Make your bike feel like new
As the end of the season approaches your bike is feeling like it’s lost that little edge. So what’s a rider to do? Well here are 4 simple and cheap changes you can make to your bike to make it ride like a champion again.
1. Chain – cost about $25 dollars
Most chains have a life of around 6 months with normal use. If you are training and racing more often than most you might want to consider bumping the replacement time down to every 3 to 4 months. Replacing the chain will make your shifting more precise, prevent wear on your cassette and keep your sprint rock solid.
2. Derailer Pulleys – cost about $12 dollars
The rear derailer has some of the most wear of any piece of equipment on your bike and the derailer pulleys are at the center of it all. They are commonly overlooked when shifting problems arise. I like to replace mine just about every year. Check them to see if there is any movement in the pulleys. If so they may need to be replaced. My rule of thumb that I use is a replacement every year for my pulleys.
3. Cables and housing – cost about $25 dollars
New cables and housing can do wonders for shifting. Between cable stretch and dirt getting into the housing ones shifting can start to fade quicker than a sprinter on a 10k climb. Replacing both the shifting and brake cables should be done just about every year and possibly every 6 months if you are riding a whole lot.
4. Bartape – cost about $12 dollars
I don’t know what it is, but a new set of fresh bar tape makes a bike feel like a million bucks. I knew a team director who used to replace his riders’ bar tape every day during major stage races because he felt it made the riders feel just that bit fresher each day. Bartape does get compressed after a while and loses it’s plush feel. I tend to replace mine three to four times during the year.
So there are four simple items which can make your bike be rejuvenated to life faster than a South Baptist Revival. Total cost is under $75 dollars and more than likely under $100 if your LBS (Local Bike Shop) does the replacement. If this still doesn’t put the spring in your pedal stroke I’d suggest going for a replacement of the bearings in your wheels and then going for some new tires. But that will be another entry later.
Oh yeah – And that feeling you get riding your brand new bike for the first time?
Priceless – of course!