Note that some suspension setups have
multiple places to check tightness and
Inspect your chain after every ride. If your chain starts to wear,
it will wear down the cassette, and those are far more expensive to replace than your chain.
It’s a good idea to check all bolts to make
sure they’re snug. Many have their torque
ratings listed on or near the bolt. If you
have a torque wrench, you can set each
one perfectly. If not, you’ll have to go by
feel. Don’t over-tighten them or you’ll
strip the threads or break the part.
If you don’t maintain your chain, it can
leave you high and dry and in for a long
walk back, like this one did.
One of our editors suggests lubricating your chain with a good,
semi-dry or dry lube before every ride, and cleaning, degreasing
and re-lubing it every week. If that seems like too much, then
once a month at least if you don’t ride daily.
that from experience. When it starts
looking worn, replace it.
If you have a bike with a suspension
fork, or full suspension, you’ll want to
keep that all clean. Make sure you wipe
down the stanchions on the fork and
the shaft on the rear suspension with
a soft cloth, preferably micro;ber. This
keeps dust from being pulled into the
fork and shock, which over time will
scar the surfaces and seals and cause
them to fail. The same advice goes for a
Check the manufacturer’s recommendation on how often to service the
seals and oil. Some recommend that it
be replaced every 50 hours of riding or
On a full-suspension bike, check the
pivot bolts to make sure they’re snug.
Many have a recommended torque setting, and if you’re going to be serious
about it, you should pick up a torque
wrench to always tighten bolts the correct amount. If you over-tighten bolts,
you can strip the threads or cause the
entire part to fail. This goes for all the
bolts on your bike, not just the pivot.
Twice a year, take apart the linkage
and clean dirt/grit out of the bearing
contacts—more often if you live in a
wetter area or in adverse conditions.
GET EXPERT HELP
If some of the bigger stuff is beyond
your comfort zone and you don’t have
more experienced friends who can help
you, your local bike shop has mechanics trained for this. A little time and
money spent maintaining your bike will
keep you on the road for years, maybe