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30 days to a beautiful Bike (Days 1-10)

We know how it is _ work, family, happy hour … all conspire to make it impossible to set aside even a measly hour to concentrate on bike maintenance. But if you devote a little time to bike care every day for a month, you can accomplish mch more than you would by squeezing in a spare hour here and there on weekends. This simple, 30-day plan assumes you want to keep riding your bike. Aside from a scheduled three-day stint at the bike shop to take care of the major stuff, ther’s no forced downtime. Happy wrecnching.

Day 1

Start Off the month by giving your bike a light cleanup. This isn’t the full-on  Silkwood shower _ we’ll go to that. Fo now, use a damp cloth to remove the first layer or grime from the frame, rims, derailleurs cankarms, brakes, stem and handleblar. Wipe with a dry rag. Noàw you can touch your bike without getting filthy.


Day 2

Check the frame fro cracks. This is satisfying to do for two reasons : First, you probably won’t find any. Second: if you do so, you just saved your life, or at least one of your collarbones. Cracks usually occur nera welded areas, ot where the frame is butted. Probably the most common spot is the undersid of the down tube, just below the head tube. On carbon frames, it can be difficult to tell if you’re looking at a scratch in the clear coat or a crack in the frame. General rul : if your fingernail can catch on the blemish, it might be a crack. If you have your suspicions, go to the bike shop tomorrow for a learned opinion.


Day 3

Even if your frame checked out,  head over to the bike shop today and get everything you might need for the month :

  • 2 tires
  • 3 tubes,
  • 2 sets of brake pads
  • a set of cables
  • housings for shifters and brakes
  • handlebar tape
  • degreaser
  • Frame wax

You might no use all this, but at least you’ll have spares.


Day 4

All seatposts can bond to the frame  – take 5 minutes and avoid this disaster. Mark the hight of your seatpost with tape or a pencil, then remove it, wipe it clean and; if it’s steel or aluminium, smear a light layer od grease over the section that inside the frame. For carbon, apply a layer of carbon-prep paste, which, like regular grease, prevents the post from bonding to the frame but is gritty enough to sop the common problem of slippage.

Day 5

Inspect each tire. Deflate the tube to about half its pressure, so the tire is still shaped but pliable. Rotating the whell in the frame, manipulate the tire with your hands to expose cuts in the sidewalls or tread. If you find any that go either entirely through the tire, or are deep enough to make you anxious, replace the tire. Rule of thumb for mountain bikes tires : if 5 or more threads are ripped away, the tire is ready to fail systemically and should be replaced if you want to avoid lost of flats.


Day 6

Look at the underside of your down tube: All those disgusting black warts are road tar that was thrown up onto your bike at some point and dried there. At first pass of the rag, removing them will seem impossible. Keep soaking them with diluted degreaser or a solution of equal parts dish soap and water, and scrub hard. That’s a noble 20 minutes you just spent doing something no none but you will ever appriciate.

Day 7

It’s obvious Day : Spin the whels ans see if they’re running crooked. Hold your bike off the ground and frop it ontop its tire, listening for rattles and clinks, the pinpoint them. Thnik back to all those clunks you’ve heard on your recent rides and catalog them. Think about how your bike has felt : Sticky steering ? Loose feeling from the rear on descents ? Write everything down, the callthe bike shop and make an appointment to bring your bike in midweek to checkon those things (weekends are rush tile)

Day 8

Remove each wheel from the frame. Hold the wheel between your hands and slowly turn the axle.  If the motion feels rough or the axle seems to catch, try slightly loosening the cones inside the hub to reduce pressure on the bearings. If the axle spins smoothly, check it for looseness : Using your index finger and thumb, wiggle the axxle round; if it moves enough to cause a knocking feeling, tighten the hub or add it to your shop list.

Day 9

Scuff up your shoes today. Glazed brake shoes cause weak braking and impolite squeal. Une sandpaper, a file or an emery board to buff off the glaze and roughen up the pads.  Also pick out dirt,  grit or pieces of metal that have become embedded in the pad. If the pad has hardened so much that you can’t scratch it with your fingernail or if it’s word pas the indicator line, replace it.

Day 10

Take your bike to the shop for its appointment. While you’re there, buy 2 new matching water bootles. Never buy just one.


Any guess on what wez are going to do during the next 20 days,  Please let us knw your guess by using the comment area below.

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