If you mostly use your bicycle for short trips you can get away with a cavalier approach to bike maintenance. After all, if the bike breaks down just a mile or two from home it’s usually just a minor inconvenience.
Mechanical issues are much more frustrating if they crop up halfway through a long ride. Especially if it’s an event, such as the Great North Bike Ride or an Xtra Mile triathlon or duathlon, for which you have been preparing yourself for months.
We therefore recommend that you prepare for a big ride by giving your bicycle a really good clean and checkover at least a week before you set off (not the night before). Is every bearing turning freely? Is the chain properly lubed? Are the cables and brake pads sound? Even something as simple as pumping the tyres up to recommended pressure helps ensure the ride is a pleasure, and not a slog.
If you’re not sure where to start, Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op carry some really good books that will ‘walk you through’ adjusting and maintaining every inch of the bike. You can also check our series of videos and blog post where we share some of our mechanics’ best maintenance tips. Best of all, you can enrol onto one of Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op’s Bike Maintenance Day Classes. There’s no easier, quicker route to learning bicycle DIY.
If you don’t have the time, the tools or the inclination to do your own cycle maintenance, you can book your bike into an Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op Service Centre (we have one at every branch) for a checkover, tune up or a complete service.
For more information and to book your maintenance class or service, phone Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op on 0845 257 0808 or 0131 331 5010.
Things Worth Carrying on Any Significant Ride
- Plenty food and drink
- Spare inner tubes
- Puncture repair kit
- Mobile Phone