Investing in a new bike can be an extremely costly purchase, regardless of the type of bike or brand that you opt for. Much like any form of transport over time, your new bicycle will slowly become dirty.
It will require regular maintenance to continue performing to a high standard and be aesthetically pleasing, especially if you’re using it for racing purposes like cyclocross and gravel grinders or on different terrains.
Maintaining and cleaning a new bicycle can be intimidating even for the most experienced owners, as it’s an expensive piece of equipment, and one wrongdoing can cause many problems for the owner that can take further expense to rectify.
To avoid any mistakes or uncertainty, we’ve created this article outlining several tips on how to maintain your new cyclocross bike for newbies to keep your new bike always performing and looking well.
Wash Your Bike
Although this tip may sound evident, even to newbies, taking the time to wash your bike is a great way to maintain it and examine it for any existing or potential problems at the same time. Grab a bucket of soapy water or a hose and start deep cleaning every inch of your bike; as you work your way around the frame, ensure that you make vital health checks as you do so.
Although these health checks are less likely to apply to newer bikes, make sure that you examine the material of your saddle during each wash and make sure that it’s not cracking, fraying, or starting to rip. Check the chainrings to see that none of the teeth are bent or worn, check your brakes are working correctly, check the cables and look out for any cracks in the framework.
A clean bike is a happy bike, and regular washes and health checks will keep it that way. Plus, enable you to identify any potential or existing issues before they become a bigger, more costly problem.
Check The Wheels
Arguably, one of your bike’s essential parts is its wheels, so extending the correct amount of TLC towards them, especially after cyclocross and gravel grinders racing, is recommended. No matter how rough or kind the terrain is, the wheels of your bicycle will take a whole lot of abuse from rocks, mud, sticks, and other environmental elements, so taking the time to clean and conduct health checks on them after each race or ride is recommended.
Whether your wheels are made of aluminum or carbon, ensure that you check for dents or cracks, which you can do by turning your bike upside down or with the help of a torch. While your bike is upside down, you could also check the tension, the bearings, the cassette and replace anything that may have worm. Doing so will help preserve the longevity of your bike and prevent unexpected costs.
You can also preserve the longevity of your bike by considering taking out relevant insurance through national providers such as Velosurance. For more insight about their services, consider contacting them through their website or following their blog for more topics concerning cyclocross and gravel grinders. See how their policies could help you maintain your new bike today.
Look At The Brakes
Another pivotal component of your bike is its brakes, and ensuring that they are well looked after and maintained is crucial for riding safely and minimizing accidents. The brakes on your cyclocross bike require even more attention as they are more potent than those equipped on standard bicycles and can help riders go faster by allowing them to carry more speed and brake later when approaching corners.
Regardless of which brake system your cyclocross uses, we recommend checking your brake system after each ride or race, replacing any worn or damaged pads, or re-aligning them if required and seeing if the brake rotors need replacing if they’ve become damaged, badly worn, or out of true. While you’re checking the brake system, you could also take this opportunity to conduct a health check on your bike’s hydraulic system, like bleeding it or replacing anything that needs to be done.
Assess Your Pedals
Much like the wheels of your bike, your pedals take much abuse during rides and races, so taking the time to ensure that these are well maintained is also within the best interest of your bike. Check your pedals by turning your bicycle upright and using a hand to rotate the pedals; they should spin freely on their spindles and not take much effort to move.
If you are met with resistance, you should remove your pedals, clean the whole pedal area plus the spindle and apply a fresh coat of grease. Also, check to make sure that the springs are working correctly, and check or replace your cleats if showing signs that they need to be removed. If you’re finding it hard to draw a cleat from your pedal, try looking at internet guides or videos which might be able to outline a few alternate ways to help release the cleat from the pedal.