Some people aren’t aware when their bike needs servicing. Now that winter is dawning on us, it is important to check that everything is in working order, as nobody wants to be stranded on a dark and cold winter’s evening. We’ve helped by putting together some signs to give you a heads up to when your bike will need servicing.
Here are some of the signs:
- The gear shifts are not smooth - It is a relatively intricate system, so as you can imagine if it is not looked after they can begin to fail. Your gears should transition flawlessly, anything short of that is a sign that you need a service. Issues will include loud clunks, or even unsolicited gearshifts when you apply pressure to the pedals.
- There are signs of rust - Rust has no place on any moving components, although it is all too common. The right application of water dispersants, coupled with replacement parts where necessary should put a halt to your bike’s rust.
- Brakes - Regardless of whether you cycle on the road, bike path or a bike trail. Your brakes are obviously the most important part of your bike. You can identify brake failure by measuring your overall stopping distance.
- Your seat isn’t so adjustable - Not all bike deterioration is catastrophic or dangerous. Sometimes, it is just annoying. While this is not paramount, it can be indicative of your bike’s overall condition. At the very least you can get your bike seat adjusted for you.
- Unusual noises while you ride - the classic undiagnosed noise is a great indicator that your bike needs some TLC. Whether it is a clunk every now and then or a subtle squeak, a service will do your bike a world of good.
- Replacing your derailleur hanger - You may find that you haven't realised that your derailleur hanger has snapped, and you've just noticed as you've touched it and it's fallen apart into two pieces. Now's a good time to replace your mech hanger in time for your next ride.
- Another puncture - If you've started to get more flats, this could be a sign that your tyres are worn out and need replacing. Check your existing tyres for nicks and sharp objects embedded. If the tread is in an acceptable condition it's worthwhile removing any fragments or glass. If the tyre is visibly worn down it’s time to replace it. This may look like a flattened crest of the tyre, or in some cases a void in the rolling surface. Check side walls for rips and cuts and then change them if needed.
IMPORTANT: Always remember to inflate your tyres to the right pressure to prevent pinch punctures and optimise rolling efficiency. The recommended tyre pressure should be printed on the side of your tyres. Some may have a rolling direction for the tread, this is indicated as an arrow on the side wall.