You train your body to get back into shape before biking season begins again. Maintenance on your bike should get the same treatment. Here is a cheat-sheet of things to check out on your bike before you get back on it.
Inspect any erosion issues on your bike and make repairs as necessary. Replace the chain if you have been using the same one for more than two years. Individual components on the chain wear out over time, reducing its effectiveness. Before long, the chain won’t be able to adapt to the teeth and cog of the ring. The teeth will get worn out conforming to the chain’s profile. If you can change the chain before it
elongates excessively, you won’t have to spend big money making emergency cog and chain ring repairs in the middle of the season.
Take a look at the bearing surfaces next, which includes your hubs, bottom bracket, and the headset. Each of these components should be able to turn without restrictions of any kind. Prior to inspecting the bottom bracket, ensure each cranking arm is nestled in tightly. Next, grip the crank arm (not the pedal), and stager it
backward and forward. If the crank arm binds, or if you hear clicking, the bottom bracket will require an adjustment.
Repeat this process with your hubs. Remove the bike’s wheels, twist the hub axles, and then use your hands to check for any binding. If you find something, make the necessary adjustment. To inspect
the headset, begin by placing the recently adjusted
wheels back onto the bike.
The next step is to take the front brake, then push and pull the
handle bars backward and forward, without play. If you raise the front end from the ground,
the fork should smoothly turn. If it feels rugged, an adjustment or replacement may be required.
While you’re at it, take a look at what kind of shape your housing and cables are in. The housing shouldn’t be fractured or contorted, and the cables should not be rusted. If you notice any
of this, replace the damaging device. Failure to do so will result in sluggish braking and shifting.
Finally, you should check out your brake pads. Many pads
have marks or ridges that indicate when you need to replace them. Worn-out brake pads will put both the bike’s braking efficiency and your safety in jeopardy.
After you’ve tuned up your bike, you’re ready to take your rejuvenated mountain bike out for some summertime fun.