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My pre-ride and post-ride inspection/maintenance routine

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

September
23
2015

At the beginning of this month, I wrote an article discussing the reasons why I choose to do all of my own bike maintenance and repairs. In that same article I also talked about why regular maintenance is so important, both from a safety and performance standpoint. If you missed it, you can check out the blog here.

JSF member “iloco” commented on that article, and asked if I could talk a bit about my pre-ride and post-ride inspection and maintenance routines. I thought that was an excellent suggestion. Today I’d like to run through what I do before and after every single ride.

BEFORE EVERY RIDE

  • Air front and rear tires to desired pressure
  • Spin front and rear wheels, checking to make sure they are true and centered between the brake pads
  • Check that front and rear QR skewers are tight and positioned correctly
  • Check brakes for proper function
  • Check for any excessive side-to-side play in wheels (Zipps have a bearing pre-load that sometimes requires adjustment)
  • Straddle the bike, hit the front brake and check for any headset play by rocking the bike back and forth

That’s about it. All of that takes around 2 minutes, assuming nothing but the tire pressure needs adjusting. Of course these items presuppose that more comprehensive maintenance is also performed on a regular basis (for me, that’s weekly).

Wiping down the chain and jockey wheels only takes a few seconds, but this practice will help improve performance while prolonging the life of your chain and other drivetrain components.

Wiping down the chain and jockey wheels only takes a few seconds, but this practice will help improve performance while prolonging the life of your chain and other drivetrain components.

AFTER EVERY RIDE (assuming no rain)

  • Check Di2 battery level, charge if needed
  • Thoroughly wipe down chain and jockey wheels (I also lube the chain every 100 miles, and after any ride with rain)
  • Inspect tires for damage or debris
  • Wipe down frame with microfiber cloth and a quick detail spray
  • Check rear flasher battery level, replace/recharge if needed

If I get caught in the rain or am riding on wet roads, I’ll do a more involved post-ride maintenance (often tearing the whole bike down). Bikes, like horses, can be ridden hard, but should never put away wet. 🙂

It only takes a few minutes to do these things, and it keeps my bike running its best.

One other quick tip. Even though I inspect my tires for damage after every ride, sometimes a slow leak can go undetected (those little steel wires shed from automobile tires are all over the place, and infamous for causing punctures and slow leaks). When I get up in the morning I always check my tires somewhere between my 1st and 2nd cup of coffee. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to roll out for ride and discovering that you have a flat tire. This is especially true if you’re meeting a group. Don’t be that guy (or gal) who makes the entire group wait because you didn’t take 5 seconds to check your tires!

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to “My pre-ride and post-ride inspection/maintenance routine”
  1. Thanks for doing an article on this! As someone new to road cycling, it really helps to see what others that are more experienced do, particularly those that I know are meticulous about keeping their gear in good condition.

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