Considering what they are built for, city bikes are pretty tough; they don’t need very much maintenance. However, when riding your bike changes from a hobby to a regular activity, your bike might show some signs of wear. Commuting bikes are becoming a big phenomenon in several cities and are used nearly every day.

To keep your daily rides as enjoyable as possible and to keep your bike in top shape, all you usually need to do is a one-hour tune-up every six months to a year. This includes basic checks, such as checking the seat post and replacing cables and the chain and bar tape. Maintenance, of course, has a cost, but it comes with savings in the long run as it will prevent you from having to buy a new bike every so often.

There are many basic maintenance errors that people make that can damage your bike. So here are four of the best tips to avoid the most common of these mistakes.

Over-tightening bolts

Often, people use Allen keys for tightening little bolts, and, as a result, they actually damage the bike rather than fixing it. So, for example, if you’re over-tightening a handlebar clamp stem, you could damage the handlebar or you could hurt the clamp stem itself. Instead, you might want to use some sort of assembly compound. This way, avoid damaging and over-tightening the clamps. So pay attention to the tools you are using; in the city bike world, it is always suggested to use the best tools that you can afford. If you want to use Allen keys, pay attention to their actual heads and choose smaller ones, such as 4 mm. Look for tools with a nice straight little-squared edge and a snug fit. Also, try to keep the bolts on your grips somewhere in between 2.5 and 3 mm.

Spray and Washing issues

When you lube your bike or are spraying around your chain, you could involuntarily verse liquid into water-sensitive parts of your bike. Nothing should go near your disc rotor, for example. You should use precautions like covering important parts with towels if it’s windy. It is advisable to lube your bike on the outside because of the tiny bit of mist you get when lubricating. Also, use just what you need, without over-spraying.

Washing your bike upside down, can be a damage to it. When the bike is placed upside down, the water is much more likely to damage the headset. You definitely do not want to get any water anywhere near your headset barriers; that will force out the grease that is there as protection. This type of damage is something difficult to notice at first, but can really cause major damage in the long term.

Pedal Axle Grease

When you are performing maintenance on your city bike, you might struggle to remove the pedals. And if you are trying to remove them with an Allen key, you risk hurting the skin on your knuckles. Therefore, instead of using your hands, you should use your foot. If your pedals are kind of stuck, but you can still move them, just pedal near the bottom of the stroke, inserting the Allen key at the back. That gives you the best mechanical advantage to push down and undo that pedal. But if your pedals are firmly tightened, the only way to get them removed is by using your foot as well. This gets easier if you apply some grease to the pedal mechanic.

Checking the tire after a puncture

After a puncture and before you put on a new inner tube, you should always check the inside of the tire. Basically, you need to identify the cause of the puncture and address it before trying to fix it. Often, skipping this check will result in suffering another puncture just a couple of minutes later. So, when your tire is punctured, if you don’t want to feel deflated (literally), make sure you always check the inside of the tire with your hand very carefully as well as inspecting the outside of the tire for that specific object that has caused the damage.

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