5 Easy Ways to Make Your Bike Work Like New

Wipe Down Your Bike

This is not as thorough as a full wash, but it does allow you to inspect the frame and the components for wear, damage and necessary adjustments. A good stash of old rags will come in handy.

brake cleaning

More: 6 Daily Bike Maintenance Checks

How:

1. Use a spray bottle filled with water and a light detergent such as Simple Green to help get smudges and dirt off the frame.

2. Wipe down all tubes focusing on areas that collect dirt, such as the underside of the down tube. Look for dried and sticky spots where your sports drink might have leaked out of your water bottle.

3. After cleaning the frame tubes, use your rag to clean the brake calipers. Use a flossing action in between the brake arms to clean out any caked dirt or grime.

4. Check the action of the calipers by actuating the brake levers to make sure the pads contact each side of the rim evenly.

More: A Quick Mountain Bike Maintenance Checklist

Inspect Your Tires

If you ride every day, you should inspect your tires for damage once per week. Even when they're relatively new, tires can harbor glass slivers and small metal bits or wires in the tread. These can eventually work into the tire and cause a flat.

Tire inspection

How:

1. If you notice an object, pull it out with tweezers or needle nose pliers. Listen for any leaks after the object is removed.

2. Check both the tread and sidewall for wear, damage, exposed threads or any bulges. Most of the time, a tire will exhibit signs of wear well before failure.

3. Look for large cuts or slits in your tire more than a quarter inch long. This is an indicator that your tire should be replaced. If the cut hasn't damaged the integrity of the internal cords, you can repair the slit with a few drops of super glue or tire patch glue.

More: 5 Quick Tips to Keep Your Bike Running Its Best

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About the Author

Jim Castagneri

Jim Castagneri is a 30-year veteran of competitive cycling and father of two junior cyclists. He spends is spare time coaching the Black Sheep Junior Cycling Team in Denver, Colorado as a USAC certified level-3 coach.
Jim Castagneri is a 30-year veteran of competitive cycling and father of two junior cyclists. He spends is spare time coaching the Black Sheep Junior Cycling Team in Denver, Colorado as a USAC certified level-3 coach.

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