5 Easy Ways to Make Your Bike Work Like New

Check Wheel Rotation

Before you take off on your next ride, take a moment to inspect the rotation, alignment and trueness of each wheel.

How:

1. Rotate the wheel to determine if your there are any wobbles or deviations side-to-side.

2. Slight wobbles are annoying but not serious. If you're not handy with a spoke wrench, have a shop check it out during your next tune-up.

3. Next, check the bearings of each wheel to ensure they spin freely. With a swift flick of the wrist, a wheel should continue to spin for several minutes.

4. If you have a wheel removed for any reason, (such as mounting on a roof rack) take a moment to spin the wheel while holding the axle in your hands. The bearings should spin easily and should not make any noise.

5. While many wheels make use of sealed bearings these days, not all are serviceable. If you're riding wheels with ball bearings and the axle feels rough, you should schedule a bearing re-pack soon to avoid permanent damage to the hubs or bearing cones.

More: 4 Bike Wash Mistakes to Avoid

Do a Brake Check

After riding your bike for a several months, cables can stretch and brake pads may wear. Be sure you have adequate action with the brake levers. Too much travel will mean poor stopping power.

How:

1. Use the barrel adjusters on the brake calipers to take up any unnecessary slack.

2. Severely worn brake pads can lead to a dangerous situation on a steep downhill. Be sure your pads are properly aligned with the rim and that there's adequate pad material left in the shoe. You should replace pads when there's more than 50-percent wear.

These simple maintenance tips can help you avoid common bike malfunctions out on the road and may even save you serious time in the shop. The work is done so let's ride!

More: 10 Essential Bike Checks Before You Ride

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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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