Your bike requires regular maintenance in order to function properly. A tune-up refers to the process of getting your bike in optimal working condition so that it is ready to use.
The level of the tuning can vary from a rather basic tune to a complete repair.
Moreover, the services involved may include a brake check, a tire pressure test, a wheel check or tuning, adjustments to the headset and bottom bracket, lubricating and cleaning the components, possibly replacing the drivetrain, adjusting the derailleur gears, and conducting a safety check.
As a biker, it is important to acknowledge the signs that indicate your bike needs to be tuned up and the regularity in which a tune-up is required.
Remember that your bike endures a lot and continuing to ride it without properly maintaining it can cause it to become damaged.
How Often Should I Get My Bike Tuned Up?
The regularity in which your bike needs to be tuned is going to be determined by the intensity in which it is used. Generally, it is recommended that all bikers tune their bike at least once annually.
Those who subject their bike to heavy-duty use should tune it twice a year, possibly more. If you are a keen rider who participates in events you should schedule a tune-up for between two and four weeks before the event is expected to take place.
Apart from how often you ride your bike, the terrain and trails that you ride on will also influence when a tune-up is needed. Softer terrain will not wear the bike down as harshly as tough terrain.
Therefore, if you are a mountain bike rider that likes to embark on journeys across hard trails, you should be prepared to tune your bike at least twice a year.
How To Tell If It’s Time To Tune Up Your Bike
There are a few common signs that will indicate that your bike needs a tune-up. We have listed them below.
You may notice that your bike has started to squeak. A well-maintained bike should function smoothly without making any prominent squeaking noises.
If your bike squeaks each time you pedal, it may be a sign that there is a problem with the bottom bracket. If the brakes appear to be the component that is squeaking, you will likely need to replace the brake pads.
Remember that regular commutes during warm weather can cause your brakes to break down sooner than you may anticipate.
If neither of these components appear to be causing the squeaking sound, it may be the case that the chain simply needs to be cleaned and lubricated.
Loose brakes or difficulty when trying to brake are also signs that your bike requires a tune-up. The cables and their housing can both affect your ability to brake.
Even if the brake pads are in good working order, you may find that the bike struggles to come to a halt. In this case, the cables likely need to be replaced.
There are also visible signs that a tune-up is needed. If your bike looks dirty or rusty you definitely need to pay it some attention.
Continuing to ride your bike when it is rusty can subject it to unnecessary damage. Not only do rusty components affect the appearance of your bike, but they can also affect how rideable it is.
If you start to experience difficulties when trying to change gears, it is likely that the cables and housing need to be replaced. There are certain particles such as dust and dirt which can affect the smoothness of the gears and how easy they are to shift.
You don’t want to be riding your bike only to discover that you cannot move the lever.
Finally, you can judge whether your bike needs to be tuned by assessing when you last tuned it. If a year has passed since you last gave your back some proper tlc, then it will likely need to be tuned now.
Remember that properly maintaining your bike and its components can save you money in the long run because you can react to issues before they escalate into more severe problems.
Why is it important to tune your bike?
Tuning your bike is super important. As mentioned, the process typically involves cleaning and lubricating the parts as well as making a few adjustments.
This is then going to make your bike more reliable and rideable. If you fail to take care of your bike, then you should expect your bike to become damaged sooner.
In the worst case, the problems may be so severe that you cannot simply get away with minor repairs, instead, you may have to replace the entire bike frame.
Should you tune your bike or a professional?
Now that you are aware of the signs which indicate that your bike requires tuning and the importance of it, you may be wondering whether you should tune it yourself or leave it to a professional.
Ultimately, it depends on your preference and whether or not you have experience in bike tuning. If you are new to owning a bike and are not familiar with all of the different parts, you may trust a professional to do it for you.
However, it will help you, in the long run, to learn the different parts because this will eventually make it possible for you to tune your bike yourself.
Deciding whether or not you should tune your bike yourself or take it to a professional will also depend on what needs to be done. If the repairs are minor, you may be able to do it yourself.
The regularity in which you tune your bike will depend on how often you use it and the terrain that you usually ride on. There are several factors that you can look out for which will indicate that your bike needs to be tuned up.