Mountain bikes are built for off-roading. It means the bike has features to increase durability and performance in rough terrain. Every machine with moving parts needs timely maintenance, and your mountain bike is not different.
One of the common questions related to mountain bike maintenance is – How often should you lube your bike chain?
If you have similar doubts in mind, you would be happy to know the best ways to keep your mountain bike in top working condition.
After Every Ride
Experts mention that a rough terrain bike needs love and care after every ride. Here are some maintenance tasks you need to do.
- Check the tire pressure and ensure tires are inflated to the desired pressure. You can use a pressure gauge to check the same
- Check for any loose bolt or compromised hub
- Spin the wheel and check for brake drag
After reading the essential maintenance tasks, you might have a question: Should you lube your bike chain after every ride. The answer is Yes. You need to lube the chain once after every 2 to 3 hours of riding. Make sure you wipe off excess oil as it attracts dirt while off-roading.
After Every 3-5 Rides
- If you do lots of downhill riding in wet conditions, you need to check brake pads. Check the state of pads to find out pad life.
- Check the air pressure in shocks as they lose pressure over time, like tires.
- Check the chain for wear and tear or slack. A stretched-out chain causes wear on cog teeth, cassette, and front chainring. You need to replace the chain if it is stretched too much.
- Loose parts and nuts can be a problem in your riding. If you hear strange noises while riding your mountain bike, check all the nuts and fasten them.
Every 3 to 6 Months
You need to check the service manual given by the manufacturer to plan timely maintenance. After every 3-6 months, you need to do the following checks.
- Clean the lowers and change seals and fork oil. Also, check the oil of hydraulic brakes. If the brake oil is darker than usual, refer to the service manual to decide the next step.
- Clean the drivetrain thoroughly that includes chainrings, derailleur pulleys, chain, and cassette.
- Check the tires for any cracks and also check the sidewall integrity. Make it a point to check tires before every long ride.
Every Six Months to 1 Year
To keep your bike in good condition, you need to perform timely maintenance. Here are some checks you need to do after every six months.
Maintaining and servicing rear shock is crucial. You can do air sleeve maintenance at home. The internal damper service should only be done if it is not functioning correctly. For example, if you hear slurping, wheezing, or clunking sound, you need to check the internal damper. If you plan to replace the air sleeve seal, back rings, or wiper, pay attention to the proper orientation.
To sum up, preventative maintenance can keep your bike in top condition and ensure you do not face problems in your off-roading adventures on your mountain bike.