Bike Checks to do this Summer
Bike maintenance is an essential part of a rider’s lifestyle, to avoid day-ruining and potentially dangerous instances of mechanical failure.
This does not just include an annual check-up, but having a continuously vigilant and pro-active attitude to problems and repairs, with issues being addressed as soon as they arise rather than sometime before the next ride.
Maintenance of eBikes is no different - ARCC Bikes has compiled a list of useful checks to do before getting on the bike this summer.
Tyres and Rims
Having suitably pressurised tyres, which have sufficient tread and are free of cuts and splits, is immensely important, as a puncture can quickly ruin your day out.
Tyres wear out over time and with use, and become more susceptible to damage as they do - furthermore, the lack of any visible damage to the tyres is not enough to assume they are at a healthy pressure, as inner tubes can slowly leak pressure and a major drop in pressure can indicate a slow puncture which needs to be fixed.
The tread should be checked for wear too, as should the rims - when these are worn and thin, temperature changes can cause cracks and subsequently breakages resulting from the air pressure in the tyre. While this won’t necessarily cause a puncture, it will dramatically affect the brakes, on which more will be discussed below.
Your bike should always have a clean and smooth drivetrain action.
For the ARCC Bikes (Abington and Rosemont), the Carbon Belt Drive requires very little maintenance, but for chained bikes, these will require regular lubrication. Intermittent squeaking, imprecise shifting and jamming links will indicate where the chain requires particular attention.
Please note, it is not necessary to lubricate constantly as this can actually have a negative effect on the drivetrain, but a good layer should be applied when planning on taking the bike for a tough ride.
As the most vital part of the bike, it may come as a surprise that brakes are one of the fastest wearing components. Although this makes sense when their role is considered, which involves large amounts of friction in stopping the wheel (The rate of wear will also depend on the type of brake your bike has [disc brakes wear more slowly than rim brakes]).
To check the brakes are working as they should, spin the wheels and apply the front and rear brakes separately - the brake pads should hit the rim/disc evenly and there should be no rubbing or squeaking.
As with the drivetrain, there is no need to replace partially worn brakes until they reach the manufacturer's limit, but before hard riding it is best to assess and reset, as the alternative could involve a nasty accident.
A headset that turns freely is essential for good handling. This means checking for wear and ensuring that the bearings are not too tight or too loose.
Testing the headset can be done by turning the handlebars - if the action feels rough or stiff, then the bearings may need to be replaced.
To finish with some general good practice when riding...one good idea is to create a bike pack that includes emergency tools and kit, like a pump, tyre levers and a multi-tool to quickly deal with repairs as they occur. Additionally, if riding during the early morning or late at night, then always go out with bike lights and ensure they are fully charged. Finally, and most importantly, always wear a helmet and replace it after an accident or if it looks damaged. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀