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Bike Tune-Up Checklist: What Does It Consist Of?

Bike Tune-Up Checklist For Your Next Ride

This bike tune-up checklist is great for beginners and intermediate riders alike. The Bike Tune-Up Checklist includes performing basic maintenance tasks on your bike, cleaning the dirty chains, lubing the brakes, adjusting the seat height, replacing worn tires, tightening bolts, checking tire pressure, and lubricating the derailleur.

You’ll also learn how to identify problems and fix common issues, such as flat tires, loose spokes, bent forks, broken pedals, cracked frames, damaged handlebars, and misaligned wheels.

After reading through this bike tune-up checklist, you’ll feel confident enough to tackle any problem yourself. And if you ever need assistance, you’ll know where to look for answers.

Check Your Brakes

Your bike deserves regular maintenance, especially if you ride it every day. You’ll want to make sure that your brakes work well and safely. There are several steps involved in checking your brakes, including adjusting them, making sure they are working correctly, and cleaning them.

  • Check your pads and make sure they are not worn down or damaged. Look for any signs of unnecessary wear and tear, such as metal poking through the pad or premature wear patterns.
  • Adjust your brakes so they are touching the rim properly. A loose lever pull or a grinding sound means you may need to adjust your brakes.
  • Clean your brakes using a brake cleaner and cotton swabs.

Make sure your brakes are safe and working properly!

Check Your Seat

A simple bike tune-up checklist can help you keep track of the most common tasks that you need to perform on your bike. Start off by checking that your seat is firmly placed and not wiggling loose over the miles. These basic bike maintenance tips will help you avoid any problems down the road and keep your bike running at peak performance.

Tire Pressure

You’ll never regret checking your tire pressure before riding your bike. You might not think that your tires are underinflated, but there’s no telling what damage they can cause if they are.

Low tire pressure can lead to flat tires, which means you’d have to stop and fix them. It can also lead to punctures, which can ruin your day and cost you hundreds of dollars.

To avoid any problems, check your tire pressure before every ride. There are several types of gauges available, including digital ones. Some are inexpensive and others are expensive, but all work well.

bike tune up checklist

Check Your Chain

A worn-out chain can lead to excessive wear on the drivetrain. A worn-out bike chain can cause problems with shifting, braking and even damaging the drivetrain itself.

To avoid these issues, it’s important to regularly inspect your chain and replace it if needed. You should do this every time you ride your bike.

Make sure that you clean your chain thoroughly after inspecting it. Remove any debris and wipe down the chain with a rag soaked in water. Then apply drops of lube on the chain.

Lube It Up

A lot of times, riders think that they’ve done enough when they simply apply a thin layer of oil to the chain. However, this isn’t nearly enough to protect against rust and corrosion.

To avoid damaging your bike, make sure you lube every part of it. Apply a thick coat of chain lubricant to the chain, brakes, derailleurs, shifters, cranksets, bottom brackets, headset cups, seat posts, handlebars, grips, etc. Don’t worry about getting it everywhere; just make sure you cover all the moving parts.

Don’t forget to lube the chain for wear from time to time! It’s the most vulnerable part of your bike, so make sure you keep it protected.

Inspect Your Bike

A lot of people think that inspecting their bikes is only necessary after a crash or major accident. However, it should be done every year. Even if your bike doesn’t show any signs of damage, it’s still worth checking out. A cracked frame joint and gear may not seem like anything big, but it can cause problems down the road.

You’ll want to inspect the frame for cracks or severe dents that are more cosmetic than structural. Look specifically at the joints around the head tube and the bottom bracket. Cracks in those areas can lead to issues later on.

If you notice any cracks, even if they look like they’re just painted, bring your bike to your local bike store. An expert will be able to tell you whether or not you need to fix the problem right away.

bike tune up checklist 3

Safety Check

A safety check is the most important part of any bike tune-up. You want to make sure there are no hidden dangers lurking beneath the surface. Dirt and grime can easily hide cracks in the frame, which can lead to catastrophic failure if not addressed quickly. Cracks in the forks, handlebars, and even the wheels can cause serious injury if not caught early enough.

If you find chips or gouges in a carbon frame that may be deeper than the outer layer of carbon, have it inspected by a pro. If you find cracks in the handlebars, check the recommended torque of the bolts holding the bars onto the stem.

Adjust The Brakes

Brakes are essential parts of any bicycle. Without proper adjustment, they won’t work correctly. You’ll want to adjust your brake lever after every ride to keep them working well.

Park Tools makes a great line of products that will help you adjust your brakes safely and easily. Their bleeding kits include everything you need to remove old grease and clean out your system.

Make sure your brake cables are securely attached to your frame and wheel. If you notice any fraying or slack, tighten them down until there is no movement at all.

After adjusting your brakes, spin the wheels to make sure there isn’t any rubbing between the rotors and the pads. If there is, replace the pads.

You should also replace your brake caliper, brake arms, and brake pads once they’ve lost most of their original stopping power.

Wheels

After performing a safety check, you’ll want to inspect the wheels. If there were any wobbles or loose spoke holes, you’ll want to use a truing stand to re-tension those spokes and true the wheel using a spoke wrench.

Next, you’ll want to change the tires if necessary. Pedro’s Tire Levers are an affordable option for changing tires. Finally, you’ll want to replace the old sealant if needed. Many tubeless sealants dry out over time. Replace them every four to six months. We highly recommend sticking with tubeless tires or orange sealant.

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Evan Medders

I'm Evan an avid cyclist and bike consultant. Besides my biking, I enjoy being a dad to two, a husband to one. Cycling is a fun and sustainable means of transportation, something not only our planet but also your body craves. We need to stay in physical shape, and keep our Earth in a good condition so we face fewer natural disasters. Biking is our way to see we do our part :)

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