CBR LBS is a spotlight on the wonderful Local Bike Shops (LBS) in Canberra. We’ll be featuring different Local Bike Shops weighing in on topics like buying bikes and bike equipment, how to keep your bike operating at its best, new products and much more. If you have a question or idea for a CBR LBS column, please get in touch.
Established in 2011, Ride 365 is a quality service-focused local bike shop on Emu Bank in Belconnen. Led by Paul, the capable team of Nathan, Sam, Hugh & Helene are all bike riders, passionate advocates for cycling, and love nothing more than seeing people having fun riding their bikes. A third of Ride 365’s business is in bike maintenance, and we asked Paul for his advice.
Bike maintenance is about your safety, the safety of others, and the longevity and proper function of your bike. Properly maintaining your bike is critical to enjoying your ride and keeping you and your riding companions safe.
At Ride 365 we see bikes of all styles, and with all manner of service requirements on a daily basis. Regardless of the bike or the cyclist, there are several constants in maintenance:
1. Cleaning your bike is the most important bike maintenance task
A clean drivetrain (chain, cassette, chainrings and derailleurs) will last longer, and run more smoothly and quietly. Dirt and grit on a chain increases wear dramatically. If you regularly clean your chain, the chain rings and cassette should stay relatively clean as well. We recommend using a citrus degreaser and a chain cleaning device such as the Park Tool Chain Gang Cleaning System.
Once your chain is clean make sure to apply a chain lube (we recommend a dry lube in Canberra, as we mostly ride in dry conditions and find wet lube picks up more dust and grit in the dry, which increases wear). This will ensure everything runs smoothly for your next few rides, until it becomes time to clean your bike again.
Cleaning your bike’s frame is for much more than just looks. Wash your frame with a hose, but avoid high pressure water as it will easily get past bearing seals and result in bearing damage. Finish with a rag and wipe the frame over, paying close attention for cracks, dents and marks. It’s while cleaning frames at the shop that we identify most frame damage. Don’t be tempted to ride with a damaged frame: frame failure whist riding can result in serious injury to yourself and others.
2. Keeping an eye on wear minimises maintenance cost
Like tyres, chains wear with use. Chains wear in the rollers between links, so the more movement in the rollers, the less they will mesh neatly with cassette (rear) and chainring (front) teeth in your drivetrain. A worn chain will also increase wear on the rest of your drivetrain. Chain-checking devices are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, but most bike shops will be happy to check chain wear for you.
3. Learning about bike maintenance is a good idea for everyone
Regardless of whether you plan to service your own bike, learning more about bike maintenance can be useful. The more you understand about your bike, the more likely you are to identify issues before they become big problems on a ride. It also helps to better understand how to get out of trouble on the bike.
4. When in doubt, ask your friendly bike shop for help
We are lucky in Canberra to be served by many high quality bike shops. We are all in the bike industry because we believe in the many benefits of cycling, and we want you to enjoy riding your bike.
A basic service at most shops will cost between $60-$80, and you should feel free to ask for details on what your bike needs.
The people in Canberra’s shops love cycling and want you to enjoy your time on the bike – no matter if you ride a little or a lot!
Ride 365 is located at 1/102 Emu Bank in Belconnen. Drop in Monday to Friday between 8am-5:30pm or between 10am-4pm on Saturdays. You can visit their website at ride365.com.au or check out their Facebook page to find out more.
If you’d like to learn more about bike maintenance, we suggest either talking to your friendly local bike shop, or taking one of our Bike Maintenance courses.