bike riding

When To Service Your Bike: Expert Tips

Bike mechanic fixing the gears of a bicycle

It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned veteran or cyclist who likes to ride with friends on the weekend; knowing when to service your bike could mean the difference between life and death, especially if you come off your bike at speed.

Making sure your bike is regularly serviced should be part of any cyclist's maintenance schedule, but many cyclists don't understand exactly when and how often they should service it. It's not only if you need to service your bike because you do, but the bigger question is when?

Knowing when to service your bike can also save you from parting with too much of your hard-earned cash. I have just serviced my bike, to be honest, and it was quite a bit more than I had expected, but that being said, the components needed to be replaced, and safety always comes first. 

Servicing your bike also makes your riding experience much more enjoyable. When I got my bike back, it was smoother, faster, and most importantly, as quiet as a mouse; oh, and it looked pretty cool too.

A person fixing a bicycle tire in a bike shop

How Do You Know Your Bike Needs Servicing?

There are a few signs to look out for indicating your bike is due to be serviced. Many of these signs are telltale indications of wear and tear and should be fixed as soon as possible. 

Signs to look out for:

  • Squeaking coming from different areas of your bike
  • Brakes seem to be "squishy" or slow to respond
  • When you're pedaling, you can hear the sound of metal on metal
  • A visible amount of dirt and grime is built up around essential components like your rear cog, derailleur, and disc brakes

Staying vigilant and giving your bike a quick lookover after every ride is the best way to identify any potential problems that may need to be fixed. An excellent way to remember your bike needs servicing is to keep a note in your iPhone calendar. Just make sure you have your iPhone connected and securely attached to a compatible iPhone charging case. These compatible iPhone charging cases are much safer and have been rigorously tested to ensure safety and longevity. Most importantly, you'll never have to worry about your iPhone running out of battery.

What Do They Check During A Bike Service?

A person lubricating a bike chain

Depending on what bike shop you take your bike to, the answer to this question will vary, but in all honesty, most bike shops have a similar checklist for servicing your bike. If you don’t want to make a mistake, your best option is to take your bike in for a quick inspection to see if there are any serious problems. 

If you care for your bike correctly by cleaning it after each ride and ensuring the chain is lubed, you shouldn't have to replace too much. A regular service lube and a few adjustments are probably all that's needed, while a two-year service may result in more critical components needing to be replaced. 

Regular service may include:

  • Lubing the chain
  • Possibly replacing the chain
  • Adjusting your rim and disc brakes
  • Degreasing and a thorough wash

Now, if you've neglected your bike for far too long, then you might have to replace expensive components such as:

  • New tires
  • New chain
  • New bearing and cables
  • New rear cog and flywheel
  • New derailleur
  • New brakes and brake pads

You can prolong the life of your critical components by taking 5 mins to give your bike a quick wash after each ride. Most people use the excuse that they don't have enough time, but if you've been on a two-hour bike ride, you can spare 10 minutes to wash your bike. 

Why Should You Service Your Bike?

Making sure your bike is serviced is essential for several reasons, but the most obvious is safety for you and others around you. If you neglect to service your bike, grit and grime can build up in areas around components like your brakes and chainstay. 

Safety is important, but I love getting my bike back after service because it's like riding a brand new bike. I couldn't believe how smooth my ride was last week after my annual service, and the best part was how quiet it was. There's nothing worse on a group ride than having the only "squeaky" bike in the bunch; it's pretty embarrassing.

Many people are cash strapped which is another reason you should take 5 minutes to wash your bike after a ride. You will keep it clean and save a lot more money in the long run. Service your bike today!

5 Bike Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your bike is not as challenging or time-consuming as you think, and by learning to look for a few signs, you can keep your bike in tip-top condition for years to come. Here a 5 top tips to keep your bike a well-oiled machine 

5 top tips for maintaining your bike

  • Wash your bike after each ride; it doesn't have to be a thorough wash, just some soap and a quick going over with the hose is enough
  • Making sure that your gears are indexed sounds complex, but it's one of the easiest and quickest ways to maintain your expensive components
  • Give your tires a quick check for any wear and tear, and make sure to check the tire pressure.
  • Pay particular attention to your brakes, rear cog, and derailleur to check for any damage or build-up of dirt
  • Just as with your health, prevention is always better than cure, so take the time to perform the above steps and save yourself from burning a big fat hole in your wallet.

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