Prolonging the life of your bike with a bit of bike hygiene

It’s amazing how many bike problems can be avoided by simply keeping your bike clean and tidy. For one, the more you give you bike a thorough going over, the more you will get to know the particular details of your bike and the more in tune you will be if you are to notice a slight anomaly.

By getting to a small issue promptly, such as a part being slightly loose or bent, can avoid the issue becoming a big deal and a big expense to fix down the track.

If you ride regularly, we recommend cleaning your bike at least once a fortnight. Obviously if you are mountain biking on muddy or dusty tracks every week you may need to clean it more often.

The best way to clean the bike is to get a bit of Handy Andy or any light detergent into warm water and use a cloth to scrub it down.

You’ll need to re-lube the chain after washing.

We also recommend bringing it in to our qualified bike mechanics bi annually to give it a proper detail. We’ll go over the bike with a fine tooth comb and make sure everything is in working order.

billy-and-hanger-straightener

What’s that strange noise coming from my bike?

Every now and again we hear a noise that we probably shouldn’t coming from our bike. In fact we find that ‘strange noises’ are one of the main reasons our customers bring in their bikes for us to check over.

The three most common noises that our customers identify generally mean that something has gone askew with their bike and in most cases we have the tools and expertise to fix the problem quickly and easily.

So if you hear one of the following noises coming from you bike, here is what it can mean and this is what we suggest you do:

billy-and-hanger-straightener

  1. A creaking noise coming from the bottom bracket or headset.
    This noise can mean that the barings and threads in the affected areas need to be regreased. There are quite a few YouTube videos that will show you how to regrease the barings on your bike but it can be a bit fiddly so if you think this may the noise you hear, bring it in to one of our qualified bike mechanics and we’ll have it fixed in no time.
  2. A ticking noise coming from the gears or the chain.
    This could be a number of things. One of the most common causes that we see for this noise is that the derailer hanger has been bent slightly and is rubbing against the chain.The derailer hanger is quite sensitive to movement and can break easily. They are purposefully designed to be this flexible so that if the bike falls on its side – the derailer breaks instead of the whole bike frame.This is something that we advise that you don’t attempt to fix yourself as it’s really hard to ascertain when you have actually bent the derailer hanger back into its original condition. We have a special hanger straightening tool which accurately gauges and adjusts the derailer back into its original position.
  3. Disc brakes squealing on your Mountain Bike
    If you hear squealing noises coming from the disc brakes on your Mountain Bike this can generally mean the brake discs and / or pads are contaminated.We find a common reason for the brake discs getting contaminated is when riders use a can or spray lubricant and it infects the discs. Essentially lube is designed to make things move – but we need your brakes to make you stop – so if you contaminate your discs with lube – things could get a little scary!We always recommend using a squeezey bottle to apply lube so that you avoid this happening.Again, we recommend bringing your bike to us if this has happened. When we perform brake disc decontamination we take the wheels off, clean them back with an alcohol based cleaner such as Prepsol and then sand the discs and pads back or replace them if necessary.