To fully enjoy our mountain bike, it must be in good condition. For this, basic maintenance of the most sensitive parts must be done from time to time. The use we give to the bicycle is usually essential when performing maintenance; to more intense use, more need for mechanical revision. It is also necessary to consider the type of cycling we practice; a more aggressive mountain biking (for trailers, steep climbs, technical trails) means more significant wear on the bike. The weight of the cyclist is also essential when anticipating possible mismatches in the hardware or the preload of the suspensions, for example. Here are some simple tips for updating the maintenance of our mountain bike :
1. Fork and shock absorber: It is perhaps the most sensitive part of the mountain bike, the one that suffers most from the use, especially with the intense use of the most technical riders. Seals and oil change of the hydraulic system is the essential maintenance we have to do to these elements. How often? Well, it depends on the use, but once a year if we are intense in the use of the bike, every two years if we use the bike more calmly.
2. Chain change: It is the essential element of the transmission and, if we take good care of it, it will help us to extend the life of our group. Changing the chain should be usual every year, the cost of this piece is very acceptable, and even the operation is not complicated. Some gauges indicate if the chain has worn out (stretched out) and touches change. An explicit signal that the chain is in poor condition is that it jumps when we push on the pedals or do not gear well when changing gears. It is essential not to use a worn chain for a long time, as it would spoil the rest of the group: dishes, cassette, change.
3. Lubricate the chain: Simple, basic and fundamental operation for the excellent use of the bike. Anyone can do it at home, and we only need a degreasing product (it is not necessary to be specific for the bike) and a lubricant (in this case, if it is proper for bicycles, better). Just clean the chain with a cloth that does not release previously wet thread with a degreaser. Let it dry for about 5-10 minutes, and then apply the lubricant on the chain, rotating it with the pedal in the opposite direction to the march. We should do this operation every two or three exits and whenever we have had a route with mud or rain.
4. Cables and covers: These elements are what allow the gear shift to be operated from the handlebar controls. When we notice that the changes are somewhat hard, it is time to change them. Approximately every two years, it is good that they change, especially that of the shift in crowns that is the most used one. The cost does not have to be very high. If we usually go out on muddy and humid terrain, perhaps maintenance should be done more frequently.
5. Puncture fluid: Most mountain bikes have tubeless tires, in which the air chamber is replaced by a specific cover that does not need that camera. This is replaced by a puncture liquid that must be renewed so that it maintains its properties and its function from time to time. Here the use of the bike is indifferent since the liquid dries even if we don't do many kilometers. We should introduce that liquid a couple of times a year. With about 25 ml per wheel will suffice.
6. Re- tightening the fasteners: The adjustment of the brakes of the bike usually indicates recommended torque. This torque means the maximum force for tightening the screws to prevent them from being screwed or broken. Even so, from time to time, it is good that we use an Allen key to tighten the elements of the bike: handlebars and power, wheel closures, suspension links and other important bike parts. Curiously, on a new bike, it is usually stock that we have to retighten the screws after the first two or three exits. It is also important that we tighten but without needing to do it in excess, simply that we notice that the screws are well seated. If still, some of the elements are usually untied, we should take the bike to a mechanic to check if that screw has a problem.