10 Things Your Bike Mechanic Wishes You Would Do...

April 17, 2012
10 Things Your Bike Mechanic Wishes You Would Do...

Is your bike an "oilcaholic"?

BikeExchange catches up with informative bike mechanic Rob from Elite Racing Cycles in Perth to find out what maintenance you can give your 2 wheeled friend to help it run like a dream.

BIKEEXCHANGE: Rob, thanks for sparing some time to catch up with us. I hear you've been in the bike game since dinosaurs were roaming the earth. How and why have you ended up in the bikes business? 
ROB: I’ve been working in bike shops for 10 years, however I’ve unofficially been working on bikes since I was a young boy. I would pull bikes apart, and put them all back together again.

BIKEEXCHANGE: Surely you've seen quite a few nice bikes around since then, what's been your favourite bike?
ROB: That’s a really hard question. I’ve seen hundreds of beautiful bikes.  One that was interesting was a rather expensive Cippolini bike I saw recently. It is a really rare frame, only 1 of them in the state.

BIKEEXCHANGE: Who's the worst with keeping their bikes in shape - mountain bikers, roadies or triathletes?
ROB: That’s another hard one. There are some very meticulous bike owners out there, and there are also the ones that take their bikes for granted. 

BIKEEXCHANGE: What's the worst bike you have ever had to service?
ROB: I once had this very rusty MTB brought in to me. It was like it was dipped in a big mud pool and not washed off. It was hard to repair the rust damage on that one.

BIKEEXCHANGE: (*cringes). So how regularly is it REALLY necessary to get our metal kids serviced?
ROB:  This is dependent on the mileage you’re covering, however over winter the bikes can take a fair amount of thrashing with the elements so I’d recommend a major service at the start of winter, and a minor service at the end of winter.

BIKEEXCHANGE: What 10 things can you recommend to even the non-bike enthusiasts to keep their bikes in tip top shape?

ROB’S TOP TIPS
1) Clean on your bike, regularly.  Wipe the frame. Clean the chain with an old rag and re-lube. Should take you 10 minutes (if that).
2) When washing your bike, use car wash. It has less salt that other detergents.
3) Not mechanically minded? DON’T DO IT!  For most bike adjustments, you could cause more damage than it’s worth. It’s amazing how many cracked frames I’ve seen as a result of self-maintenance. 
4) Don’t tighten carbon seat posts, frames, (actually anything carbon) too tightly, as it can snap the frame.
5) If you sweat a lot on your bike, and have an acidic sweat there’s a higher chance that this can get in and affect your cables and frame. So if you are an excessive sweater, I would highly recommend wiping down your bike after every ride.
6) Pump up your tyres at least once a week.
7) Chains can have a bit of wear and tear and usually need a replacement at around 4,000 kilometres.
8) If you are in a wet climate/season, your bike needs more attention as the rain can mix with dirt and make an abrasive affect on your brake pads and disc. If you have  been out in the rain, give your bike a quick hose down and ensure you apply plenty of lube.
9) And when I say lube, it’s also important to not overdo it on this.
10) If ever in doubt, it is better to ask your bike mechanic then just giving it a go yourself.  A bikes warranty is only valid in certain situations, and in most instances it’s better to be safe than sorry.

For any bicycle servicing and maintenance queries, speak to your local friendly bike store which can be found HERE