Chris shares his maintenance tips
The best type of bike is a reliable bike. To help you spend more time on the bike and less time walking alongside it we’ve put together a few tips along with a few products from our catalog to help you maximize your shred:not-shred ratio.
1st: Clean it.
Prior to joining Unior I made my living as a professional team mechanic working at the Pro-continental level on the road and the World Cup level in cyclocross. I joke that I spent more time washing our bikes than I did anything else. Part of it was because I wanted our bikes to look good, but the real reason is that you can’t properly inspect a bike covered in filth. Washing the bike, all of it, gives you a better view of what’s lying underneath that crud and gives you a good opportunity to get up close and personal for a detailed inspection. In the lead-in to the 2017 Amgen Tour of California I discovered that even though we had recently replaced the chains on all our team bikes one rider had managed to twist a chain link during an ordinary training ride. He didn’t notice it on the rest of that ride and never said anything might be amiss, but I found it during the post-ride wash and inspection and was able to put a new chain on before something serious happened.
Bolt check. If there’s a bolt or some sort of other fastener on a bicycle it’s probably there for good reason. And despite proper torqueing them to the proper spec the first time it’s not unheard of for bolts to loosen. In an ideal world you’d do regular checks with a calibrated torque wrench to make sure everything’s snug before heading out, and that was something we’d do as a pro team mechanic. At a minimum, passing over each one with a multitool is still better than nothing. Even on my personal mountain bike I’ve had a handlebar slip on me once, something that easily could have been avoided had I taken a minute to check my stem bolts before I got onto the chair lift. I still have all my teeth, thankfully, but I came close to losing a couple.
Keep it lubed. Drivetrain parts are expensive and there’s no reason to subject them to premature wear. Our team bikes were washed and lubed virtually every day. That might be overkill for the enthusiast but that doesn’t mean it should be neglected. Pick a lube that’s going to offer some staying power and you won’t have to think about it for a while. Juice Lubes’ Viking Juice has the strongest sticktoitiveness of the entire line, and for those that want to spend more time riding and less time lubing, it’s the way to go. Just make sure to apply it to a clean chain.