Bike Maintenance Tips: 101

We have an in house bike mechanic to keep our fleet in top condition | Lachlan Gardiner
We have an in house bike mechanic to keep our fleet in top condition | Lachlan Gardiner

Home Bike Maintenance Tips: 101

Now we have some spare time up our sleeves, it's a great excuse to give your bike some well deserved love and attention.

Our bike mechanic Abram (Shimano technology education certified), shares some simple bike maintenance tips to make sure your bike is ready for the trails post lock-down.

We have an in house bike mechanic to keep our fleet in top condition |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

The “M-check”



The 'M' check is a great way to give your bike a simple once-over to make sure it’s in good riding condition. You'll need your pump, chain grease and a set of allen keys.

Bike M Check |  <i></i>
1. Wheels
  • Check that your wheel is tightly fitted. The nuts or quick-release lever on either side of the middle of the wheel should be tight. Apply the front back and try to move your wheel from side to side - their shouldn't be any movement in the axle.
  • Check your spokes are tightly done up. You can do this by pinching two spokes together and seeing if their is much movement.
  • Check your tyre pressure matches the recommendation on the tyre and spin your wheel check they are moving smoothly. See the guide from 'Bike There Wellington' below for different types of bikes.

Road tyres

  • 90 PSI for a 70kg rider. Add/subtract 2 PSI for every 5kg over/under 70kg
  • Should be very firm to touch and almost impossible to make an indent with your thumb

Hybrid/city bike tyres
(wider with tread)

  • 50 PSI for the front wheel and 55 PSI for the rear wheel
  • Should feel like squeezing an orange

Mountain bike tyres (wider with very thick tread)

  • 36 PSI for a 70kg rider. Add 1 PSI for every 5kg over 70kg
  • Due to the large volume of mountain bike tyres they don't need as much inflation

2. Saddle/Seat
  • Make sure your saddle is on tightly by moving it from side to side. If it moves, use your allen keys to tighten the frame around the seat post.
  • If you have a dropper seat post - make sure it's moving smoothly up and down.


3. Chain

  • Check your chain is clean, lubricated and free of rust. If your chain looks dirty, get your cleaning kit out - making sure you don't add too much oil as it will only pick up more dirt.

4. Pedals

  • Your pedals shouldn't have any sideways movement and should spin freely. If they aren't, they may need a service.

5. Handlebars

  • Check that your handlebars are done up tightly and are straight. You can check this by holding the front wheel tightly between your knees and trying to rotate the bars. They shouldn't turn - and if they do, tighten the bolts. When doing this, make sure your handlebars are straight by looking directly down on them from above the forks.

6. Brakes
  • Slowly wheel the bike alongside you and apply one brake at a time. When you squeeze your left (rear) brake lever the back wheel should lock up. When you squeeze your right (front) brake the bike should stop. If the brake lever pulls all the way to the grip you'll need to get some maintenance done.

No Rattly Bolts!


It’s a great habit to check over each and every bolt on the bike to make sure nothings has worked itself loose over time.

Keep in mind, it’s important not to over-tighten the bolts. If you have a torque wrench, set it to the manufacturer-recommended settings. Otherwise, at least just tighten any lose bolts until you feel a bit of tension but do not tighten completely. Just take out the slack.


Treat Your Bike to a Spa Day


LachlanGardiner_AdventureSouth_OTAGO_DAY_01-HIGHRES-3491 |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

Give your bike a good clean! You don’t need anything fancy. Warm water with a little dish soap, an old toothbrush, a sponge, and some clean cloths. Get into all the nooks and crannies and get rid of all the hidden grit and grime.

Two things to keep in mind: if you clean your chain, gears, or any other greasy bits, make sure you don’t use the same cloth or brush on or near any parts of your brakes. You want to avoid getting any grease onto brake pads or rotors!

Secondly, don’t forget to thoroughly lube your chain after you’ve cleaned it and let it dry! A clean bike is a fast bike. Take a picture and show off your hard work!


If you don't have the tools you need, bike shops in New Zealand such as Torpedo 7 are currently delivering essential bike equipment.

If you're not sure how to tighten bolts or have the right products to clean your bike, we'd reccommend adding 'bike service' to your list of post-lockdown errands.

Happy bike, happy life right?


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