What are the basics?


Active Member
I can just about sort out my brake pads, move my seat post up and down and oh... i forgot i fitted the rear pannier rack myself lol

What basics should I know about keeping my bike maintained and in good working order myself.




Chandler's Ford
Keep chain lubricated (use Mickle method) - and cables too.
Learn to change a tyre /tube.

And you will already be a great deal more competent than many bike users.

Anything else can go to the LBS if you are not happy with doing it - and they'll thank you for having a clean / lubricated drive train

Thereafter.... have a look at adjusting derailleur gears.... you may need it one day, the video on BicycleTutor is a good place to start.

Be careful though - it's strangely addictive (just like cycling:smile:). Soon you'll be wanting to buy a frame and install all the individually chosen bits yourself.


The hubs, bottom bracket and headset should all be well greased to start with if you got the bike from a good source and this should be good for a year or two of trouble free cycling without any further attention. The only trouble is that cheap components frequently have crappy seals which allows the ingress of water so if you might want to get an LBS to check at some stage if you are in doubt.


Lover of things that come in 3's
I paid a local bike mechanic to go over my new bike with me, get it set up correctly and instruct me in the basics. This covered handlebar/stem adjustments, wheel removal/installation, tyre and tube changes, brake adjustments, brake pad alignment, pedal fitting, seatpost and saddle setup, mudguard/rack fitting and setting up a wired computer. This cost me £40 and took about 2 hours, he also recommended some basic tools for me.

Since then I've expanded slightly to include brake and gear cable installation and adjustment. Indexing the gears and replacing a chain, splitting and rejoining a chain as well. As I go along I've been investing in decent tools for each job. My next aim is around chainwhips for cassette removal and tools for chainsets and bottom brackets. Headset installation I still leave to the LBS. I'm leaving wheel truing/building to the end - it scares me:biggrin:

I think just play it by ear and go as far as your interest takes you.

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
I'd second the above, with the additional advice of practicing changing an inner-tube or fixing a p*ncture in the warmth and comfort of your own home... preferably with somebody who can help you. Much easier to learn like this than when you're miles from home and it's pissing down.


As long as I breathe, I attack.
I would add get a chain tool and an old chain and practice removing and adding a link as this could be a live saver if you get a snapped chain in the middle of nowhere.
My multi tool has a chain breaker on it i have never had to us it yet but.........


Cycling in the sun
When I was new I didn't realise that cleaning my rims and pads might make a difference to the life of the wheel.
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