Without a doubt – ample rest, hydration, and a nutritious meal are what you need after an arduous yet exhilarating ride with all those calories that you’ve burnt. It’s your time to rest like there is no tomorrow, and you deserve it!
But when it comes to a post-ride, you’re not the only one that needs attention – your bike should be equally part of the picture as well when it comes to the recovery period. Depending on your bike type, whether it’s road or mountain bike servicing that you need – it’s important to get regular maintenance.
If no check or servicing is done and you’re off for your next ride two weeks down the road, you may feel a sharp drop in your bike’s performance or even squeaky noises that go on non-stop as you’re taking on the road. Either way, these are not good signs and may be indications of a faulty component in your bike that needs maintenance.
Previously, we’ve already gone through the essential checks to take pre-ride, and now we’re moving on to post-ride checks and maintenance. Continue reading on for five tips to keep in mind for post-ride checks so your bike stays in great shape!
1. Before any checks or servicing, give it a good wash
To properly check a bike after a ride, it needs to be perfectly clean so that it’ll be easier for yourself or a mechanic to diagnose a problem on the spot.
That said, you’ll need to wash the bike and get rid of all the grime and dirt that sits on the drivetrain (chain, cranks, derailleurs, and cassette). However, keep in mind that washing a bike needs proper technique – be it using the right amount of water pressure when rinsing or spraying degreaser on the correct components.
If so, visiting a road or mountain bike shop (depending on your bike type) may be a good idea as you’ll be leaving it to the hands of a professional.
2. Then, take a look at the wheels and spokes
For the rims, check to see if the structural layer (raw carbon weave) of the carbon fiber rim is exposed or has some discoloration, or if you are able to see through the top layer of carbon. Also, see if the woven fibers of the carbon are starting to become frayed or exposed. If it’s any of these cases, it may be time for a rim replacement.
Other signs of wear can also be determined by running your hand or fingers over the braking surface; if it feels fibrous or rough, it usually means that the resin has worn off. You may have also spotted a judder during braking that didn’t happen when the carbon fiber wheels were brand new. It could possibly be a sign of a soon-to-be worn-out brake track that may need a professional inspection from an expert mechanic. If your wheels were specially made by your trusted wheel builder, you may want to consider visiting them again to get your wheels checked.
Now, moving on to the brake pads – ensure that you remove all sorts of debris that may be found in the rubber. If left there, the debris will cause damage to the rim and result in poorer braking performance. To do this, remove the wheels to inspect the brake blocks more closely, then remove any debris with a pair of tweezers.
As for the spokes, go around the rim and check for any damage or broken spokes. Then, spin the wheel to see if it’s “untrue”. If any of the above-mentioned occurs, go down to your trusted bike shop and get your wheels checked.
3. Once done, move on to Inspecting your frame and fork
Give your frame and fork a check for any signs of faults or cracks, particularly for anything deep or through the paint.
Then, using a dollar coin, tap on potential suspect areas and listen for any change in sound. A regular “tap” sound will turn into a dull thud if the carbon is broken. After which, press on the suspect area gently to feel if it’s softer than the area surrounding it.
Then when it’s time to look into your suspension – both your fork and shock – you would want to make sure they’re really clean first so you can check more accurately. Using a rag, go around the stanchions and seals to make sure that they’re free of any dark and are rid of any mud or dust. Then, spread a tiny bit of lube on them (just make sure not to overspray) to make it all smooth once again.
4. Afterward, focus on the cockpit & controls for a fresh bike
An excellent consideration to make your bike feel fresh after riding for a long time would be to send it for a check periodically, for parts that may experience wear and tear such as the grips and gear cables – the latter usually gets friction in them and you won’t really notice them getting worse till you switch it out with new cables.
With all the riding that you’ve been doing so far, your brake pads have probably taken a good amount of clobbering. So, to know what’s the remaining lifespan in them – take a look at your disc and into the brake caliper to see if the braking surface of the pads is starting to get close to the metal backing. At the same time, check if there is any contamination in the oil. If so, simply replace it with new oil and your next ride will feel a lot smoother.
However, more complex steps like a change of brake fluid and switching new cables requires indexing of the gears, and this requires professional expertise to execute it correctly. In essence, sending your bike to the bike shop will allow you to fully understand the condition of your parts and know what kind of servicing is needed.
5. Finally, consider visiting a bike shop if professional assistance is needed
While visual checks and simple repairs can be easily done in your humble abode, more complicated bike components like suspension (aka your fork and shock) will need extra attention and expertise. And that’s when bike mechanics come in.
With their know-how of just about any bike type and bike component in the industry, they have what it takes to work out all sorts of issues in your bike – from suspension fork service to setting the right tension for your spokes. A professional bike mechanic can easily come to your rescue, offer their input on potential upgrades, and even put together a beautifully designed custom mountain bike of your liking!
Every rider loves a good time on the trails or road – whether it’s your favorite hobby or a way to keep fit! But before all the fun – always know to treat your bike like a treasure, with care, attention, and maintenance (when necessary).
You can always begin with DIY servicing, but whenever you need a helping hand – you can count on a bike shop! At AttitudeBikes, our skilled and helpful bike mechanics are ready to service, upgrade, or even build your dream bike. Simply reach out to us to set an appointment date or drop off your bike at our shop – we’ll gladly assist with any of your inquiries!
This time, we’re keeping our tips short and sweet because we know how worn out one can be after a ride. So, after enough hydration and a good meal to fully recover from a tiring riding sesh – we suggest doing your post-ride check (and the bike wash) on the same day to ensure everything is in good condition. Cleaning your bike is especially important and is a very detailed process, and we’ll be zooming into it in our next article – so, look forward to it then if you want to have a spotless bike afterwards!