For the smooth running, longevity and safety of your bike, regular checks should be carried out to ensure it’s running correctly. The harsh conditions of the winter can be severely detrimental to a bike’s performance and both the moving and static parts can be effected. In the road riding spectrum, the increased wet conditions of the winter combined with the constant gritting of the roads mean grime can be driven into bearings, chains and brake pads. For the devoted mountain bikers riding through the winter, the muddy, sludgy conditions that the trails can turn to make the servicing of your bike a high priority if you want it to continue riding like new. The most important reason to keep your bike serviced (whatever your discipline) is safety – if your bike is maintained and regularly serviced, the less likelihood of a mechanical issue and the safer your ride is.
Whether you are looking out for your children’s safety, aiming to start the daily commute, increase your fitness or limbering up to your first sportive of the season, a service should be on the minds of every cyclist or parent of a child riding a bike to get the most out of their ride. This page outlines why regular maintenance and servicing is vital, how to spot the signs of early wear and tear and tell you the best cleaning products on the market to ensure your bike rides smoothly between services.
If you want your bike to ride smoothly and allow you to focus 100% on your technique and the ride itself, then you will want to keep your bike tuned and serviced. For this, you’ll be rewarded, as a well looked after bike will increase your motivation, increase your performance, and enable you achieve your end goals faster. Your bike is an integral part of your cycling experience which needs as much attention as your nutrition or training plan.
Cleaning your bike after a particularly wet or muddy ride can seem like a laborious task and the temptation to just put it in the garage without cleaning it is high. However, taking pleasure in making your bike sparkling clean will deter excessive wear, prolong the life of your componentry and keep your bike riding as smooth as possible. For the base clean, we use and recommend Muc-Off Fast Action Bike Cleaner. It’s exactly the same as we use in our workshop and what our staff use on their own bikes. It’s a great affordable spray on cleaner that can be used as a regular wash after any ride. It also comes in concentrate form too, meaning you can refill your spray bottle time and time again and save money. If you need a more intense cleaner, a product like Muc-Off Drivetrain Cleaner is a good idea to drive through built-up oil, grease and grime for an overall thorough clean. Bike specific brushes can also be purchased very inexpensively and are designed to clean deep within the crevices of your drive train that are normally inaccessible with a regular cleaning brush. Using cycling specific products help protect and preserve your bike without causing any erosive damage. It is therefore recommended to use these products as cleaners and not generic cleaners like dishwashing liquid or Brillo pads which can damage your bike. Using bike specific brushes negates the need to fully strip down your drive train, making the whole process quicker. After the main clean, it is vital to dry your bike to prevent rust. Lube the drivetrain and other degreased areas as soon as possible after washing to prevent the deterioration of the moving parts and help them run as smoothly as possible for a great ride. If you’re going the whole hog, we recommend Muc-Off Bike Protectant to keep your bike shiny and provide a protective, water repellent layer. Just remember not to get any on your braking surfaces, be it rim or disc, as this will result in a significant reduction in your braking performance.
Keeping your bike clean is a good practice, however if you are unsure how or don’t have time to give your bike a thorough look over, then a service at Peninsula Star Cycles is the best option. One of our expert mechanics can help correct and tune your bike so gear changes are swift and effortless, braking is sharp and effective, and the bike is overall responsive. Whether you take very good care of your bike or are retrieving it out of the garage ready for the Spring and Summer season, we offer a range of services to improve the efficiency of your bike and make your ride more enjoyable.
Don't forget, as the weather gets better, so too does the demand for our workshop, so call us (03) 9783 2266 to book ahead and avoid disappointment.
Keeping an eye on how your bike is riding and checking for any issues that might be making the bike unsafe to ride is imperative and should be dealt with as soon as possible. Perhaps the most important part of your bike is the brakes and these should be checked before every ride to ensure they are working properly. For cable pull brakes (caliper, V-Brakes, mechanical disc brakes), checking for early on-set wear to the brake pads and cables is important for the best braking performance. If brakes pads are worn down or cables are fraying, book your bike in for a brake service as soon as possible. For hydraulic disc brakes, a spongy feel when you pull the brake lever can suggest that the brakes need to be re-bled. Squeaks from disc brakes could mean your pads are contaminated and thus, braking performance will be reduced significantly. If your gears are not set up correctly, they prove to be more of a hindrance than a help, so a well configured gear system is vital for the most efficient ride. Gears missing a shift (where the gear does not shift the first time the shifter is triggered) or slipping gears (where the gears slip onto a different ring) is a sign that your drivetrain is not aligned properly and is a good indication that a service is needed. At Peninsula Star Cycles, we offer a free health check of your bike which will indicate to you whether your bike needs a service and what work needs to be carried out.