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When Should I Service My Bike?

cyclist riding a bike path near the wetlands in Melbourne

 

No one really knows when to service their bike or how often. There's a lot of variables so let's dive in and look at all considerations.

 

How is your bike used?

 - While I'm sure you have every desire to ride your bike 100km every single day, the reality for most of us is that we only do a small portion of that. Some of us are lucky to ride to the shops on the weekend while others use it as our main form of transport, riding 20km each way to work and back. Other riders are lucky to get out every morning, rain, hail or shine and 'smash a few K's' on Beach Rd or if they're adventurous, heading out to the hills.

 

Frequency

- How often do I ride? Every Day? Every other day? Once a week? Or once a month? Obviously, the more you use your bike, the more it wears and needs servicing. Equally, the less you ride the more it wears. Weird huh! If you don't ride, all the lubricants and grease dry out and provide no protection against wear. Also, it seems rubber needs to keep moving otherwise it also dries out and you get cracking in the sidewalls and around the grooves and knobs.

 

How's The Weather?

- Are you feverishly checking your weather app, making sure there's not a cloud in the sky or do you believe there's "no bad weather, just the wrong gear"? Don't let it affect your ride, but bikes don't really like water and the associated dirt. It builds up and gets into places you don't really want or need dirt.

 

"Dude, that was a big pothole!"

- Terrain also plays a massive roll in determining when you should service your bike! Do you ride roads and roads only and never, ever hit a bump? Or do you commute on the ever-expanding network of Melbourne's bike paths? What about mountain biking? Or just dirt back roads and rail trails? Roads aren't always paved in gold; more often that not they're littered with potholes and sticks and all manner of obstacles which only intensifies as you head onto bike paths, rail trails and of course, mountain bike trails. It all adds wear to your bike.

 

"But I grease my own chain!"

- Ok, if you put grease on your chain, we need to talk. Don't put grease on your chain! Please. Oil, my friends. A light, bicycle specific oil is best and will help your bicycle survive between services but having said that, I'm stoked you're trying to maintain your bike. That will help determine the frequency of the servicing needed.

 

"I like consistency!"

- Me too. The amount of time you get to ride your bike varies but you'd still like to service you bike on the regular. I get that. Hopefully the points above have helped you determine the sort of usage your trusty stead is getting, now lets look at making a plan.

 

Retro Road Bike near Clayton Train Station 

Ok, tell it to me straight!

So, as you may have gathered by now, a lot of it has to do with you and how often, far, when and where you ride. Everything comes into play so a definitive time frame is almost impossible to suggest, but I like the impossible! Let's give it a shot and help you decide which service is best and when to get it!

 

We have two main options and one add-on I'd suggest. Check them out!

 

The General Service: $59.95 (+parts & fitting)

The General Service is the main service we do here at Riding Way. It covers the basics from brakes, gears and a full nut & bolt check. We tighten bolts, inflate tyres and do an all-over safety inspection. My personal bike will get this 4 times a year. I ride it every single day, rain, hail or shine sometimes for 5km, other days 35km+. Are you a commuter or do you head out every single weekend and ride as far as you can? Give your bike the love she deserves with a General Service 3 or 4 times a year. If you ride less, let's say 2 times a week, you could drop back to 2 times a year. Things to consider, if you do ride in the rain, or simply get stuck in a shower on your way back from the pub a couple of times, this will affect how well your bike rides and may increase the need of servicing. Also, if your bike hibernates during the winter, I would suggest the General Service at least once a year, typically before you really want to start hitting the streets but if this is you, i'd probably suggest the following option.

 

The General Service PLUS: $149.95 (+parts & fitting)

Ok, so the General Service PLUS is basically a full strip and rebuild of your bicycle. Like totally dude, we pull you bike down to bare frame, clean and inspect all the bearings, apply fresh, high quality Shimano Premium grease and reinstall and adjust everything inbetween. We then go over all the gears, brakes and every single bolt and make sure they're working as expected. This service is recommended at least once a year if you ride regularly but can be bumped out to every two years if you're not on your bike as much as you'd like. However... If you often find yourself lifting your feet and gliding through puddles, putting a towel on the car seat after a long, muddy ride or simply get caught in the rain a few more times than you'd really like, having us complete the General Service PLUS at least once a year is not a bad idea. Water, and the accompanying dirt, sand and road grime, is not your bike's friend and left alone will prematurely wear out all the moving parts. Even though the seals on bearings are pretty good, grit seems to always find its way in. If you're pulling your bike out from an extended hibernation, I would suggest the General Service PLUS as well. Grease often goes hard and becomes useless if left to sit for too long. If you haven't touched your bike in a few years, book it in for the General Service PLUS.

 

The all new EcoSafe Chain Clean: $49.95

Our new EcoSafe parts washer has been a hit and friends have already been blown away with how clean their drivetrain is. We've had some pretty gross chains in here and it's taken some serious scrubbing but the results speak for themselves. If you've ever ridden through a puddle, on a dirt road, rail trail or slightly damp Beach Rd, chances are you've got a build up of sand in the chain acting like sandpaper on your moving parts. Add the EcoSafe wash to your service TODAY.