How to Extend the Life of Your Bicycle

Whether used for exercise, commuting, or just cruising around the neighborhood, bicycles make a fun way to go places under your own power. But to get the most life out of your two-wheeled transportation, some regular maintenance is required. With proper care and basic bike tunes, the people at Canyon Sports tell us that you can keep your cycle rolling smoothly for many seasons.

Clean and Lube Regularly

Dirt, grit, and moisture on moving parts like the chain, gears and brake mechanisms causes extra wear and tear over time. Thoroughly clean off built-up grime every few months using a rag and degreaser. Once dry, reapply a bicycle-specific lubricant to these areas to reduce friction and prevent rust.

Watch Your Weight

The more weight a bicycle needs to support, the greater the strain on its frame, wheels, and other components over thousands of miles. Do your bike a favor by keeping unnecessary heavy cargo off it when possible. Invest in a lightweight rack, panniers, or trailer if you need to haul significant loads regularly. For short trips with light items, a backpack is better than overloading handlebar bags or baskets. Minimizing the weight burden extends your bicycle’s lifespan.

Check Tires and Air Pressure

Under-inflated or worn-out tires create extra drag that strains other components. Check your tire pressure regularly with a gauge and inflate to the recommended PSI found on the tire sidewall. Also inspect tread wear; if it is badly worn or cracked, replace the tires before they go bald and cause flats. Properly inflated, good tires roll more efficiently.

Adjust Brakes and Gears

Brakes and gears that aren’t adjusted properly won’t function as intended, resulting in unnecessary strain. If the brakes don’t engage crisply or gears are slow to shift, take your bicycle to a shop for a quick tune-up to get these dialed in correctly. It is a small investment that pays dividends in smooth, controlled riding.

Protect from Water and Elements

Leaving your bicycle parked outside in rain, snow, or hot sun speeds up the deterioration of rubber, plastic, paint, and metal components. Ideally, store bikes in a garage, shed or basement when not in use. If locked up outdoors, invest in a waterproof bike cover to shield it from weather exposure.

Straighten and Tighten

With all the bumps and vibrations, bolts tend to slowly work themselves loose over time. Periodically inspect and tighten any loose screws, bolts, kickstands, and other attachments before something crucial falls off. Also check that wheels are spinning true, as wobbly or rubbing wheels cause brake pad drag and uneven tire wear.

Switch Out Worn Parts

Even with diligent maintenance, there will come a point where old chains, brake pads and other sacrificial parts simply wear out and need replacing. Riding on severely stretched chains or metal-on-metal brakes only compounds the stress and accelerates breakdown. Listen for creaks, squeaks, and grinding that signifies components are past their prime.

Schedule an Annual Bike Tune

Once a year, take your bicycle to a shop for a professional tune-up service. An experienced mechanic will comprehensively inspect every component, adjusting and replacing worn parts as needed. This annual overhaul detects developing issues before they escalate into major (and expensive) repairs down the road.


With some simple care, any bicycle can cruise reliably for many years. The key is not letting dirt, lack of lubrication, misalignment or worn components go unaddressed and prematurely wear out your ride. Just think of each preventative bike tune as an investment that costs far less than buying a whole new bicycle every couple of years. Stay on top of easy maintenance and you’ll have happy trails ahead.

What is your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

Comments are closed.

More in:Travel