If you own a bike, you know it is important to do maintenance regularly.
Bikes can wear out, tires can get flat, and bolts can get loose. Doing proper maintenance will ensure the best possible performance for the longest time.
Diy bicycle maintenance can be tricky if you do not know how a bicycle works, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible task.
Here’s everything you need to know about DIY bicycle maintenance.
Cost of Maintenance
Maintaining your bike in a shop can cost from 10USD to 100USD depending on how constantly you do maintenance.
Now, you might need to send your bike for maintenance once a month or every two months, which increases the yearly cost of maintaining your bike. If so, you are looking at an annual spend of around 100USD to 1200USD.
DIY Bicycle Maintenance Vs. Shop
It is all about understanding that there’s a difference between maintaining a bicycle and repairing it when it comes to DIY maintenance.
While you can quickly pump up your tires or put lube on the chain, you won’t be able to easily fix problems like repairing the hydraulic brakes or bottom bracket.
Here is a list of the Diy bicycle maintenance tasks that you can do by yourself:
- Pumping the tires
- Checking the brakes
- Lubricating the chain
More advanced DIY bicycle maintenance includes the following:
- Full M safety check
- Patching/replacing an inner tube
- Adjusting brakes and installing new pads
- Adjusting the gears
You should consult with a professional if you face the following problems with your bike:
- Repairing a bottom bracket
- Repairing a headset
- Bleeding hydraulic brakes
- Yearly general checkup
Check your bike and decide when it’s time to do DIY maintenance and when it’s time to go to the professionals.
What Do You Need to Maintain Your Bicycle?
When you start as a biker, you’ll find out that doing small maintenance on your bike is easier and cheaper than sending it to the shop.
However, you’ll need the necessary tools to perform those maintenance and repairs. Here’s all you’ll need to have to make it easier for you to do DIY maintenance:
- Microfiber cloths
- Cleaning set
- Rubber gloves
- Spray lubricant
- Chain lube
- Track pump
What Maintenance Does a Bicycle Need, and How Often?
It all depends on how much you use your bike and what you do with it.
If you do mountain biking, then you’ll need monthly maintenance of the tires. If you use it to commute regularly, you’ll only need to do one maintenance every six months or less.
A bike will need to have a chain lubricated every six months or so. It will also need brake maintenance once a year or, depending on the use, even more. You will also need to tighten the tires as constant use can loosen them.
Maintenance You Can Easily Do Yourself
Here is a list of all the maintenance and repairs you can do by yourself:
To lubricate your bike’s chain, you don’t need any unique tool or equipment. You need to follow these steps:
- Use a degreaser and some rags to clean the chain.
- Apply some maintenance spray over a cloth and spread it on the chain (use the pedal to access every inch of the chain).
- Time for the lube. Use a dry lube if you are in summer or a wet lube during the winter.
- Make sure to shake it properly.
- Apply the lubricant.
Tightening of Bolts and Brakes
The average mountain bike has over 40 bolts. If you use it regularly, then some of the bolts will get loose eventually. When tightening a bike’s bolts, it is essential to remember one thing: do not overtighten them.
You’ll need a torque wrench and an Allen wrench grip to perform this maintenance.
You should use the correct wrench for each bolt. Remember not to overtighten them as you can round out the bolt’s head when using the Allen wrench.
If you use a torque wrench, it will be easier to know when to stop making pressure because it does not allow you to overtighten the bolts.
Keeping Your Tires at Optimal Pressure
If you are a biker, you know that the proper tire pressure is essential for a smooth ride.
There is one thing to have in mind when pumping a bike’s tires: it all depends on the kind of tire. Narrow tires require more air pressure than wider tires.
A narrow tire will need a pressure of about 80 PSI to 130 PSI and a wider tire between 40 PSI and 70 PSI. So, start around those numbers and check which one is better for your bike.
Flat tires are the number one reason people send their bikes for maintenance. They are common and tricky, but not impossible to fix by yourself.
What you need to do is the following:
- Place your bike upside down, making sure it is steady on the ground.
- Remove the bike’s wheel with the flat tire.
- Deflate the inner tube completely.
- Now, remove the flat tire.
- Once the tire is out, you can remove the inner tube.
- If your inner tube is old and has already been giving you problems, it is better to replace it. If not, you will need to patch the hole.
- Now it’s time to inspect the tire’s components for any possible damage or objects that might have pierced the tube.
- Now, it’s time to get the inner tube back inside the tire. Do it carefully and make sure it fits again.
- Then, place the tire back into the wheel.
- Finally, get the wheel back into the bike.
If you want to start doing DIY bicycle maintenance on your bike, then you’ll need the right tools for the work.
Get some chain lube, track pumps, and lubricant, as well as proper clothes to perform the tasks.
Always consider how much you use your bike before deciding how often you will maintain or send it to service. If you use it regularly, you’ll need to do maintenance more often.
Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by Danijel Cakalic