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Mountain Bike Maintenance Tips
As fun as mountain biking is, dirt is going to get on and in your bike and your job is to keep it off. By regularly cleaning and lubricating your bike, your rides and expensive equipment will be more enjoyable, safer and last longer.
I suggest to clean and lube the bike every time before you ride. This depends on the region you live in, but here in Southern CA like most of the West it's very dry and dusty which is tough on the bikes. Below are some products and tools I use but many others will do the job.
(Pass mouse over item to see description)
Cleaning the bike and Chain
Before I cover the individual lubes lets discuss the spray bottle. You can pick one up for about $2.00 and they work great for cleaning the bike. Yes the hose does a better job, but leave that for the major cleaning jobs. Spraying water into the hubs and crankshaft breaks down the lubricants that can rust and poor performance. If it's just dust and some dirt, then use the bottle with a clean towel and wipe off the frame, brake & gear components. I use the wire brush for cleaning the chain. If you don't have a bike stand, then just lift up the rear tire and hold the brush against the rear sprocket while turning the pedals. Use the citrus based chain cleaner a couple times a month to get the heavy grease off. Always lube the chain after cleaning
Have you ever rode past somebody and it sounds like they were driving a tank? Well folks it's from a major lack of lube. Below I will cover some parts of your bike to lube that you can do in just a few minutes.
Well that's the basics. I also suggest waxing the bike a couple of times a year to keep the paint looking good.
For more info, one suggestion is to
inquire with your local bike shops to see if they offer any classes on the
subject. REI offers excellent workshops if you are a do it yourself
type. The bottom line is if you aren't sure how to maintain your
bike, then get professional help so your bike will perform properly and you
can keep your eyes on the trail. Here are a couple of great products
to try. White Lightning is an excellent product if just
the lube is
what your after.