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XYZ of Bike Maintenance

Bicycle Maintenance & Tips

A bike is like any other piece of machinery and needs to be cleaned and regularily serviced for you to get the most from it. Most of the routine servicing that a bike needs can be carried out by the vast majority of bike owners. All we would say is make sure you use the correct tools and if you are in any doubt at all, take it to your local bike shop. Please remember that the following guide is exactly that and is not specific to anyone bike/component and that we cannot accept any responsibility for any damage/loss as a result of using it.

Before every ride

Before you ride your bicycle at any time make sure it is in a safe operating condition. Particularly check that your:-

• Bicycle’s nuts, bolts and parts are tight and not worn or damaged.

• Riding position is comfortable.

• Brakes are operating effectively.

• Steering is free with no excessive play.

• Wheels run true and hub bearings are correctly adjusted.

• Wheels are properly secured and locked to frame/fork.

• Tyres are in good condition and inflated to correct pressure.

• Pedals are securely tightened to pedal cranks.

• Gears are correctly adjusted.

• All reflectors are in position.

After you have made any adjustments to your bicycle, check that all nuts, bolts are securely tightened and cables are free from kinks and fixed securely to the bicycle frame.

Remember, it is the responsibility of the rider to ensure all parts are in working order, prior to riding the bike

Basic Maintenence

A clean bike is a happy bike but this is not to be confused with a jet washed bike which is normally very sad and washed out!!! There is an increasing trend with outdoor trail centres to provide jet wash facilities to clean you new steed after a ride. The trouble being is that whilst the dirt gets blasted off so does all the grease in your bearings. The other bonus you get is all the grit that gets washed into where the grease used to be! It all adds up to being time consuming and expensive. If it can wait till you get home great if not be specific where you're cleaning and keep clear of hubs, bottom brackets, pedals, headsets and anything with bearings. You can't go wrong with a bucket of water and a brush! Don't forget winter roads are covered in rock salt which will eat away at your bike so frequent washes in the winter are a must for road riders. After each wash check everything works as it should do and use a quality chain lubricant on the rear mech and chain.

No mattter how careful you are there will come a time, dependant on how hard and often you use your bike that it will need a service. Only you will know what you are happy to tackle and how competant you are to strip the bike back to service. We do not cover this element in our guide as unless you have the proper tools and training its best left to a cycle mechanic. Most cycle shops will offer this service at a cost of around £20 per hour and have vary levels of service options. If you do choose to go to your local bike shop just check what qualifications the mechanic has. There are two industry recognised qualifications. The most well known is City & Guilds and most familiar to ourselves with our C&G qualified mechanic. The other is Cytech which has three levels of accreditation. Level 2 and 3 are the ones to look for. Alternatively if you fancy taking on your own mechanics both schemes are open to the public. The following links should give you a better idea

City & Guilds at CycleWales.net Through CycleWales.net


Cytech Through PJCS Online

Never think that a rattle or a knock will sort itself out. If its loose or worn its not going to fix itself. Check it  and refer to the manuals below but  if you can't see what the problem is take it to your local bike shop

See Claud Butler manual below for page references

Useful Maintenance links

Of all the manuals supplied by our manufacturers the Claud Butler is the most comprehensive and easy to follow. Most of the instructions can be utilised across the different bike brands.


The link below is to the late Sheldon Brown's website. Sheldon was regarded as the master of bike mechanics. Its not necessarily the prettiest of sites but the information and advice on the site is invaluable.


The Personal Touch

Being a web company peoples first response, and often those of our competitors, is that we don't know and don't care about after service. We have to accept that we cannot offer the High Street mechanic workshop facilty for the general public but neither do we come with the 'know it all' arrogance that you'll often find in the local shop. Whether you've bought a bike off us or not we're more than happy to give advice regarding mechanical problems you may have. Whether its the 'bracket thingy the chain goes through' or the 'rear derailleur' we'll know what you mean. With 40 years experience with bikes a City & Guilds Accreditation we can normally help.