9 Bike Maintenance Mistakes All Cyclists Have Made

Over the last three years, we
have given you literally hundreds of maintenance tips
but never before have we put in one place all the things
that you shouldn’t do until now, that is, because here are the top 10
maintenance mistakes. First mistake regards lubricant, but not the way
you’re thinking. Many people either don’t put enough lube on or they put too much
on, or they lubricate an already dirty chain. So the first point is that you
should clean your drive chain regularly, particularly if you ride in poor
conditions. Secondly, you need to make sure that every link on the chain has a
coating of lubricant when you put it on, and then let sink in for a minute or
so before wiping off any excess. Now, this might sound counter-intuitive but
stick with me. You see, the lubricant have already sunk into the most important
points of the chain, the rollers. And then when you wipe off the excess, you
wipe off the outside where the lubricant would serve no purpose other than to
attract dirt and grime, which is exactly you don’t want. Now, something many of us
would have experienced already is the feeling of putting a new inner tube
only to realize that you haven’t checked the inside of tire for whatever caused the
puncture in the first place and then suffering another puncture just a couple
of minutes later. So, if you don’t want to feel deflated, literally, then make sure
you always check the inside of the tire with your hand very carefully and then
inspecting the outside of the tire for that object. Over tightening bolts on your
bike is potentially very easy to do, particularly when you’re using tools that
provide a lot of leverage. But it’s also potentially very costly, as you might
strip bolts or even break components and then potentially it’s very dangerous, and
the worst case scenario is that the components break when you’re actually out
riding. So you should always use a torque meter when you’re tightening bolts on your
bike, and always torque them up to 10 percent below the maximum recommended
torque as specified by the manufacturers, for the sake of your mind and also your
body, and your wallet as well, I suppose. It’s quite natural when you’re getting
into road cycling to pump your tires up to be rock solid, say like 125 PSI or
above, because that’s super fast, right? Well, unless your local roads are
billiard boards smoothened, in which case 120 PSI might well actually
be the fastest. You’d be better off putting about 90 to 100 PSI in your tires,
although you may need to adjust it if you are particularly light or
particularly heavy. By that way, you’ll get a much more comfortable ride
and a faster ride. The limit screws on your front and rear derailleurs do a
really important job by literally limiting how far the derailleur can actually move.
Now, if you have them set up incorrectly, you’ll find that the chain often comes off
when shift with your front derailleur or that it gets wedged between your cassette
and your frame, or worst of all that it gets wedged between the cassette and your
spokes, which is potentially really costly. Now, actually getting them set up
correctly is a straightforward process. We’ve got a video dealing with each one,
your front derailleur and your rear derailleur and the links to which are
in the description below this video. It is a job you should not put off
and don’t make that mistake. We know good tools can be really
expensive, but they’re also an excellent investment, because using old worn out
Allen Keys can lead to rounding off bolts which potentially will mean that you
have to have an expensive repair as your local bike shop drills out the bolt and
then replaces it. So, buy a good quality set of Allen Keys at least, and then add
to your collection when you need it and crucially when you can afford it. Loose
headset is something that we see all time on other people’s bikes and, it’s kind of
weird, really, because it’s such an easy thing to fix. All you got to do is
loosen the stem bolts and then tighten the top cap very gently
until the bike stops knocking when you put the front brake
on and rocket back and forth. Then you make sure the stem is
straight, tighten the stem bolts up again using your tool wrench, and there you go,
job done. Your bike will now feel and sound a heck of a lot better. A couple of
years ago, Dan made a video about how to remove a seized seatpost and it wasn’t
an easy job and even with his guns, a professional workshop, and heck of a lot
of help. So, make sure it doesn’t happen to you. It’s a really simple thing to
prevent every three months or so. Simply mark a height of your seatpost,
remove it, clean it and then apply some kind of product. If it’s a metal post and
a metal frame, it will need grease and if either the frame or the post is carbon,
then it’ll need Fiber Grip. Then replace it, and that’s it, job done. You will
not get a seized seatpost. Now, this is something
that I haven’t fully got a grip of. even now. I’ve been working
on bikes for many years and have had many painful pedal removals.
I mean, it’s an easy thing to do. Your pedal is on extremely tightly for
some reason, so all of your strength and concentration is going into pressing down
on the spanner or the Allen Key. If that’s the case, just make sure that
your hand is not going to slip into the chain rings because it is extremely
painful. Instead, you want to angle the crank so that when the bugger finally
loosens, your hand is not going to hit anything sharp. There we go then. Ten
common maintenance mistakes you should now avoid like the plague. If you want to
see video though on our top 10 cycling mistakes, then if you click just up there,
you get through to that video. Or, as I mentioned earlier, we have hundreds
of tips about maintenance here on GCN, and all of our maintenance Monday videos are
in one handy place. Get through to it just down there. Before you go to either
though, do make sure you subscribe to GCN. It’s free to do. All you got
to do is click on me.