Updated: Dec 27, 2022
1. Keep your bike clean: Regularly cleaning your bike will help prevent rust
and other damage, as well as keeping it looking good. Use a soft cloth and dish soap to wipe down your bike, and be sure to dry it thoroughly afterwards.
2. Lube your chain: A well-lubed chain will make your bike run smoothly and efficiently. Use a high-quality bike chain lubricant and apply it to the chain every few months or as needed.
3. Check your tire pressure: Proper tire pressure is essential for a smooth and safe ride. Check your tire pressure regularly using the squeeze method (squeezing your tire with your hand) and inflate or deflate as needed to maintain the recommended pressure. The tire should feel firm but not rock hard, ask a bike shop for proper level and squeeze to get an idea of what it should feel like if you are unfamiliar.
4. Inspect your brakes: Regularly check your brakes to make sure they are working properly. Look for worn pads, loose cables, or other issues that may need to be addressed. If you can squeeze the levers easily all the way to the handlebars they need to be tightened.
5. Tighten loose bolts and nuts: Over time, bolts and nuts on your bike can become loose due to vibration and wear. Check all the bolts and nuts on your bike regularly and tighten any that are loose.
6. Check your wheels: Make sure your wheels are straight and properly aligned. lift up the front of your bike and spin the wheel. If it looks wobbly or immediately stop or slows down because it is hitting the breaks, something needs to be adjusted. Repeat this process with your back tire. If the tires are out of balance or misaligned, it can cause problems with your bike's handling and performance.
7. Invest in a strong lock: Don't spend the money on a nice bike and then try and save a few dollars with a cheap lock. Basically any lock can be broken, but the better the lock the longer it should take a thief to get your bike. Bike thieves are familiar with different types of locks, so usually a stronger lock will deter them from even trying and they will move on to an easier bike to steal.
8. Chose a good location to lock your bike: Along with a strong lock, it is important to lock your bike in a safe location. Many time it is easier to cut through the bike rack or sign
post where your bike is locked than the lock itself. Even the strongest lock in the world doesn't protect you from the bike rack getting cut. To cut a lock it is common to use an electric circular saw. This tool is very loud - so locking your bike in a busy area will prevent a thief from attempting to steal your bike. A dark alley in an industrial part of town with few pedestrians is the worst place to lock your bike.
9. Protect your bike from the elements: If you're going to be storing your bike outside, consider investing in a bike cover to protect it from the rain, and other elements.
10. Take it to a professional: If you're not comfortable working on your bike yourself, or if you're having problems that you can't fix, take it to a bike shop for professional maintenance. A professional mechanic will be able to diagnose and fix any issues your bike may have.
If you are confused about any of the specifics in this post or want to learn more, head to your local bike shop or head to Youtube where you can find tutorials on everything related to maintaining and fixing your bicycle.