Getting a proper tune-up can leave you bikeless for days and cost you some serious coin. So this summer save yourself some time and money and do it yourself. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a pro, own a garage full of equipment, or have extra vacation days–just a bike, some eyeballs and a few essentials. Plus, with all the money you’ll save you can get a stylish, safe helmet to match your freshly clean bike.
Grab a spot in the sunshine or in a well-lit garage and give your bike a top-to-bottom eyeballing. Does everything look normal? There’s bound to be dirt on your frame, but what you’re really looking for are any out-of-place issues that could impact your safety. So if your chain, brakes, and cables all check out, move on to giving that baby a bath. If something looks fishy, don’t hesitate to take it into your local bike shop. Safety first.
Do your tires look flat? Do they feel flat? Check the sidewall for the proper psi range, then get pumping. Just be sure to stay within your allotted range. And while you’re getting familiar with your tires, make sure they don’t have any abnormal wear and tear.
Be honest with yourself, how worn are your brake pads? They should have an indicator lines to help you. If the pads are disappearing into their metal housing, you’ll need a new set. Don’t fret, they’re easy to install, just ask YouTube if you need help. If you don’t feel comfortable replacing your own breaks definitely make an appointment at your local bike shop.
Start by flipping your bike on its saddle, then simply wash the chain. Some chains are dirtier than others; so don’t be afraid to use some elbow grease. For that next-level clean, use a degreaser and a rag in one hand, while you pedal the chain through it with the other hand. Now give that chain a nice rinse and thorough dry, use a hair dryer if you’re in a hurry. Once dried, slowly pedal the bike while dripping the lube into the links. Let the lube penetrate the chain for a few hours before riding.
Now that we have saved you all this time, grab a helmet and take that bike for an extra long ride.