Here’s a list of common mountain bike maintenance mistakes you’ll want to avoid if you love your bike.
1 – Using the Wrong Lube
This is arguably the top mistake people make when cleaning their mountain bikes. Beginners often make the mistake of using motor oils or WD-40 to lubricate bicycle chains.
But now, WD-40 is making lubes specifically for cycling chains. Just make sure you’re buying the right one.
2 – Too Much Lube
So you may be using the right kind of lubricant. But are you using too much of it?
The right amount is one drop per link. Squirt the lube on the pins of the chain.
Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe off the extra lube.
3 – Tightening Bolts Too Much
When the top preload bolt is too tight it can jam the headset bearing. When you feel a resistance when you’re steering, it means it’s too tight.
The same goes for bars and seatposts.
4 – Too Much Pressure on the Tires
Expert riders say you don’t have to follow the maximum pressure indicated on your tire. You have to gauge it everytime you ride to discover the pressure that’s just right.
This is the general rule: light riders, lighter pressure; heavier riders, higher pressure.
Finding the right pressure results in more comfortable rides.
5 – Not Washing Your Bike Regularly
Every time you use your bike, especially on an offroad adventure, dirt gathers on your bike. Don’t allow dirt to stay on your bike for too long.
And don’t just use any soap. Use bike-specific cleaners so you can be sure you’re not harming your mountain bike.
6 – Not Cleaning the Moving Parts Too Much
Some people only clean the easy parts like the bike frame and the fork.
But it’s important to clean the moving parts too. Dirt can easily accumulate and harden on the chain, shifters, and bearings.
It seems tedious but it’s not worth it if you neglect cleaning them too.
7 – Forgetting to Grease Pedal Axles
Don’t forget to grease your pedal axels before putting them on your bike. If not, you’ll have a hard time removing them next time.
8 – Not Bringing it to a Professional
Bring your bike to a bike shop and have it checked by an expert at least once a year.
If you’re the DIY type, make sure first you know how to do it right. Many people make the mistake of doing it on their own, only to cause damage.
There are plenty of short courses on mountain bike maintenance you might want to enroll in.
Keeping your bike in top shape means your safety.
9 – Storing it Upside Down
If your bike uses hydraulic brakes, never put it upside down. You’ll cause air to go into the caliper and cause problems with your brakes.
10 – Returning the Parts the Wrong Way
If you disassembled some parts to clean them better, make sure you return them in their proper place and proper order.
Experts suggest putting the parts on a bench or on the floor in the order they were removed.