Maintaining your bike is an important part of keeping it functioning and fun for the long run. How often and what type of service your bike needs depends on many different factors (what type of bike, what type of riding, frequency of riding to name a few). We recommend some type of maintenance every year and here are some options.
The Regular Maintenance Schedule
Bikes all require a certain amount of regular attention. Here are a few things you can do to get to know your bike and keep it happy:
Before every ride: make sure nothing is loose (a quick check for this is to lift the front wheel of the bike a few inches off the ground and then let it bounce down. You will hear rattling if anything is loose). If anything is loose, secure it with the proper tools to the proper specification. Check tire pressure and pump up the tires (tires naturally lose pressure and proper inflation makes a huge different in ride quality and durability. Do this at least once a week). Give the brakes a tight squeeze to make sure they feel right. Check any quick release mechanisms.
After every long ride: clean the grime off of the chain and derailleurs. Clean and lube the chain (every couple of weeks).
After every 10-20 hours of riding: check that all components are moving freely but without play. Check brake pads for wear. Check cables for bending, kinking, or fraying. Check tire tread and sidewalls for wear and damage. Spin the wheels and see if they are running true.
Stop in and ask questions! We know bikes and we want you to be happy, comfortable, and safe when you ride yours, so stop in if you have any questions about the best way to care for it, or the best products to help you do so.
Every Day Bike
(Bike commuters, performance and fitness riders, enthusiasts)
Riding your bike often translates into caring for your bike often. Your brake pads will wear down, your cables will collect grit, your bearing systems will come out of adjustment and an annual tune-up is just what you need. Your drivetrain will take its share of wear and tear as well. Frequent drivetrain cleanings will help improve performance and increase the lifespan of your components. Plan on getting the bike overhauled every 3-5000 miles or so. Grease breaks down and bearings systems need attention.
(Commuter or recreational winter riding)
Minnesota winter is harsh... It’s harsh on us and our bikes. When you ride in the winter your bike is going to need to be pampered. Keep your bike clean from snow, ice road salt and sand. Get it prepped for the winter and have an annual overhaul to keep winter from getting the best of your bike.
Recommended maintenance for this bike: pre-season weather preparation, annual overhaul, component replacement and repairs as needed. Follow “regular maintenance schedule” guidelines, and don’t forget to clean it well before putting it away!
(Recreation riders, occasional low-mileage riders, nice weather only)
It is a good idea to have your bike checked out after pulling it from storage before your first ride of the season. Fair-weather bikes benefit from an annual tune-up to make sure everything is in adjustment. Make sure all bolts and fasteners are securely mounted, wipe off the dust, and top off the air pressure in your tires.
**Industry Secret: If you're planning on having the shop tune up your summertime ride, we highly recommend that you bring it in during the slower, colder months (October through March) to avoid a long wait time in the repair queue. This way when the snow's melted and beautiful, warm weather arrives, you only need to pump up the air in your tires!
Recommended maintenance for this bike: annual Complete Tune, repairs and component replacement as needed, and a good cleaning before putting the bike into storage at the end of the season. Follow “regular maintenance schedule” guidelines throughout the riding season.
Off-Road Mountain Bike
(Performance off-road, off-road enthusiasts)
Serious off-road riding requires serious attention to your bike. The parts on your off road bike work in harsh conditions. If you want your bike to carry you through all that you should take care of it. Annual overhauls will keep everything in fresh, catch issues early before they turn into expensive problems and leave your bike in tip top shape.
Recommended maintenance for this bike: annual Deluxe Tune or Overhaul (depending on the amount of riding). Assess repairs and replace worn components as needed. Follow “regular maintenance schedule” guidelines.
What about my suspension components?
Suspension components must be clean to function properly, and the fluids inside must remain uncontaminated to have a long service life. Regular maintenance will ensure that your investment will last you a long time. Recommended maintenance varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so be sure to read your owners manual and ask questions if you want some clarification. There are a few things that apply to almost all suspension components and top on the list is to keep it clean! Most manufacturers recommend that you clean your suspension fork and rear shock after every ride and have the oil changed as often as every 50 hours of riding. Many suspension components can be serviced in the shop, but some must be regularly sent into the manufacturer for regular maintenance. Service on these components must be performed by professional shop mechanics, or the manufacturer's warranty will be void.
Recommended maintenance for suspension components: to keep oil fresh and allow a chance to clean away all the contamination that accumulates during use;,have an oil change every 50 hours of riding, clean the fork legs and seals after every ride and follow the owners manual instructions for additional maintenance.
Work Horse Bike
(Aggressive riders, professional riders, heavy loads, cargo bikes)
Hard riding is hard on your bike. Riding a lot is hard on your bike. If you have a long commute, if you load your bike with heavy loads or if you ride your bike for a living as a messenger or delivery rider, then your bike is going to require frequent maintenance. We also recommend custom hand-built wheels for bikes that will be carrying heavy loads.
Recommended maintenance for this bike: annual (or twice a year for high-mileage bikes) Deluxe Tune or Overhaul (depending on the amount of riding). Replace worn components and assess repairs as needed. “Regular maintenance schedule”.
What if I have issues between tune-ups?
Pay attention to what your bike is saying. Strange noises, poor performance, poor handling, changes in the way the bike responds; these are all signs that something needs to be adjusted, overhauled or replaced.
The Hub Bicycle Co-op is proud to offer a 90-day limited guarantee on our repair labor on shop-quality bikes. Some services may be exempt. Tube change labor is guaranteed for 30 days. See your mechanic for details.
What about my internally geared hub?
Internally geared hubs are great, but they don’t last forever without the proper care and attention. Oils and greases break down and grit can enter the system. Listen to your hub. Strange noises and poor shifting are signs that something may need to be adjusted or cleaned. As always, any changes in the way your bike feels or responds is worth looking in to.
Recommended maintenance for internally geared hubs: regularly clean the outside area where the axle enters the hub to keep grit away from these entry points. Overhaul the hub every 1500 miles or so to keep the greases and oils inside fresh. Have cable tension and hub adjustment checked a couple times per season or if performance degrades. Repair as needed.