So, apparently mountain bikes require maintenance. Yep, “Outrageous,” I hear you cry, that’s what I thought too. I buy this expensive, good quality piece of kit and it wont run for ever without a spot of good ‘ol TLC? What a rip – the big biking industry conspiracy, that’s what I say.
Yes, despite having more than a passing aquaintance with a set of hex keys and a pedal spanner, and having built the current bike from scratch, I’ve let the Specialised S-works Enduro fall into disrepair. I started to notice the back end becoming a little loose about 6 months ago and put it down to the wheel hub needing a new set of bearings. But last month, following our 24 hour bike race adventures, it became apparent that the entire rear suspension is needing a proper service. Irritation and annoyance ensues, until the thought popped into my head, “I built this bike in 2008. That’s 3 years ago. And I’ve used this bike a LOT.” And how much maintenance have I done on it really? The square root of sod all. That’s what. I’m surprised it hasn’t exploded entirely in a cloud of rust and aluminium debris…
I’ve always thought that the standard chat of ‘replace your bottom bracket every year’ and ‘chain and casette need replaced regularly’ was pretty over the top, touted by highly profiting bike shops and work-hungry bike mechanics, and, to a degree that’s right. I’ve ridden the Enduro for 3 good years now on the same bottom bracket, the same chainset and the same gear system (including cables!) and only now are things beginning to get a little shaky. And, to be honest, most of that stuff feels fine, it’s the suspension bushes and bearings that are really starting to go with the bottom bracket following closely behind.
So, off to the bike shop I go. I could probably figure out how to service the bushes and the suspension myself, but time’s against me at the moment, and the Bicycle Works just round the corner are absolutely brilliant and brilliantly cheap. I’ll replace the bottom bracket myself I’d say, new set of cranks perhaps and certainly a full chainset and gear cable overhaul. So, plenty of maintenance guides coming up for the site, hopefully with some nice shiny pictures taken on my nice shiny bike motivated iPhone 4S (that’s another story for the future!).
Mountain bikes need maintenance, eh? Perhaps every 3 or 4 years… A brisk hose and a token swipe of the cleaning brush will do me in the meantime.
Please, leave me a comment: How often do you do bike maintenance? What do you do? Do you do it yourself or put it into a local shop?
- The Sunday Biking Fiasco – a ‘How To’ Guide (mountainbikesapart.com)
- Which Mountain Bike is Right For Me? (mountainbikesapart.com)
Title Image Credit: Jornake Flickr