Maybe you just bought a new bike, or maybe you’ve had your bike for a while. Either way, you want to maintain your bike so you can enjoy as many miles as possible, for as many years as possible. Good bike maintenance goes beyond a clean chain and inflated tires, so read on for our recommended top 5 bike parts to lubricate.
If you don’t mind getting a little grease on your hands, you can help keep your bike performing at optimal levels between your routine tune-ups.
The Bike Chain
Some of you are probably thinking, “Um, DUH!” So was I when I first thought about it, but then I thought about how often I lube my bike chains, and then I realized that it wasn’t nearly often enough. If you ride regularly, your bike chain needs regular lubrication.
How often is “regularly?” Well, that varies, depending upon the bike aficionados you talk to, but a good rule of thumb is that if you ride your bike “a few” to “several times a week,” then your chain needs lubricating at least once a month.
That can increase depending on how dirty your chain may be due to cycling conditions (rain, dust, mud, etc.). For instance, a mountain biker riding a few times a week will need to clean and lubricate the chain more frequently than a once a week road cyclist.
Keep in mind, your bike will ride so much better with a clean, properly lubricated chain. Our bike technicians can make a custom recommendation as to what lubrication to use and how frequently, based on your riding conditions.
Bike derailleurs need occasional lubrication, which greatly increases the efficiency and smoothness of your shifting. However, since there are a number of moving parts within the assembly, we recommend leaving this to the experts. This won’t need to be done frequently, so ask about it at your next tune-up to see if it’s time.
Brake and Derailleur Cables and Levers
This actually surprised me–I have never thought about the cables or levers needing lubrication before. If the brake parts get rusty, you won’t be able to stop when you need to stop. If the derailleur parts get rusty, you won’t be able to shift gears smoothly.
If you ride in dusty areas, in rain, or on wet roads, pay close attention to ensure rust isn’t developing. Our technicians can inspect these parts to ensure they’re free of rust and properly lubricated.
Any moving metal brake parts should be lubricated, but you really need to avoid getting oil on the brake pads. That will end very badly if you try to stop with oily brake pads.
For some of us, it’s probably wiser to just leave it to our favorite bike technicians. I enjoy doing many things for myself, but I’m also smart enough to know which jobs to leave to the experts.
Additional Bike Parts to Lubricate
While this article recommends the top 5 bike parts to lubricate, there are many more moving pieces that occasionally need your TLC.
Pedals occasionally need lubrication, but not very often. Pivot points on mountain bikes will need it too, as will their shocks and dropper seat posts.
Jockey wheels, bottom brackets, headsets, and hub bearings all need proper lubrication. That said, these items really ought to be left to your routine tune-ups by seasoned bike technicians.
At Bikes Palm Beach, our service department can determine what parts of your bike need lubrication and the frequency. Our knowledgeable, experienced technicians love to help bike enthusiasts get the most enjoyment out of their rides. Just remember to skip the WD40, but don’t skip the chamois cream!