Scott’s Maintenance Lesson Saturday 7th March
On Saturday afternoon twelve of us gathered at Mickey Cranks Shop in Scott’s corner (he hates it being called this but I cant think of anything else to call it) well his maintenance area at the back of the shop, for a class on basic bike maintenance. And what an eye opener it was.
I will run you through what Scott had to say in an abbreviated fashion as it was an hour of tips tricks and bike checks with some areas that will hopefully be covered by Scott over the next few months on the site. The basis of the lesson was keeping your bike road worthy while showing a few little things to look out for that would help avoid or identify a more serious problem later on.
Firstly Scott ran us through the safety check he would do on a bike every time it comes into the shop and the sort of checks you yourself should do before going out on a ride.
Wheels – Check firmly closed or in the correct position. Your QR Skewers don’t want to be so tight you need another tool to release them but not so loose that they will just pop open.
Tyre’s – Visually check that the Tyre’s are not worn; cracked or split. You can also run your hands over the top of the Tyre to see if anything is sticking it to the Tyre like a thorn etc.
Tyre Pressure – Check to see if Tyre is inflated to the correct pressure that is normally indicated on the side wall. We would recommend a track pump with a pressure gauge to achieve the correct pressure.
Hub Bearings – Check for both play and friction in both wheels.
Rims and Spokes – Check to for any defects in the spokes and spin the wheels to see if they are running true. By spinning the wheel if there is significant side to side or movement in your wheel then you will need to have them re -trued.
Brake Pads (Non-Disc Bikes) – Check for where and that they are positioned correctly on the breaking surface of the wheel. Brake pads normally have grooves in if you can not see the grooves its time for new pads. Incorrectly aligned pads will significantly reduce your breaking distance and probably your tires.
Brake Cables (Non-Disc Bikes) – Check to see if the cables are not frayed or heavily corroded. By pulling your levers on and off you can see if the brake calipers return quickly to and from the off position. If they fail to do this then its worth getting them checked over.
Brake Levers – Angle should be so that they can be reached safely.
Stem Alignment – Check that your stem is aligned with the front wheel.
Handlebar Alignment – Check that the bars are aligned with the centre marks of the stem.
Headset Bearings – Ally the front brake and check for play. Also check that the bars move freely left to right. adjusting the headset can be achieved by loosening the stem and tightening top. We would recommend that you get an experienced mechanic to do this for you.
Saddle – Check that the saddle minimum insertion point is not showing. (Each seat stem has a line which indicates the least amount of the stem that should be inside the bike frame) Its also good to check that the saddle clamps are secure these normally like the stem have a recommended torque setting that should be used.
Gears and Transmission – Check Chain is lubricated and gears are indexing correctly (indexing your gears will be featured in a more in-depth lesson later in the year).
Derailleur Position – Ensure that the rear derailleur does not foul spokes and moves freely backwards and forwards as well as side to side. You can also check that the jockey wheels are inline with the selected gear (see image).
Accessories – Check all additional items are securely fastened to the bike and don’t interfere with any of the moving parts of the bike.
The lesson also covered changing inner tubes correctly and some basic road side repairs to chains and adjusting gears. Scott also covered the need to clean and lubricate your bike after a ride. And how to prevent seizing of rear and front mech’s and brakes.
This is the sort of checks all riders should do before a ride on a regular basis later in the year Scott will be doing some more in-depth articles covering parts of the bike. of course if you are unsure of what is wrong or have tried to fix something and it still isn’t right then please seek professional advice. If you have a question on Bike maintenance you can post it in the forum Here
The Club would like to thank Scott for his time and Mick and the gang at Mickey Cranks for allowing us the use of Scott and the shop for the lesson. If you would like to book on to one of Scott’s next courses then please contact the shop (At present there are no free courses scheduled).