1.Guard the Wheels
The tires are fitted onto the wheels and to ensure easy riding and balance the wheels and tires should to be correctly fit such that there is no unsteady shaking. Also the tire size should be specifically matched to the wheel. To evaluate the status of your bike you will have to rotate the wheels; normally the wheels should rotate without shaking and the wheel experiences some shaking a spoke key can be used to regulate the condition. If unable to fix the shaking you can ask for assistance from a bicycle mechanic. If the wheels are extra damaged or if you notice indentations the wheels need replacement.
2.Examine the Brakes
The most critical part of your bike is the brakes; brakes assist you to stop your bike when you need to or in case of an emergency. You to need to ensure for safety purposes that your brakes are in good shape at all times; they should not worn out so as to give the wheels a firm grip to facilitate a stop. You are supposed to carefully check the brake pads and the small metallic part with a rubber lining that is usually into contact with wheel or disk and look out for wear and tear; excessive wear warrants replacement.
We recommend to watch the video by: Global Mountain Bike Network that explain how to check your mountain bike disk breaks.
3.Keep the Bike Clean
To make your bike more durable it is necessary to keep it clean at all times. To clean your bike, you need an Eco-friendly cleaner, sponge, towel and a small brush; a used toothbrush will do. You will need to clean every part of the bike; the frame, chain, chain rings, cassettes, bike seat and derailleur. To wash off the leftover soap you may require a large amount of water, gushing water in which case a regular spray would do or at times you might require mist. To be able to clean the bike better it is advisable to remove the seat post but always apply some grease when putting it back.
4.Inspect Both Tires.
The tires of mountain bikes are designed to offer grip to the ground to facilitate riding in various surfaces and to also soften the impact on bumps and other obstacles giving you that comfortable and even ride. It is therefore important that the tires are in good condition.
You should ensure tire pressure should be just right; not less or too much. Ideally tire pressure should be between 30 and 45. Also need to look out for ruptures cuts or holes especially along the walls forming the side of the tire and if treads are overly worn out they should be replaced. When there is excessive unattended to damage in the tire the tires usually burst creating a problem. Tires and tubes are easily replaced.
5.Examine the Bike’s Drivetrain
The drivetrain is system that transmits power generated by pedaling to the bicycle’s back wheel to cause movement. It comprises of chain, chaining, derailleur, pedals and the cassette of the back wheel.
To evaluate the bike’s drivetrain you will require and extra pair of hands to help you hold the bike and if not you will need a stand to do this. You will need to lift your bikes rear wheel rotate the rotate the wheels. Adjust the gears; the shifting process should be easy and effortless. Check the chain, chain rings, derailleur and cassette for damage, indentations, lacking teeth and holes.
Keep in mind that small chain rings get worn out faster compared to the big chain rings. A bikes requires replacing for after riding for a range between 2000 and 3000 miles and each replacement would cost you between $20 and $50. Ignoring signs of your chain wearing will eventually lead to complete damage. In case there is difficulty in the process of shifting gears you will need an expert to correct the situation.
6.Lubricate the Movable Parts
Lubrication is a necessary for the pedals, chain, chaining, derailleur and the cassette for the back wheel. Lubrication ensures seamless operation, improves the life of components and reduces dirt build-up on these parts.
Lubricant should be applied evenly to the chain while slowly rotating the pedal in an anticlockwise direction; excess oil should be wiped off. A well lubricated bike is efficient; braking and speed shifting occurs effortlessly. Components that have rust are difficult to clean and the solution is changing them. For safety to avoid injury to the skin one should use protective gloves.
We recommend to watch the video by: IntownBicycles that explain how to lube bicycle.
7.Examine the cables
Mountain bike cables usually link the several shifters found on handlebars with brakes, derailleur and brake pads. These cables are usually made from tight metal wire and sometimes they are usually enclosed in a plastic covering with oil. The cables linked to the shifters assist in shifting chains from one gear to another via the derailleur while those linked to the brakes assist in stopping the bike.
You need to thoroughly check these cables and their plastic covering for rust, wear and tear and also dust. Also the cables should not be loosely hanging. Worn out cables should be replaced or refilled with oil to maintain the braking and shifting efficiency of the bike. The cables need replacing every one or two years depending on the usage. This replacement process is quite complicated and you may need expert help.