How can I keep my bicycle in top shape?

A bicycle is perhaps the first love for many. Most boys get them as their 8th birthday present. Keeping you bicycle in great condition throughout does not demand much. Even if someone is totally ignorant about bicycle repairs, he/she would be able to look after their ride. Also maintenance does not require a lot of tools and time. You will only need a maximum of thirty minutes once in a while to take care of your bike.
Although bicycles are not that complicated to ride (thanks to the absence of an engine!), you need to look after it once in a while to avoid sudden surprises in the middle of a ride. To ensure a smooth run, here are some things that you can take note of.

1. Tires

The most important part of your cycle is the tires. Too little or too much pressure in the wheels is responsible for most damages to bicycles. To make the tires work to their full potential, always maintain the correct tire pressure. Make sure that punchers are duly repaired and the cuts and splits on the tires or the tubes are mended properly. The wobbly wheels too require attention.

2. Chain and gear

For a smoother ride regularly lubricate your bicycle chain. There is a whole lot of lubricants available in the market. For the best product, you can approach your nearest cycle repair shop for advice. To avoid sticky fingers while applying the lubricant, you can as well use a dropper. Also clean the chain when you find that a lot of dust has accumulated, as it will result in a squeaky ride. Rusty chains are to be changed, and if you come across a lot of chain malfunctions try to consider adjusting its length.

3. Brakes

Brakes are an important part of your ride, and they should be highly taken care of. If your cycle still runs even after applying the brakes readjust the nuts and pressure. This will avoid you any brake fails and thus accidents.

4. Exposure control

Protect your bicycle from extreme weather conditions like rain and heat. Tires and seats when exposed to extreme heat can make them crack. During the rainy season, a lot of dirt and dust can accumulate in the wheels, gears and chain, which could be difficult to clean at home. If you see rust on any part of the cycle, then remove the rusting at once. For this you can use good-quality sand papers.

5. Squeaky noises

Unusual noises during rides may mean that something is wrong with your bike. Peculiar noises may result from loose or broken parts. The balls inside the pedals tend to fall out easily, so you should get them repaired or replaced the moment you see any problem.

The tools that can come handy with small repairs include patch kits, wrenches, regular sized and Phillips screwdrivers, sandpaper, grease, wire cutters and pliers (needle nosed). You may keep them at your home and consider taking them along in a small pouch when you go for a long ride because you never know when a repair would be necessary.

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