How to Treat Your Bike Right

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Read on for beginner bike care tips.

Bike maintenance is something that's easy to forget. As cyclists, we just want to hop on our bike and ride. However, maintaining your bike is easy, quick, and will ensure you're riding your fastest and safest. Always do a quick check before each ride, especially if you're planning a longer route. The following points offer a good place to start.

Basic cleaning: A clean bike not only looks better, but you can also detect micro damages such as cracks during cleaning. In addition, it's more fun to work on a clean frame especially during repairs. For basic cleaning it is best to use warm soap water. High pressure cleaners are taboo. Persistent grease dirt can be countered with a special degreaser.

Wax on, wax off: Once the bike is dry, special bike care products should be applied. These clean and seal the surfaces thoroughly at the same time. With a wash-resistant hightech nano-surface sealing, the bike stays in good shape longer and even later cleaning becomes significantly easier. Universal care products cost around 8 to 15 euros.

Air pressure: During long periods of non-use, the tires lose pressure naturally, even without punctures. A tire pump with an integrated manometer, a must in every cycling household, provides good support before the first promenade after hibernation. Always inflate the tires up to the maximum pressure indicated on the side of each tire in bar or psi (1 bar = 14 psi). A tightly filled tire rolls off more easily, thus protecting the rim and preventing punctures. You can check the pressure at any time using commercially available air pressure gauges. 2.5 to 3.5 bar are the norms for mountain bikes, 3.0 to 4.0 bar for city bikes. The following applies: The wider the tire, the lower the pressure.

Good lubrication: Regular lubrication of the chain increases its service life. Rusty chains belong to the scrap pile as they will never run smooth again. If there's a mixture of oil, grease and dirt deposited on the chain, it must first be cleaned - preferably with an old toothbrush and degreaser. Subsequently, it should be lubricated with special chain oil, such as silicone or Teflon, which usually come with a spray hose for economical dosage. Tip: Apply directly above the gear rim to prevent oil from dripping onto the rim, which can compromise braking.

Powerful brakes: The first glance is reserved for the brake shoes. These should have at least 3 mm of "meat" and should not be positioned more than two millimeters distance from the rim on each side. In addition, check if the entire surface is in contact with the rim when braking. If the surfaces of friction are glazed (recognizable by a slight sheen), the braking effect is reduced. To combat this, use emery paper to roughen the inside of brake shoes.

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