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Our Handy Dandy Bike Maintenance Chart


We're often asked how frequently bicycles should be serviced. It's a difficult question to answer because it depends on how and where it's ridden as well as its condition. Assuming the machine is in good working order and that you ride sensibly (i.e. don't abuse your bike) and not in nasty weather a lot (muddy and snowy rides accelerate wear), the following guidelines will keep your two-wheeler running trouble free for years. You'll need some basic tools, lubes, cleaners, rags and know-how.


  • Print out this page and attach it to your workbench or toolbox to use as a checklist.
  • These are general service guidelines for road and mountain bikes.
  • Bicycles ridden off road typically require more frequent and extensive service than road models.
  • If you notice problems or have questions about anything on your bicycle, call us and we'll be delighted to advise you on what maintenance is required.
  • If your bike is heavily used, abused or has been crashed, we recommend bringing it in for a thorough check and service to ensure that it's running properly.

every ride

(<>500 miles)

six months
(<> 2,500 miles)

(<> 6,000 miles)

check tire pressure & add air if neededclean the bike with a rag (or soap and water if it's real dirty) and inspect the frame and components for signs of wear such as cracksclean and wax the frame to protect the paint/finish (not necessary on bare titanium frames); once it's clean, inspect the frame and fork for any cracks or damagecheck all bearing systems: hubs, bottom bracket, headset and pedals: adjust and/or overhaul as needed
check the tire tread for wear and embedded debris that could cause a flatwipe the chain and cassette cogs clean with a rag and earth-friendly degreaser and relubecheck and replace tires if needed; also check your spare tube and patch kit to make sure the spare holds air and the kit has glue & patchesReplace shift cables and housing, check brake cables and housing for wear and fraying.
check that the wheel quick releases are tight and that the wheels are securecheck the wheels for loose spokescheck the hubs, bottom bracket, headset: adjust and/or overhaul as neededreplace brake pads, rubber brake hoods and handlebar tape if necessary
spin wheels looking for wobbles, which indicate you should have your wheel truedtest with a wrench, the tightness of the: crankarms, pedals, chainring bolts, seat bolt, seatpost bolt, stem bolts, handlebar bolts and all accessory mounting bolts/screwscheck all cables and housings for fraying, breaks, rust and corrosion and replace if necessaryclean and check wheels carefully for signs of wear such as worn sidewalls (braking surface) or cracks at the spoke nipples
squeeze brakes to make sure they're grabbing and check to see that the brake pads are in good condition and that they strike the rims (not the tires!)lube the brake, derailleur and clipless-pedal pivot pointscheck for worn brake pads and replace if needed; also replace worn handlebar tape or gripscheck the hubs, bottom bracket, headset: adjust and/or overhaul as needed
compress and release the suspension to check that it's working properlylube the cables to prevent binding and check the cables for fraying and rusting and replace if necessary check for chain, cassette cog and chainring wear and replace worn parts as required. Check rear derailleur alignment.overhaul the pedals to check the bearings and add fresh grease; if you're using toe straps, check them for wear and replace if needed
check chain & add lube if it looks drycheck clipless pedals and cleats for loose screws/boltsclean the drivetrain (chain, chainrings, cassette, front and rear derailleurs) with biodegradable solvent and ragsmaintain and lube your suspension components according to the advice in the owner's manual
make sure you've got your spare tube, tools, pump, etc.maintain and lube your suspension components according to the advice in the owner's manualmaintain and lube your suspension components according to the advice in the owner's manuallube your frame and home pump