Hush Money Bikes Service Director Brad Copeland shares the most overlooked bicycle maintenance tasks
An Ounce of Prevention...
We asked Hush Money Bikes Service Director Brad Copeland to share his checklist of preventive maintenance tasks to keep your bike running smoothly while avoiding embarrassing mid-ride failures.
Number 1 - Replace your shift cables
"Eleven and 12-speed Shimano road shifters are particularly prone to eating cable heads, leading to broken cables that can end a ride. But performance is compromised long before your cables break. All shift cables and housing degrade over time, increasing friction that delays shifts. You should replace your shift cables every season or mid-season if needed."
Number 2 - Service your brakes
"Disc brake pad wear is difficult to see inside the caliper. And rotor wear cannot be measured without instruments. Many riders don't realize their pads need to be replaced until braking power fades and rotor damage occurs. Stop in and we can quickly check your pad and rotor wear for free.
"Don't remember the last time you bled your brakes? It's time. As air and moisture creep into brake lines, they erode the housing and internal components of your braking system. Bleed your brakes annually to maintain full braking power and avoid bigger issues.
"Sticky brake pistons prevent your brake pads from retracting quickly after use. Your pistons should be cleaned and cycled every few months for faster response and improve modulation."
Number 3 - Change your tubeless sealant
"Tubeless sealant should be replaced every 3-4 months. Even though your tires aren't going flat, the sealant is drying out and won't be as effective in the event of a puncture."
Number 4 - Service your suspension
"Did you know your dropper seatpost, suspension fork and rear shock have regular service intervals for oil and seals? Most manufacturers set maintenance intervals at around 50 hours of use. This is so important that Hush Money employs a full-time service technician whose primary responsibility is to improve the performance and prolong the life of those slidey bits."
Number 5 - Install new cleats
"Cleat wear introduces excess play between your shoes and your clipless pedals. This can lead to knee injuries or an unintentional clip out that leads to a fall. Cleats are cheap and easy to replace. So do it."
Number 6 - Monitor drivetrain wear
"As your chain wears, it also begins to wear more expensive components like chainrings and cassettes. This wear can occur before you notice increased noise or poor shifting performance. Front chainrings wear more quickly on today's 1x drivetrains where 100% of your power is channeled through a single ring. In addition, the narrow-wide tooth profile used on 1x specific chainrings also wear laterally, compromising the ability of the chainring to retain the chain. If your chain is already jumping off your 1x chainring, it's too late. Have one of our mechanics evaluate your chain wear throughout the season BEFORE damage is done to other more expensive components."
Number 7 - Check your derailleur hanger alignment
"Designed to be the weakest link, your derailleur hanger is made of soft sacrificial material that saves your frame and derailleur from catastrophic damage in a crash. But this also means that even a gentle bump can bend your hanger and throw your derailleur out of alignment. Given the especially narrow tolerance of 11 and 12-speed drivetrains, this alignment is absolutely critical to the shifting performance of your bike and must even be checked on brand new bicycles. A misaligned derailleur will cause rough shifting and may even throw your chain into your rear wheel, leading to broken spokes and costly repairs."
Number 8 - Eliminate creaks
"Creaks are a tell-tale sign that your bike requires maintenance. And the cause is often difficult to diagnose. A good technician can pinpoint the source of that nagging noise and address the underlying cause before it leads to irreparable damage."
Brad will be at the shop this weekend from 9-3 on Saturday and Sunday. If you have any maintenance questions about your bike, bring it in for a free estimate.
August Rail Trail Sale
With the heat waves behind us and the best weather of the year yet to come, we're running a sale on Rail Trail Bikes to help you get out and enjoy the rest of the season. It's pretty straightforward, prices are good for the month of August, while supplies last.
Brad has taught us a lot and we're happy to share what we've learned. And we have a few bikes on sale.
Pass it on,
Your Friends at Hush Money Bikes