Get into Gear with these Bike Tune-up Tips
It’s February. That means spring is just around the corner, the days are getting longer and the temps will slowly start to rise. Mountain bike season is quickly upon us. Now is the perfect time to break out your bike and give it a thorough inspection so you aren’t caught unprepared when the time comes to switch up your routine.
Step 1 – Wash Your Bike
Start by completely cleaning off your bike of mud from your previous ride. Soap, water plus a bristle brush and rag will do the trick. Try to avoid spraying your bearings directly. Pay particular attention to the drivetrain and fork stanchions. Once dry, apply lube to the drivetrain and chain if needed.
Step 2 – Give your bike a close inspection, front to back:
Some of the work outlined below may require professional help. We do not recommend attempting these fixes without the proper tools, experience and knowledge. Local bike shops like evo Seattle and evo Portland offer full bike tune-ups and as well as component specific services in the event you are unable to take care of these yourself. Give us a call if you have any questions!
Wheels & Tires
Check both the tread and casing of your tires for wear or damage. Also check your tire pressure and adjust if necessary. Tubeless riders should plan on refreshing their tire sealant if they haven’t done so in a while. If you are interested in going tubeless, this is a perfect opportunity to convert your setup!
evo Tech Series: Tubeless Setup & Conversion Step-by-Step Instructions
Check your rims, hubs and spokes for damage or looseness. Keep a close eye on the tension of your spokes and the true-ness of your wheels. The wheel should spin cleanly without any wobble or bounce. Tighten the spokes and true your wheel accordingly. If unsure how to proceed, bring your wheels in to your favorite bike shop for help.
Pedal your bike around and test the high and low speed braking ability. Closely inspect your brake pads, calipers and levers for wear and tear. If your brakes are making a lot of noise, check the rotors, rims, or pads for residue or oils. Now is also the perfect time to bleed your brakes if you are using a hydraulic brake system.
Give your bike a quick ride around the block and make sure your suspension is working properly. Verify that your sag settings are correct and adjust the shock pressure if needed. For higher end forks, this is the perfect time to adjust other settings like the rebound and compression rates. If anything looks or feels wrong, bring it in for service. evo recommends that you get your shock and fork serviced by a professional.
evo Tech Series: Fox and RockShox Lower Service Step-by-Step Procedure
Cycle through all of your gears. You should be able to shift quickly and crisply between each gear. If this is not the case, your derailleur likely needs adjusting. Check out our rear derailleur adjustment guide, or take your bike in to your favorite bike shop if your drivetrain seems out of whack. This is also the right time to inspect your chain for wear. Apply chain lube to your chain and other moving parts to ensure your drivetrain remains smooth and silent.
evo Tech Series: Rear Derailleur Adjustment Step-by-Step Instructions
Check your derailleur, brake and dropper seatpost cable housings, cables, and ferrules for wear and tear. Replace as necessary. Ensure any visible housing is not wearing on your frame.
evo Tech Series: Internal Cable Housing Replacement Step-by-Step Instructions
Inspect your frame for cracks and ensure all bolts, bearings and fasteners are secure. This includes your stem, handlebars and seatpost, along with pivot bearings for rear suspension mountain bikes. For dropper seatpost users, give that a bleed, too:
evo Tech Series: How to Bleed a Rockshox Reverb Seatpost Step-by-Step Instructions
3 – Get Ready to Shred
Bump your stoke meter up a notch or two by breaking out your gear – inspect your helmet, check your pedals and clean your old jersey. Then watch mountain bike videos on Pinkbike and get ready to shred!
We’re here to help. For any bike service related questions, give us a call: