You’ve saved up your pennies and picked up that beautiful mountain bike that you’ve been shopping for all year.
Oh, gosh it is gorgeous.
But wait, is that a scratch?
I’m going to run through a few steps to help you keep your bike looking new. After all, we want those compliments to last as long s possible.
1. Get Some Metal Paint That Matches.
Are you obsessive? Reach out to the manufacturer, and buy a few bottles of their paint matched touch-up paint. Not able to get that from the manufacturer? Then you need to go on a hunt for that to yourself. Reach out to the local car paint shop and see if they can’t mix up something for you. Sherwin Williams sometimes has custom paint mixing, and they would likely be cheaper.
Scratches are going to happen. Clear nail polish can keep it from rusting. But, for the truly obsessive rider, you’ll need to build a small arsenal of paint.
2. Keep Everything Adjusted
Learning how to adjust your gears and brakes are a must. Invest some time on Youtube and master these skills. I tune my bike up at least once a month, but often I perform small adjustments while I am riding to keep it dialed in. It is fun having a machine that works properly.
3. Wash It.
Guys, don’t put your bike away dirty! Learn how to spray down the frame, and keep a soft bristle brush for de-mudding all of the moving parts like the hubs and the bottom bracket. You don’t want to pressure wash the hubs, headset and bottom bracket areas as it will dislodge the grease and ruin these parts.
Also, when using soapy water, you will want to cover the brake pads to keep them from getting soap on them as it can cause an unearthly squeal.
4. Lube it.
The chain is the main area that needs new lube. I like to use a degreaser to clean it off and then lightly apply new lube. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then use a rag to remove any excess lube. Too much lube will cause it to attract dirt which damages the chain. A wax-based lube can work very well for keeping the chain in top shape without some of the dirt magnetism of oilier lubes.
5. Change the Oil, Dad.
The brake hydraulic fluid and shocks need their oil changed regularly. I know a lot of avid athletes who change this on a yearly basis. Some do it every three years.
Even if your bike is just sitting around, water from the atmosphere can make it into your oil and cause problems. Regularly changing this keeps all of those internal parts moving well.
Most cyclists enjoy working on their bikes — almost as much as they enjoy riding them. Don’t hesitate to pull out a youtube video and learn your bike inside and out. It just adds a new level of enjoyment to your sport.