Bicycle Service Recommendations
How often and what level of service your bike needs depends on the quality of the bike, your style of riding, and the amount of use. But in any case, we recommend some level of service about once a year. Here are some suggestions.
The Frequent Rider
If you're a frequent rider, an enthusiast, or bike commuter, we recommend a tune-up once a year. Brake pads wear, cables stretch, and bearings loosen, all components that need periodic attention.
We also recommend frequent transmission cleanings. Keeping the transmission clean improves the shifting and prolongs its life. Plan on a complete overhaul about every three to five thousand miles. We've found that all the bearings will need fresh grease in about that mileage range.
The Occasional Rider
If you're an occasional rider, if you know your bike is in good condition, or maybe you're pulling it out for the season after a short, winter storage, you may only need a quick checkover. Although bikes don't go out of adjustment from just sitting, they will require some dusting off, fresh lube, and air in the tires before you go riding again.
Pulling Your Bicycle Out of Storage
If you're pulling your bike out from a long storage, we recommend a tune-up. Again, bikes don't go out of adjustment from simply sitting unused, but over time, tires and grips rot, cables rust, and components get gummed up. A good, meticulous tune-up will put you safely back on the road in good working order.
Cross, Mountain, and Gravel Bikes
For bikes being ridden off road, we suggest cleaning and lubing after every ride, repairs as necessary, and an overhaul once a year. Bikes ridden in a harsh environment of dirt, mud and water simply require more maintenance.
Inexpensive bikes require more frequent maintenance too. They tend to be more difficult to adjust and don't hold their adjustments as long as better bikes. Unfortunately, the money saved on buying a cheap bike is often exceeded by the cost of maintaining it. We recommend repairs as necessary, and a tune-up once a year for these kinds of bikes.
Full Overhaul Candidate
Aggressive riding also necessitates more maintenance. Jumping curbs and potholes, and shifting gears under load are hard on your bike. Parts wear out faster and components need more frequent adjustment. Here again, we recommend an annual tune-up.
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