Mountain biking or Trail Biking is an adventure sport often confused with, well Trial Biking😊. The only difference is that the bike uses an engine to power it, while the cycle uses ‘you’ as an engine to power it!
Yes, we are talking about ‘BICYCLES’, which is commonly referred to as a ‘BIKE’, so let’s keep it that way.
The thumb rule is to ensure your bicycle is maintained and is in tip top condition before you hit the gravel:
First of all, ensure that ‘YOU’ are properly serviced: Remember that ‘you’ are the ‘engine’ of your bike! Make sure that you are mentally and physically prepared to take on the obstacles the trails throw at you, from the mountains, to the mole hills. From the pebbles to the boulders.
Service your bike: Just because your bike doesn’t have an engine, don’t think that mere pedal power is enough to get you anywhere. You need regular bicycle maintenance similar to automobiles that need to be checked for wear and tear and need to be serviced or replaced accordingly.
Top 5 Bicycle Maintenance Tips that must be looked into before you tale off on your mountain biking adventure:
#1 Check your tyres: Remember, mountain biking or trail biking is all about taking on the rough terrain of the path less taken. No man-made silky-smooth roads here. All the more reason that the tread on your ‘all-terrain’ tyres need to be in a condition to take on, well, all terrains. If they are bald, replace them. Oh, inflating the tyres to the right pressure is a given!
#2 Check your brakes: Your brakes are a vital part of your bike to ensure your safety on the mountain biking trip, even on the popular cycling routes. You just can’t afford to make any compromises here! Most modern bicycles come with disc brakes. So, ensure that you replace worn brake pads, and make sure the fluid in the brake lines contains no air bubbles to provide efficient braking to safely manoeuvre around unexpected corners and obstacles.
#3 Check your wheel alignment: Over a period of time, depending on the ‘rough’ use of your bicycle, your wheels and spokes tend to bend, causing your cycle to ‘wobble’ even in a straight line. The problem becomes more pronounced when you are taking on the uneven terrain of a trial, making it even harder to balance properly. It’s best to get your wheels balanced or ‘trued’ before you take on the trail.
#4 Check your chain and drivetrain: A bicycle may not have an engine, but they do have a gearbox, commonly known as a “Chain & Sprocket”. The number of gears may vary from one to thirty six, or more! Ensure that the chain has the right tension and is well lubricated. Also ensure that the sprocket ‘teeth’ are not worn, if not they could cause ‘chain slippage’. In case your bike has more than one gear, ensure that the gears shift smoothly.
#5 Check all the cables: Make sure all the cables of your bike are well lubricated. Over age, cables tend to get hard and develop cracks resulting in excess friction and even breakage of the cable. Prevention is always better than cure. So, if you do notice cracks or stiffness in any cables on your bike, it’s best to replace them before you peddle away for your mountain biking trip.
Last but not the least, ensure that ‘all’ the moving parts of your bicycle are well lubricated to ensure a smooth and safe ride!
Once you have checked all these Bicycle Maintenance Tips, make sure you also get yourself insured as this is the most important accessory you would require in case of any emergency. This will protect you against bicycle thieves and bicycle accidents and much more. Read this blog for more
Go ahead, take on the rough with the smooth. And always, always wear a helmet!