TO CLEAN OR NOT TO CLEAN
Q: I was wondering when I should go for a tune-up (or do it myself). Should I go every week, month, year? How often should I clean my bike to keep it running smoothly?
British Columbia, Canada
A: The time you should go between tune-ups will vary based on how often you ride. Generally, six months to a year is a good interval. There are a few ways you can check your components to see if they need to be serviced. If you have a suspension bike, look at the seals and see if oil residue has slipped through. If this is the case, then it’s a good indication you need to get your fork or shock serviced. Another preventive maintenance tip would be to check if your chain is stretched by using a chain-checker tool. If it fails the test, then it’s time to replace your chain.
If you’re not mechanically inclined, you may want to stop by your local bike shop and have them give your bike a closer look.
As far as cleaning goes, we have friends who clean their bikes after every ride to ensure the bike is always in top shape. This is what the pros do. Remember, a clean bike is a happy bike. Just be careful not to use high-pressure water near bearings or pivots, as this can cause damage.
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