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Pampered bikes are happy bikes. If you make it a habit to do a little home maintenance on your bike it’ll last longer, perform better, and be safer to ride. The good news is it’s easy and fun to take care of your bike. Here's how.

Before every ride, do your maintenance ABCs.  

A is for Air 

Properly inflated tyres help prevent flats. With the palm of you hands push down on the top of the tyre. It should feel firm. You can find the recommended tire pressure (PSI) on the sidewall of the tyre. Depending on your riding style and terrain, 27-30 PSI for mountain bikes is a safe bet. Also, make sure wheel quick-release levers and thru axles are torqued to the proper specification, which is listed on the axle.

B Is For Brakes and Bolts 

Squeeze your front and rear brake levers to make sure that the brakes grip properly and smoothly. They shouldn't pull all the way to the grips. Test the braking action on the front and rear brakes independently to make sure they’re gripping well. Also inspect your brake pads for excess wear. 

Go around your bike and check that all the bolts and fittings are secure. Tighten them if they are loose, but don’t over tighten. That can lead to damage or failure of the bolt or the component its securing. Consult your bikes manual for the proper torque specification of each bolt. If your manual found it's way to the bin (like mine), you can often find this information on the manufacturer's website.

C Is For Chain (And Gears) 

Hold a pedal and turn it backwards to make sure the chain runs smoothly through the cassette and derailleur. If the chain is looking dry lubricate it with chain lube. Just use a small amount of oil, give it a moment to soak in and then wipe away any excess, because too much oil will just trap dirt and lead to premature wear. 

Give the crank arms a wiggle to check they’re not loose. 


All that shouldn’t take much more than five minutes before each ride. And you bike will love you for it. 

Having said all that don’t overlook the importance of regular servicing by a qualified bike mechanic - preferably twice-yearly so they can check out complex components such as spokes, bearing surfaces, derailleurs, and cables. We have expert bike mechanics in our state of the art bike workshops at Wanaka and Queenstown, and they live to help people get the most of out of their bikes. 

For bike cleaning tips check out our guide to keeping you mountain bike clean. 

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