Outdoor Living

4 Maintenance Tips for the Season’s First Bike Ride

Summer has officially arrived, and it’s time to hit the trails! Unfortunately, winter can be hard on bikes, and they need attention before cruising down the mountain again. The shop mechanics at Sundance were happy to share their top 4 tips before you hop on the lift or tackle the uphill trails.  

  1. Clean and Lubricate Chain

 Keeping your chain clean and lubed means no rust, grime or dirt to slow pedaling or to mess up shifting.  

 To quickly clean the chain, use a toothbrush and scrub out the gunk – no need for soap or water. When finished scrubbing, wipe the chain with a dry rag and apply liquid lubricant to the links. Wait a few minutes, then wipe off the excess lube to prevent dirt from sticking. 

 You can find chain lube at any bike shop for a few dollars, and the whole process takes less than 10 minutes. 

  1. Check Brakes

Most bikes bought in the past few years are equipped with disk brakes, which seem a little tricky if you’re familiar with the older style v-brake. Thankfully, the basic steps are the same. 

Remove the tire and inspect the brake housing to ensure all parts are moving smoothly and properly aligned. Most misalignment or stickiness can be fixed by cleaning and tightening components. If the brake pads are worn down, simply remove and replace them. 

The brake rotor is the large metal circle the brake pads squeeze and is attached to the wheel. Inspect it for dirt and clean it with rubbing alcohol and a cloth. 

  1. Suspension

 Changing suspension fluid is an involved process, but unless your bike is in serious disrepair, a full service may not be necessary. The key to regular suspension maintenance is keeping components clean, especially dust seals. 

On the fork, keep the exterior clean of dirt and mud. This prevents debris from settling into the fork itself, which reduces the effectiveness of the shock and breaks the seal. The dust seal is a rubber ring at the top of the fork. Inspect this seal to make sure it’s not cracked or loose. 

  1. Store Your Bike Clean

Dirt and mud sitting on the frame and components lead to rust and unnecessary wear, which means expensive repairs down the road.  

There’s no need to do an in-depth cleaning after every trip – just give your bike a quick wash with the hose and wipe down any problem areas. Make sure to store it covered or indoors between rides. 

Regular maintenance doesn’t require a shop full of tools or hours tinkering. A few minutes before starting the season and keeping components clean after every ride is enough to keep everything running smoothly and safely. We’ll see you on the trails! 

Thank you to Taylor Lythgoe and Josh Rhoades – bike specialists at Sundance Mountain Resort – for their top tips and assistance. 

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Written by Sundance Mountain Resort