Living on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka has its perks, the enchanting scenery perfectly setting the mood for a wealth of fantastic outdoor activities to participate in all year round. As the weather is always generally hot, what better way to cool down than by riding a bicycle through the streets of Sri Lanka, the wind blowing through your hair and making you feel as though you never want to stop riding. As fun as that sounds, it’s important to keep your bicycle well maintained on a consistent basis, so that it doesn’t become damaged due to lack of proper care. However, you may be lost as how to do this. As such, here’s a look into a variety of bicycle maintenance tips for first timers.
Basic Maintenance Tips
For the sake of providing a means of a difficulty level for these tips, the following maintenance tips are divided into basic, advanced and expert. However, all that’s required for these are some extra tools, bike parts and a bit more time to work through the maintenance.
First, we’ll take a look at the most basic maintenance tips for bikes, ones that can be finished in a matter of a few minutes. These also don’t require any specific tools to complete the task. If you have yet to own a bicycle, you can find bikes for sale at www.ikman.lk, the premiere classifieds website in Sri Lanka.
Lubricate the Chain
The bicycle chain may just be the most identifiable aspect of a bicycle. This chain allows for the tires on your bicycle to move properly. The only way that your tires will keep running smoothly is by making sure that you lubricate the chain on your bicycle periodically to keep it from rusting up. This lubricant will eliminate any dirt that has built up on the chain. You can do this by rotating the pedals counterclockwise and adding lubricant to the moving chain as you do.
Check Tire Pressure
The status of your tires is one of the most important aspects of keeping your bike well maintained, which is why it’s recommended that you check the pressure in both of your tires every time you take it out for a ride. Riding on tires with low pressure can make the bike feel slow. It’s also possible that riding for too long on a low pressure tire can end up popping the wheels, meaning that you will likely have to replace it if the damage is severe enough. You can add air to your tires by using an air pump, which can be found at any retail store.
Inspect Condition of Brake Pad
The brake pads on a bicycle are in place to keep the rider safe. These rubberized pads are located on both sides of a metal shaft, just at the top of your wheel. They will tighten when pressing on the brakes. Eventually, all brake pads wear down to the point they no longer work effectively. To make sure that this doesn’t happen to you while riding, inspect your pads every 2 to 3 weeks by pressing on the brakes and seeing how tightly the pads press to the wheel.
Advanced Maintenance Tips
Advanced bicycle maintenance is a bit trickier than the aforementioned tips. First of all, many of the following tips require a number of tools to finish successfully. You may also need to have some knowledge on the location of certain aspects of the bike before attempting to complete the maintenance yourself.
Add Bicycle Grease to Seat Post
Maintaining your bicycle seat is essential for a comfortable ride. As such, it’s important to buy some bicycle grease or general lubricant and apply some to the seat post. This can be accomplished by simply removing the seat and greasing the post that the seat is placed on.
Inspect Handlebar and Brake Pad Cables
On every bicycle, there are a number of cables that connect the handlebar to the brake pads. These cables can sometimes become loose or have dirt and grime build-up that will need to be removed in order to keep the bike in peak condition. If you spot any dirt or residue, wipe the cables down with a heavy-duty cloth.
Lubricate the Brakes and Derailleurs
Similar to the need for lubricating the chain every now and then, the brake system and derailleurs of the bike will also need to be lubricated every week or so. The brakes are located on your handlebars and should be lubricated due to their inability to change gears if not clean, while the front and rear derailleurs are situated along the chain and should be lubricated at the pivots of the mechanism.
If your pedals don’t work correctly, then your bike is practically useless. There are times when your pedals will become loose, which can be dangerous while you’re riding. This can be avoided by inspecting your pedals every few weeks and tightening them with a basic wrench if the need arises. When on the right side of the bike, the bolt holding the pedal in place needs to be turned clockwise to tighten.
Expert Maintenance Tips
The following expert maintenance tips are doable without an actual bicycle mechanic, but will take quite some time to finish, as well as the proper tools and a good deal of knowledge pertaining to how a bicycle works. If, at any point, you find that the your bicycle is in such a state of disrepair that maintenance is no longer worth it, you can locate fantastic bikes in Sri Lanka by utilizing the classifieds at www.ikman.lk.
Clean Your Bicycle
This may seem like an obvious and easy tip, but cleaning your bike will take time to properly finish. You will need a commercial cleaning liquid, a towel and a small brush. Once you have all of this, you will need to wash and clean every aspect of the bike, including that of the basic frame, chain, seat, brakes, pedals and derailleurs.
Adjust Tire Rims
While this is not an all too common problem, the rims around your bike tires can become misaligned, which can be very dangerous, particularly when riding at high speeds. These rims keep your tires in place, so one wrong move and your tires can become very wobbly. To fix this, you will need to first turn your bike upside down. You will notice that the tire rim is fixed to the bike using 2 nuts. You will have to use a wrench to loosen those nuts and get the wheel back into its proper place to where it no longer rubs against the brake pads when it’s spinning.
Keep Multi-Tool and Patch Kit With You During Each Ride
While not specifically a maintenance tip, this is simply a recommendation for when you are riding your bike. Try to keep a multi-tool and patch kit with you every time you take your bike out for a ride. These are 2 essential tools that will allow you to repair a flat tire should the need arise, as well as giving you the equipment needed in order to fix the bicycle chain, should it become dislodged.