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Maintenance

Schedule the work you need to carry out on your bike by developing a maintenance timetable. The timetable on the right provides a good template, since it shows the tasks you should perform on your bike and suggests when you should do them.

Your schedule depends on how much and where your bike is ridden. A heavily used off-road bike requires attention at much shorter intervals, while a bike used for infrequent, short road journeys will need less regular attention.

However, work carried out as part of a maintenance schedule does not replace the safety checks that must be carried out before every ride, or regularly looking for danger signs. You should also check your bike and lubricate the drivetrain every time you clean it.

Maintenance Schedule

DRIVETRAIN
  EVERY WEEK EVERY MONTH EVERY SIX MONTHS
CHECK Chain for wear
Gear-shift performance
Inner cables for fraying and outer cables for wear
Crankarms and chainring bolts for tightness
Bottom bracket for smooth running, play, and bent axle
Pedals for play, and clipless pedals for play and release action
Rear derailleur pivots for play
Cog and chainring teeth for wear
Freehub body and freewheel for play
Rear derailleur frame fixing bolt for play
Cleats for wear
Jockey pulleys for wear
LUBRICATE Oil chain
Oil jockey pulleys
Oil derailleur pivots
Oil and grease inner and outer cables
Oil clipless pedal release mechanisms
Grease open-bearing bottom bracket
Oil in hub gear, if equipped with oil port
Grease bearings in pedals
REPLACE   Chain on a heavily used bike
Chain
Inner and outer cables
Cogs on a heavily used bike
STEERING AND WHEELS
CHECK Headset for looseness and ease of steering
Action of quick-release levers
Wheels for broken spokes and trueness
Handlebar and stem for cracks
Hubs for play on axles, roughness, or tight spots
Rubber seals on hubs for splits
Covers, if fitted, on headsets
Bearings in open-bearing hubs for wear
Bearings and bearing surfaces in headsets for wear
LUBRICATE   Oil the seals on hubs Grease open-bearing hubs
Grease headsets
REPLACE     Handlebar tape and grips
BRAKES
CHECK Inner cables for fraying and and outer cables for weal
Pads for wear and alignment
Hydraulic hoses for wear, kinks, or leaks
Brake levers, arms, discs, and calipers for cracks
Disc and caliper bolts for tightness
Discs for wear and calipers for alignment
Coaster brake action and chain tension
 
LUBRICATE Oil exposed cables by wiping with wet lube on a rag
Grease inner cables and oil inside outer cables Grease brake bosses
REPLACE   Brake pads of heavily used mountain bikes Inner and outer cables
SUSPENSION
CHECK Fork and shock exterior surfaces for cracks
Stanchions under shock boots, if fitted, for cracks
Top caps, crown bolts, and shaft bolts for tightness
Fork and shock for play
Fork stanchions to see if oil line visible
Fork and shock seals for cracks and slackness.
(Play, absence of oil lines, and cracked seals are all evidence of worn seals, which should be replaced by a trained technician.)
Fork and shock sag
Fork steerer for cracks, by removing the headset
LUBRICATE Teflon oil on fork stanchions and shock body, and on all seals
Turn bike upside down and store overnight so oil can redistribute in fork
 
REPLACE     Fork oil
Seals on forks and shocks, as part of biannual by trained technician
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