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LINCOLN BICYCLE TUNE UP
What Does A Bicycle Tune-Up Consist Of?
Bicycle Tune Up Service near Lincoln NE: If your bicycle has been lying in the garage for a while and you want to start riding again, or you’ve been using it and it needs a service of sorts, you have to make sure that what you do is right to keep the bike in good shape.
A bicycle tune-up may be just what’s needed. And while a bike mechanic may possibly be best placed to do this for you, a bicycle tune-up is a procedure that you can actually do yourself with the right guidance.
A Bike tune-up consists of:
- Cleaning any dirt, oil and old grease off the bicycle.
- The gears and derailleurs are checked for damage and alignment
- The drive chain is checked for stretching or kinking
- Brakes are inspected for wear and grip
- The tires are checked for wear, cracks or swellings
- All and any tension adjustments needed are made to the various cables
- The wheel and frame alignments are checked
- The wheel spokes (if any) are checked and tightened if needed
- Headstocks and seating poles must be checked for unwanted movement
- Every nut and bolt must be tightened to ensure that the bike is stable while riding.
- Appropriate oils and greases are applied to moving parts where required
A bicycle tune-up basically means getting your bike into the perfect shape for you to use. And while the level of tune could range from a basic tune to a complete overhaul.
The right type of tune-up for your bike will depend on the state it is currently in, the extent to which different components are worn, and how you are planning to use the bike.
Cleaning the Bike
Before you start the tuning up procedure, you want to make sure that your bicycle is clean. This will ensure that you get a better look at the bicycle during inspection.
Besides, cleaning the bike helps to prolong the life of its components. You want to use any basic biodegradable cleaner, an old toothbrush, and a dry towel to help you with the cleaning.
Dip the towel in water and wipe down the entire length of the bike; for more stubborn stains, use the toothbrush to scrub off the dirt smudge.
Try to use as little water as possible and make sure all the components from the seat, brakes, pedals, derailleurs, frame, drivetrain, chainrings, etc are dirt-free. Remember to remove the seat post and apply a little grease before reattaching it back to the frame.
The chain and other crucial parts of the drivetrain should also be treated with a quality lubricant after drying.
To carry out a comprehensive and successful bicycle tune-up, you need to have the right tools for the job. Make sure you have the following tools before you start:
- Tire levers
- Chain tool
- Bike stand
- Chain whip
Check the Cables
Cables are made using tightly coiled metal wires inside a plastic housing. They connect brakes and gear shifters on the handlebars to the derailleur and brake pads.
Those connected to the brakes help to stop the bike whereas those connected to shifters aid in moving the chain between gears via the derailleur.
You want to examine the cable and its rubber coating for any crimps, cracks, rust, and looseness. Replace any worn out cables with new ones. If the brake cables are loose, adjust them to the right length and tighten them as required.
If you don’t have special tools, you can ask a friend for assistance so that one person holds the calipers in place as the other one tightens the cable with a small wrench.
Once you are sure the cables are tight, squeeze the lever to check for play in the line. A brand new cable is likely to stretch a bit and may require some readjustment.
Check the Wheels
The wheels on your bike should spin freely with no signs of wobbling and there should be no contact with the brake pads as they spin.
Most wheels have quick release levers situated at the hub that makes for easy wheel removal. If there is sideways play of the wheel you will have to adjust the external tension on the wheel bearings.
Run your fingers across the bike spokes to check for any loose, broken, or missing spokes. Replace the broken spokes with new ones and tighten the loose ones so that the rims are straight.
Don’t forget to inspect the tires for cracks, tears, or flat spots, replace them if worn. If the pressure is not right, use your bike pump to get the tires to the correct pressure.
Check the Gears and Brakes
Gears and brakes are an important part of the tune-up. You need to spend time coaxing the gears into a smooth adjustment. Make sure the chain is moving smoothly up and down the gears.
- Make sure also that the brake pads are aligned so that there is no squeaking from contact with the rims. If the pads are worn out I suggest you have them replaced.
- Adjust the tension of your brake cables and the position of the brake arms so that both the brakes stop the wheels firmly. If the brakes are making a grinding noise after alignment, you may need to sand them down to the right size.
- The noise is an indicator that the pads are either hitting the rim too high or too low. Sanding them down ensures they hit the right point. You can use fine sandpaper or steel wool to do this.
Inspect, Clean and Lubricate the Drive chain
If you use your bike a lot or have cheap components, you might find out that some components on the drivetrain particularly need to be constantly replaced. For instance, no amount of lubrication can restore the functionality of a worn out chain.
In fact, a worn out chain leads to excessive wear on the rear derailleur cassette, gears and sometimes the front chainrings. The drivetrain plays an important role in the transference of power generated by the rider to the rear wheel. (We have an article here that looks at and compares Shimano and KMC chains)
If you have one place your bike on a stand for this part of the tune-up. Raise the back wheel and spin as you shift through gears to make sure the shift is smooth and easy.
Inspect the drive chain for any damage; dents, scrapes, dirt, or excessive wear. Clean any smudge on the drive chain and lubricate with grease to eliminate any friction during movement.
Apply the lubricant evenly on the chain while slowly rotating the pedals in an anticlockwise direction.
Don’t forget to lubricate the pivot point on the brake levers, derailleur, and any exposed cables. Wipe off any excess oil that you are using as a lubricant. Remember that smaller chainrings wear out sooner than larger ones and chains are the most constantly replaced parts of the drivetrain.
Please use recommended oils, greases and other lubricants where necessary.
NB: If the shifting of the gears is not smooth, it may be better to take the bicycle to a repair shop for adjustments to the derailleur.
Tighten Everything Up
Make sure that all the nuts and bolts that are holding your bike together are properly tightened.
Even a correctly tensioned bolt may loosen itself over time. Use your torque wrench if necessary, to confirm that every bolt on the bike is okay; pay close attention to the stem bolts. Consider also the bolts on the seat post, handlebars, pedals, etc.
Benefits Of Regular Bicycle Service Tune Ups
Bicycle Tune Up Service near Lincoln NE: Bicycles are refined pieces of advanced engineering. Like any precision machine, bicycles benefit greatly from regular service and maintenance.
Bikes that are regularly used can easily develop less than optimum function in multiple systems without their rider noticing the incremental changes that occur over time during use. Even bicycles that are not regularly used can develop issues from sitting that affect their overall performance and their owner’s enjoyment of them.
While much of the basic maintenance can be done with a few tools, anything more can require special tools and training to ensure the best results. Why invest in a high quality bicycle unless you are going to provide the care necessary to keep it in prime working condition?
Gears to Wheels- Power Input and Output
Caring for your bike’s drivetrain involves much more than just making sure that the gears are shifting properly and the tires have enough air. While these are essential to proper operation there are many more moving parts that need to be considered.
Ensuring that all of the components are functioning takes special tools and know-how. The difference between a well maintained drivetrain and a poorly cared for, worn one is obvious in function and power output efficiency. The well maintained drivetrain will function smoothly, put power to the ground efficiently and quietly do its job without you thinking about it.
To ensure optimum function you need to assess every bearing, gear and pawl between your pedals and the ground. This involves work outside of the scope of the average home mechanic. Regular bicycle service tune ups can be the difference between recording a PB or a DNF. A well maintained properly functioning drivetrain ensures that as much of the power you input is felt in the bicycle’s output as possible.
Tires and Wheels- Ride Quality, Traction and Handling
Everything changes gradually on your bike. Not only from riding, but also from age which causes rubber to dry, lose elasticity and grip, and can cause greases and oils to break down. This can be very hard for many riders to sense causing them to ride components till they are well past their prime.
Tires are consumable components which need regular replacement and wheels need basic maintenance to help ensure that they function properly and have a long life. They should be inspected before every ride to make sure that they have sufficient rubber, are inflated to the right pressure, have no cords showing, and no visible cracks. There is nothing you can do to your bike that will as profoundly alter its handling for the better as having the right tires for your riding type, style and conditions.
Properly trued wheels with clean and greased bearings and drivers are one of the most important pieces of maintenance you can have done. It will help improve performance while saving you money on replacement parts by improving your ride quality, reducing rolling resistance and improving handling.
Why is regular bike tune up important?
Bicycle Tune Up Service near Lincoln NE: All the different components of the bike serve one end: to transmit all the force you apply to the pedals to the tires as smoothly and efficiently as possible to get you to work and home. With a recently tuned up bike you can achieve this easily and the ride will be fun.
It is especially important to tune up your bike if you use it regularly. The more you use it the quicker its parts wear out. Mud, grit and gunk penetrate between the parts of the bike where only oil and grease should be.
If you are a year-round commuter your bike is probably dear to you. The tune up is important not only because of the fun factor, but also because of the maintenance of the bike. If the bike is not tuned up in due time it can damage the components and in extreme cases even destroy the frame too.
Bicycle Tune Up Service near Lincoln NE: Maybe your beloved bike has been sitting neglected in the basement or garage throughout the winter months just waiting for the days to grow longer and the temperatures to rise. With the sun shining and clear roads calling, it’s time to think about what you need to do before heading out on your first ride of the season. Going through this easy eight step tune-up will not only ensure your bike functions smoothly, but will prevent any unnecessary wear and tear on your components.
1) Wash your bike
The first thing to do is a general full cleaning of the bike to make identifying what needs to be done next much easier. Use some degreaser to clean off the chain, chainrings, jockey wheels on the rear derailleur and any gunk that has built up on the cassette. Then use a wet rag to wipe off the braking surfaces on your rims and any grit that’s accumulated on your frame, especially in the nooks and crannies around the brakes, cables and bottom bracket.
2) Check the chain for wear and replace it if needed
Check the chain length with a chain-checker tool before you do anything else and replace it if it’s worn out. If you ride too long with a stretched chain, you risk wearing out your chainrings and cassette, which will mean you’ll need to replace it sooner than you should have to. So save yourself the hassle, get a chain tool and get in the habit of checking chain wear.
3) Check your brakes
Inspect the brake pads at their wear indicator lines. Replace the pads if they’re getting thin. Next, pull down on the brake levers to make sure the pads are engaging properly on the braking surface of the rim. If it takes a lot of force to engage the pads, loosen the cable’s pinch bolt with an Allen key and pull the cable through a bit farther to tighten them up. Next, give the wheel a spin to make sure the brake pads aren’t rubbing.
4) Make sure your wheels are in good condition and true
Check that your wheels are true and tighten any loose spokes. Spin your wheel to see if it has any wobbles or hops. You can fix these irregularities at the truing stand with a spoke wrench. While the wheel is on the stand, squeeze all the spokes to make sure they are properly tensioned.
5) Make sure your cables are in good condition
advice is to first inspect your brake and shift cables for fraying at the ends and proper tension. If you find nicks or fraying replace the cable. If they are stretched, tighten them. These adjustments can really improve your shifting and braking performance. While you are at it, Consider lubing your cables with a few drops of chain lube to keep them sliding smoothly.
6) Make sure your headset is properly tightened
First, turn your stem to make sure it moves freely and smoothly. Drop the front end of the bike to see if you hear any rattle that would indicate anything in the headset is loose. If there is a lot of rattle, investigate further by engaging the brakes and pushing the bike forward and backward to see if there is any movement in the headset, he said. If the rattle is coming from your wheel’s hubs, consider bringing them into your local bike shop so a mechanic can have a look at it.
7) Check that your pedals and bottom bracket are rotating smoothly.
Before you jump on your bike, remove the chain from the chainring.Rotate the crank and just feel how the pedals and bottom bracket are rotating. There should be no resistance or lateral movement. Removing the pedals and the BB to clean and lubricate them seasonally is also a good idea.
8) Check your shifting
Go through all the gears and make sure the chain isn’t skipping. Make any final
Bicycle Tune Up Service near Lincoln NE: Whether you have a Road Bike, Mountain Bike or Hybrid, we all know they require regular and seasonal maintenance to ride properly. But before you load up for a quick service trip to your local bike shop, you may be wondering what the average cost of a Bike Tune-up is?
Depending on your area, the average bike tune-up costs anywhere between $60 and $100. Most shops offer two options: A Minor/Basic Tune-up that costs $55 to $89 and a Major Tune-up that typically costs between $119 and $150. Cost often depends on the services included in the tune-up.
Whether you use your bike to cycle to work every day or you just use it for weekend rides at some point you will need to tune it up.
If you are a bike commuter riding your bike is likely the highlight of your day so you definitely want to make sure that the bike works well. Riding a bike is fun, but it is even more fun when the bike has just been tightened up: the brakes and shifters work like a Swiss watch and all the different components are in perfect harmony and it almost feels like the bike rides itself.
So let’s see what is a tune up when is it due and how much does it cost?
A basic bike tune up includes setting up the bike parts and components so that they work as efficiently as possible. Generally it consists of checking and setting up the groupsets properly: shifters, derailleurs, brakes, cables, drivetrain; the headset; the bottom bracket; the hubs and wheels. It should be done every 2000 miles (3200km) or at least once a year. The price of a bike tune up can vary anywhere from $30 to $100 if no parts need to be replaced. A tune up is part of regular bike maintenance for bike commuters or anyone regularly using his bike.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What can I expect after the tune-up is completed?
If you agreed to a level of service appropriate to the condition of your bicycle, you should expect it to function like new, or better. You should also expect to need some additional adjustments after a comprehensive tune-up, especially if many parts have been replaced. Any full-service tune-up should include a guarantee period during which such corrections or adjustments related to the original service can be performed free of charge.
What a Bicycle Tune-up Includes
While services vary shop to shop, bike Tune-ups include all the necessary adjustments to keep you riding smooth and safely. Most shops will offer Minor Tune-ups and Major Tune-ups that differ, however, most Bike Tune-ups include the following:
- Check Tire pressure
- Adjust Gears, Brakes and Cabling
- Drivetrain Service
- Clean and Degrease Chain
- Clean and Degrease Bike
- Minor Wheel Truing
- Adjust Headset and Bottom Bracket
- Check and Tighten all screws and bolts
- Lubrication of moving parts
- Safety Check
Where basic tune-ups typically consist of minor cleaning and adjustment, Major tune-ups usually involve replacing cables, chains and cogs, and even disassembly for cleaning and lubrication.
How Long it Takes?
Thinking about taking your bike in for a tune-up? Before you head to your LBS assuming it will be a quick trip, you need a good expectation as to how long your bike tune-up will take.
While the timeline ultimately depends on how many bikes are ahead of you in the Service Department, tune-ups are usually completed in a matter of hours. You can expect a basic tune-up to take 30-60 minutes and a major tune-up could run closer to 60-120 minutes.
How Often Should You Get One?
If you’re an avid cyclist, putting in hundreds of miles each week, you will need a tune-up more often than the average weekend rider.
It is recommended that you get a bike tune-up at least once a year. Factors that affect this number are how often you ride, what conditions you ride in, and how your bike is stored.
How long does it take to get my Bicycle tuned up?
We strive to provide the highest possible quality of service while keeping our turn-around times as short as possible. We’ve realized that many of you don’t mind leaving the bike with us for a couple of days, and others would like to get the bike back ASAP! For this reason we’ve decided to offer FREE 24 HOUR TURNAROUND, all you have to do is ask at check-in. We will do our best to get your work done by the same time the next day, barring any need to order parts (although we have in stock the parts necessary to complete at least 90% of work orders.)
Do I need a tune-up? How do I know what to do with my Bicycle?
Any time a customer brings in a bicycle for service, a highly trained service professional will put your bike on the stand and go over it with you. We will ask you if you are having any specific issues with the bike, as well as other questions such as, Where do you do most of your riding? so we can get a better idea of how the bike is going to be used. This helps us make recommendations for you so you get the most out of that new tire, chain or other component.
How much will it cost?
Well that depends on what type of service you need! One thing that we can tell you is that whenever you bring your bike in, we will walk you through the entire check-in process. We will tell you what your bike needs right now, and what may give you problems in the future. We will then present you with a written quote for the service we recommend. We can always re-write the quote if there are any reservations, and rest assured, when we give you a quote, we will not charge you differently without your consent (this is why it’s so important for you to leave us an email address and/or phone number to contact you in the event of an issue coming up)
Do I need an appointment?
You never need an appointment to bring your bike into Bicycles East. You will still be able to get the same great service you expect, including 24 hour turnaround upon request. However, if 24 hours still sounds like a long time, you can call ahead and make an appointment. This allows us to reserve time just for you, so you can arrange to drop your bike off for just a few hours and pick it back up that same day!
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