With our new courses starting, it makes sense to create a post about a few simple things that anyone can do to improve their bikes performance:
Pump your tyres before every ride to a minimum of 100psi and a maximum of 120psi (for a road bike).
Wash and degrease your bike often being careful not to wash the grease out of any bearings (bottom bracket, headset, axles).
Lube your chain. Just a few drops is all that is needed. If you can see the oil after a couple of revolutions, you have too much on. A silver chain should look silver.
Swap tyres around every 500k (for road bikes). The rear wears twice as fast as the front so by doing this you will get 50% longer from a set of tyres.
Clean your brake pads. Small pieces of metal can become embedded in them which causes a grating noise and impairs braking performance.
Keep everything pointing inwards. The front skewer should always point towards the bottom bracket. The rear should point towards the saddle or bottom bracket. They should never protrude where another rider could hook or catch their wheel on it and should never be clamped against a fork or seat stay which would make it much harder to open them. Skewers should always be on the non-drive or left-hand side of the bike.
If you would like to learn all the basics of bike maintenance for safety and performance, in a personalised class, click here to find out more.