It is straightforward to purchase a bike in a store (or online), hit the trails, and think everything is perfect – but there’s always space for improvement. Once you’ve figured out your configuration, you’ll need to maintain it regularly.
If you are new to mountain biking, the following pointers can help you enhance your bike setup and keep running smoothly without breaking the bank.
Make Sure Your Brakes Are Working Properly
Compared to the same time last year, the number of mountain bike trails in the United States has increased by 100 percent to over 500 percent. And bike manufacturers are reporting increased sales across the board, from entry-level mountain riding to high-end boutique brands.
Mountain biking, which has seen a surge in popularity due to the epidemic, may sustain the surge in interest.
However, it is not the moment to find an air bubble in your reservoir when testing them on a downhill. There are also versatile bikes like the NCM Moscow Plus that have an ergonomic design. Take them for a short spin around your home and pump them up a little. If they’re a bit loose, there may be a tiny bubble that can be worked out by pumping them a few times or flipping your bike upside down. You should get them bled if they aren’t already.
If they are soft, make sure your pads aren’t worn out, then double-check your lines for a leak. If your brakes feel firm, you don’t need to check your pads every time you ride, but get into the habit of checking them for wear regularly.
Make Sure Your Bicycle Is Clean
You don’t have to wash your bike after every ride, in general. In fact, it may be harmful since you’ll be exposing your bottom bracket and hubs to water and regularly washing, causing them to wear down quicker. How frequently you should wash your bike depends on where you live and how often you ride–and this changes with the seasons.
If you ride in mud or damp weather often, you may need to wash it more frequently. Otherwise, a weekly mild wash well enough to maintain it clean enough for inspection, testing, and lubrication.
By the way, never use a high-pressure washer or hose on your bike, particularly near greasy moving components like the hubs and bottom bracket. Almost any liquid soap will suffice, although certain soaps include harsh detergents that may harm paint or lubricated components. Degreasers may also be useful, but be careful where you spray them, so you don’t accidentally de-grease important parts like the headset or bottom bracket.
Lubricate Your Transmission
Wipe or clean your chain, then apply your preferred lubricant. If you’re not sure what lubricant to use, consult a local store depending on the trail conditions in your area. Lubricating a chain after a ride allows the lubricant to soak into the chain, attracting less dust and sand than lubricating before a ride.
Apply a little amount to each link slowly and gently, wiping away the excess. Using too much lubricant will simply collect dirt and make shifting difficult. Scrubbing or thorough cleaning your chain should only be done once a month, depending on how frequently you ride and where you ride.
You’re probably using too much lubricant if you have a thick, filthy grease accumulation on your chain or cassette regularly.
Choose The Best Suited Bike For You
Cross-country (XC) bikes are designed for racing and traveling fast, trail bikes are designed for general usage, and all-around mountain riding. All-mountain or enduro bikes are designed for more difficult terrain, and downhill (DH) bikes are designed for flat-out descent.
Don’t get hung up on labels; everyone has their interpretations. What’s essential to remember is that all bikes fall somewhere along this spectrum. Selecting the appropriate type requires balancing several factors, including frame geometry, suspension design and quantity, and weight.