that are maintained last longer. Some basic routine servicing can add years to your bike’s lifespan.
  • Reduce Costs. Some basic maintenance now or expensive replacement later. Save money by putting in time up front.
  • Riding Experience. The best ride comes when your bike performs at its best. Flat tires, gunked up gears, sticky shifters and loose chains will turn a fun ride into a chore.


How do you know when it’s time for bike maintenance?

Your bicycle doesn’t track mileage or have warning lights like a car, so what do you look for? Good news for you is there are a handful of key things to pay attention to.


Signs you need maintenance

We’ve listed five of the most common signs you need bicycle maintenance. If you’re ever unsure, give us a call. United Sport and Cycle also has a variety of affordable tune up packages to keep your ride in tip-top shape. Feel free to bring your bike down to our Edmonton location for a free inspection and let our experts evaluate your bike’s needs.


Difficult Gear Shifting

If your bike has difficulty shifting gears, jumps over gears, has some rattling noises or the shifter feels tight to engage, you should consider maintenance. There could be many reasons for shifter problems such as issues with the derailleur, cable tension, chain wear or just some dirty components. We wrote more information on troubleshooting your bike shifter here.


Brake Challenges

Brakes are a critical safety element, and there are many things that could cause issues. If your braking is weak, noisy or you have to squeeze super tight to make them work, your brakes need servicing. There could be wear on your brake pads, bad cable tension, uneven alignment or caliper damage, many of which can be quick fixes that a trained professional can spot. We also wrote a more detailed article on brake performance and ways you can spot and fix braking problems.


Tire Pressure

Not having properly inflated tires will make pedalling a struggle. If you have to pump up your tires routinely, you may have a slow leak. You can identify this yourself by applying some soapy water to your tube and seeing if it starts blowing bubbles! Your fix might be a simple patch or a new tube, both of which are affordable solutions.


Noise or Stiffness

Moving parts need to be cleaned and lubricated, otherwise you’ll start to develop noises and stiffness. Dirt and debris naturally find their way into bikes, so a thorough washing and some bike cleaner should be done at least once a year. Your pedal axles, handlebar bolts, and chain also need routine lubrication. You can read more on bike lubrication here.

There are clear benefits to maintaining your bike; performance, lifespan and the overall enjoyment of the ride all go up with routine servicing. Invest in some simple maintenance and you can save yourself expensive repairs or replacements later. Most important though is your safety. Take care of your bike, and it’ll keep you safely riding for years to come!

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