Sandy Smith of Womble Carlyle is an attorney who likes to stay active and cycle.
Bike maintenance involves much more than simply doing some procedures when you are not riding your bike. It is a continuous process that involves steps to take before, during, and after your rides.
The before part consists of preventive maintenance that will not only make sure that your bike lasts longer, but will also ensure that your rides are safe.
A pre-ride inspection should consist of three things. First, check the tire pressure. Second, inspect the breaks. Third, look and listen for loose parts.
You may have a brand new bike or you may have a twenty-year-old veteran machine. Things can go wrong no matter the age of your bike. This is why the best strategy is to always be prepared and to bring a toolkit to your rides with you. The toolkit should have a small tire pump, a set to repair a flat tire, some hand tools, and a rag to wipe the grease off your hands when you are done.
Also read: Sandy Smith of Womble Carlyle: How to Choose a Bike Shop
If you are planning a long trip, you may want to add a spare tire, a chain tool, and chain links to your kit.
While you may not think about the riding process as something suitable for bike maintenance, you can significantly extend the life of your bike if you walk your bike over curbs, keep your tires properly inflated, and look for any loose parts before they need a repair.
The last part of maintenance should happen after the ride. Dirt is a major enemy of your bike. It gets into the internal parts and starts wearing them out. This is why washing your bike is one of the best things you can do after your ride is over. Wet the bike, use soap and a brush to scrub it, then dry it and lubricate it once you are done. Wash off the tough grease using a degreaser. Make sure to not soak the hubs and the bottom bracket in water. Finally, remove any excess grease to avoid attracting dirt to your bike just like Sandy Smith of Womble Carlyle would do.