Bicycles- General Maintenance Care
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Bicycles- General Maintenance Care

Keeping your bicycle in proper working order, will ensure your safety and enjoyment for the sport.

When a bicycle is in regular use, lubricate the freewheel, brake calipers, cables, and derailleurs every two weeks. use a bicycle oil or a petroleum distillate spray, available at hardware stores or bicycle shoe. Do not rely on ordinary household lubricating oils for your bicycle; they are too thin for heavy-duty performance.

If the bike has oiling holes on the hubs, pedal axle, bottom bracket, or headset, oil the all at the same time. If there are no holes, these parts are packed in grease and should be disassembled and repacked every 6 to 12 months. Onces a month, or more often in dusty areas, remove and lubricate the chain.

While you are lubricating the bike, check the wheels, brakes, chain, crank arms, and bearings for looseness. Adjusting and cleaning these items when they first need it should result not only in a safer ride but in a greatly increased lifetime for most of these parts.

Many bicycle owners fail to realize the importance of adjusting the handlebars and seat so that the bike is perfectly fitted to the rider. Proper adjustment makes a bike less tiring to ride. It also makes the bike easier to control and, therefore, safer.


  • Remove brake and gear cables from their holders, hold them upright, and run oil between the inner cable and the outer casing.
  • Tilt the bike and oil each pedal where it joins the crank so that oil runs into the pedal shaft. Do not oil all-metal "rat trap" pedals
  • A few drops of your bicycle lubricant onto the freewheel mechanism, cable, and all moving parts of the front and the rear derailleurs.
  • Oil freewheel mechanism and rear sprocket. On 3-speed bikes, oil the toggle chain and put 15 drops of oil into oiling hole.
  • Oil the pivot bolts on each brake caliper (one each on side-pull brakes, two each on center-pull brakes. Keep oil off pads, and the tires.

Handlebar Height Adjustment:

  • Loosen binder bolt on handlebar stem.
  • If your bicycle has an upright bar, set it so that your wrists are straight when you grasp the grips while sitting in an upright position.
  • If you bicycle has a dropped bar, adjust it so that the top of the bar is parallel to the ground or tilted down slightly. Finish by tightening the binder bolt.

Basic Periodic Checks:

  1. Check front hub by grasping the frame and wheel. Try to move the wheel from side to side. If you feel a click, the bearings are loose.
  2. Grasp frame and back wheel to check the rear bearings. Again move wheel from side to side. If you can feel the bearing click, they are loose.
  3. Press down on the headset and try to roll the wheel forward and backward. If there is play between fork and frame, the headset needs tightening.
  4. Place cranks horizontally and press down on both at the same time. Rotate them 180 degrees and press down again, if you feel play, check cotter pins.
  5. Keeping pedals horizontal, try to flex them back and forth. If you feel play or clicking, the bottom bracket bearing are worn or loose.

Seat Height and Angle:

  1. Adjust seat height. With a wrench or socket and ratchet, loosen seat post nut. Hold rear wheel between you legs and lift out seat, twisting as you pull.
  2. After wiping post clean, mark a safety line 2 1/2" from its bottom. After adjustment, line must not show above seat tube. If it does, get a longer post.
  3. Reinsert post into seat tube. With pedal crank arm parallel to tube, set seat so your heel rests on pedal when your leg is extended. Check safety line.
  4. Loosen seat clamp nut under saddle and tilt seat so that either it is parallel to the ground or its front end is slightly higher then its back end.

Enjoy the fresh air, and the wonderful sport of cycling, it is great for your health and well-being.

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Comments (2)

Nice share! Can really use these tips. Thanks voted up!

Thanks for the tips on this subject. We are thinking about buying new bikes for the two of us and this will come in handy for us. Well done. Voted up.