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Love Your Bike: Today and all days

By SarahWhelan 14 Feb 2020

Whether it's the most expensive thing you own or you got it from a friend for free it's well worth giving a little time each month to maintaining your bike. 

It can be worth having your bike serviced by a mechanic at a bike shop every year or so but in the mean time there are some cheap and easy tips to keep it rolling along smoothly (and safely!) 

  • Oil Your Chain: How regular you do this depends on how often you ride and the type of oil (lube) you use. Generally in Scotland-due to our blessed weather- wet lube is a good year round choice. Add a small drop at a time to each roller on your chain, wipe off excess with a rag and then cycle through the gears. 
  • Pump Your Tyres: Soft tyres are more prone to punctures. Check the tyre wall for recommended PSI (there'll be a min and max) and use a pump with a gauge to inflate within those values. The security desk has a pump you can borrow any time of day. Check whether you have a Presta or a Schrader valve, presta you will have to untwist the top.

  • Check Your Brakes: Squeeze the levers while spinning the wheels to make sure they work well. Check for frayed or rusted cables. If you have break pads make sure they are not worn past the 'wear line'. 

  • Clean It: Cleaning your frame and mechanisms not only makes the bike look great, it avoids you getting dirt marks on yourself and helps prolong its life. Start with the dirtiest part-usually your gears and chain. Message Cycle Connections to arrange use of our bike cleaning kit and hose. 

Don't forget! Dr Bike is on campus the last Thursday of every month to offer FREE mini MOTs for your bikes. Just drop by the Bike Racks from 8:30-10:30am.

If you want to learn to fix your own bike then check out Edinburgh Bike Station for information on their classes and workshop.

Now that you have a well maintained, smooth running, bike you want to ensure it stays in your possession

  1. Lock it: A cable chain can be easily cut, investing in a strong D-lock can help stop thefts. Make sure the lock goes through your frame and ideally the rear wheel (it is more expensive due to your gears). If you have a lock extension cable this can be used to wrap around the front wheel too.
  2. Register it: Register your bike HERE. This makes the bike traceable to you if ever stolen and recovered or someone attempts to resell it. Check out Cycle Connections for when the Police are next on campus to carry out bike marking for FREE.

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