Bike maintenance

You don’t have to maintain your bike. A lot of people don’t. But the more cycling you do, the more benefit you’ll get from keeping it working smoothly:

A litle bit of maintenance can go a long way.

For example:

  • Keeping your chain lubricated could save you the cost of prematurely replacing your chain and gears – at least £60 plus labour.
  • A well-looked after bike will last many years longer than a neglected one – putting off the cost of replacing the entire bike.

Worn brake pads, badly adjusted brakes or a broken brake cable mean you are unable to stop safely.

If a chain seizes while you are cycling, you could be over the handlebars.

A puncture – if you’re unable to repair it – could leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

We don’t want to overstate the safety issue, but maintaining a bike will help prevent problems that could get you into trouble.

Worn and badly lubricated components, under-inflated tyres, gears that don’t change properly, an incorrectly positioned saddle all mean you have to cycle harder than you need to, to get anywhere.

It takes some effort to keep a bike in good order, but it can save you a lot of effort too.

There are two basic methods to maintain a bike:

  1. Do it yourself
  2. Get someone to do it for you – i.e. a specialist bike shop

How much you do yourself depends on

  • how much time you have
  • your aptitude
  • your inclination
  • how much you’re willing to spend.

We’d argue that some tasks are best left to the specialists, but basic maintenance is mostly straightforward and needs just a few tools.

If you’d like to do some of your own maintenance – or at least find out what’s involved, we’ve written the following articles. We hope you find them useful. We will add articles over time. If you’d like us to explore a particular topic, please let us know.


Checklists help you work round the bike logically, and there are two common types :

  • The ABCD-check which is simpler, easy to do before a ride.
  • The M-check, which is a little more thorough.

Common tasks:

How to inflate your tyres
Avoiding a puncture
How to repair a puncture
How to remove your bike’s wheels

If these articles don’t help, we’d be happy to try to answer any cycling-related questions you might have.