Bicycle Service / Tune Ups
Bicycles are refined pieces of advanced engineering. Like any precision machine, bicycles benefit greatly from regular service and maintenance.
Bikes that are regularly used can easily develop less than optimum function in multiple systems without their rider noticing the incremental changes that occur over time during use. Even bicycles that are not regularly used can develop issues from sitting that affect their overall performance and their owner’s enjoyment of them.
While much of the basic maintenance can be done with a few tools, anything more can require special tools and training to ensure the best results. Why invest in a high quality bicycle unless you are going to provide the care necessary to keep it in prime working condition?
Gears to Wheels- Power Input and Output
Caring for your bike’s drivetrain involves much more than just making sure that the gears are shifting properly and the tires have enough air. While these are essential to proper operation there are many more moving parts that need to be considered.
Ensuring that all of the components are functioning takes special tools and know-how. The difference between a well maintained drivetrain and a poorly cared for, worn one is obvious in function and power output efficiency. The well maintained drivetrain will function smoothly, put power to the ground efficiently and quietly do its job without you thinking about it.
To ensure optimum function you need to assess every bearing, gear and pawl between your pedals and the ground. This involves work outside of the scope of the average home mechanic. Regular bicycle service tune ups can be the difference between recording a PB or a DNF. A well maintained properly functioning drivetrain ensures that as much of the power you input is felt in the bicycle’s output as possible.
Tires and Wheels- Ride Quality, Traction and Handling
Everything changes gradually on your bike. Not only from riding, but also from age which causes rubber to dry, lose elasticity and grip, and can cause greases and oils to break down. This can be very hard for many riders to sense causing them to ride components till they are well past their prime.
Tires are consumable components which need regular replacement and wheels need basic maintenance to help ensure that they function properly and have a long life. They should be inspected before every ride to make sure that they have sufficient rubber, are inflated to the right pressure, have no cords showing, and no visible cracks. There is nothing you can do to your bike that will as profoundly alter its handling for the better as having the right tires for your riding type, style and conditions.
Properly trued wheels with clean and greased bearings and drivers are one of the most important pieces of maintenance you can have done. It will help improve performance while saving you money on replacement parts by improving your ride quality, reducing rolling resistance and improving handling.
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Ergonomics- Ride position, Handling and Stability
The benefits of regular bicycle service tune ups goes beyond just making sure that your bike is functioning at its best. It gives you a chance to consider how you interact with your bike. When your bike is functioning mechanically its best it is easier to notice where your interface is less than optimum. Where you touch the bike with your feet, and hands as well as in the saddle affects your performance. Regular maintenance gives you opportunities to make changes when the baseline of your machine’s performance is reset were changes to your setup can be more honestly assessed.
Changes to your handlebars, pedals, cranks, saddle, etc. are best made when the rest of your setup is known to be functioning at its peak. This ensures that any changes are considered for their own pros or cons and not for issues in other systems and components.
There are not any drawbacks to regular bicycle service tune ups. They save you money and time by keeping your components functioning within their optimum range, prolonging their life and helping to prevent damage. Regular tune ups help ensure the safety of you and your investment. What better way is there to ensure your continued enjoyment of a valued possession?