How to tell when it's time for a bike tune-up

How to Tell When It’s Time for a Bike Tune-Up

You love your bike, and you want it to last for many miles. Regular tune-ups are the best way to keep your bike riding safely and smoothly for a long time. Neglecting maintenance causes damage to add up over time, leading to costly repairs, so a little proactive care and cleaning will go a long way. Read on for tips on how often to tune up your bike and how to tell when it’s time for a bike tune-up.

How often to tune up your bike

Bikes need a tune-up at least every 2,000 miles or 2 times a year, depending on how often you ride and the conditions you ride in. You also need a tune-up if your bike makes abnormal noises, doesn’t brake or shift well, or has been in an accident. It’s better to get a proactive tune-up than to ride a bike that isn’t safe.

How to tell when your bike needs a tune-up


Squeaking can be a sign of several different problems. Hopefully, a squeaky bike is just a sign that you must clean and lube your bike chain. But it could also be a sign of something more. For example, squeaky brakes could mean you need new brake pads. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, leave it to the experts at Bikes Palm Beach.

On the other hand, squeaking could also indicate something wrong with the bottom bracket, or pedals, or that a wheel or brakes are misaligned. Of course, bikes shouldn’t squeak or squawk, so if you hear these sounds, make sure you come and get it checked out.

Your Bike Vibrates or Rattles

If you hear noises such as vibrating, rattling, or some other strange sound, you might have loose bolts or screws. We can pinpoint the problem and tighten it up for you.

Your Chain Keeps Dropping

If you drop your chain on hills, sprints, or when shifting, you might need your gears tuned. The limiting screw might need to be adjusted, or your cables could be stretched. If your chain keeps dropping, this is a sign you need to get Bikes Palm Beach to get it checked. You may even need your chain or other components replaced, but a tune-up is a great place to start.

Your Bike is Shifting Poorly

Your bike just doesn’t shift well. It skips gears, won’t stay in gear, or doesn’t respond. Poor shifting could mean that you need new cables or that your gears need a good cleaning. If you’re experiencing difficulty shifting gears on your bike, it may be a good idea to have it inspected.

Your Brakes Feel Less Responsive

If your brakes are spongy, squeaky, or you feel like they just aren’t stopping you quickly, get your bike in for a checkup. For rim brakes to function properly, it is necessary to ensure correct alignment and replace old pads with fresh ones. Hydraulic brakes could have a leak in the fluid, dirt in the brake fluid, or even air bubbles. In certain instances, it may be necessary to replace the rotors due to warping.

Your Bike Is Dirty

If you’ve got a nasty buildup in your drivetrain or other components of your bike, our Signature Tune-Up is the way to go. Grit and grime in the drivetrain or other moving parts can be hard to remove and will damage your components over time. However, we’ll carefully scrub out all those hard-to-reach spots and get them sparkling and performing like new again.

Muc Off Bike Cleaning and Maintenance Products and Tools

You Haven’t Replaced Your Chain Recently

If it has been a long time since you replaced your chain, you might just want to bring it in and have it done. To ensure optimal bike performance, it’s crucial to replace the chain every 2,000 to 3,000 miles, especially if you frequently ride in challenging conditions. Make sure to keep track of the maintenance schedule.Otherwise, you may cause damage to your drive train that is costly to repair. A chain checker tool is pretty inexpensive, or we’ll take a look at it right on the spot for you and make a recommendation.

You Crashed Your Bike

If you’ve had a serious accident while riding your bike such as falling hard, crashing, or hitting bad potholes, it is recommended that you consider getting your bike tuned up to check for any possible damage to the frame or wheels. If you sustained an injury, chances are high that your bike might have also been affected, hence it is important to have it inspected as soon as possible. Invisible damage to the frame or other components can leave you vulnerable for another accident.

Your Bike Is Rusty Or You Left It Outside for Too Long

If your bike shows signs of rust, bring it in. When rust accumulates on mechanical parts, it can inhibit their proper movement. Rust can cause extra wear and tear on your bike and create a hazardous situation.

The Headset Wobbles

If you’ve ever felt the “wobble of death” when riding, you’ll know you need to get your bike into the bike shop before you ride it again. The wobble of death usually happens when your headset comes loose. To check, stand next to your bike, holding the left brake lever in. Put your hand on the headset and rock your bike forwards and backward gently. If you feel a clunk or looseness in the headset, bring it in for a tune-up ASAP.

When in doubt

After riding your bike for a while, you tend to get a feel for the machine. If something just feels off, it probably is. If your bike doesn’t ride the way you think it should, then it might just be time for a quick tune-up to get everything working properly again. Bring your bike to Bikes Palm Beach and we can make sure your bike is running well and give you peace of mind for your next ride. Our 24-hour turnaround will have you back to riding in no time!


View posts by Shannan
Marketing Manager & Mountain Biker at Bikes Palm Beach in Juno Beach, Florida
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