How To Maintain A Hybrid Bike For Good Performance

Often called the Jack of All Trades because of its versatility, a hybrid bike is a combination of the characteristics of a mountain bike and a road bike. It is light, and the roll and pedal are easier to use than some other comfort bikes. It is also perfect for longer rides especially if you want to climb hills and work a bit more to get in a better shape.

Tires in hybrid bikes are lighter to roll on pavements for easy acceleration, climbing, and nimble handling. So if you are interested in efficiency, lightness, speed and comfort all at the same time, hybrid bikes are a perfect choice! It is less aggressive than your traditional bike, but it is still sporty and comfortable to ride, great for recreational activities, for strolling, and even for commuting.

Now let us envision a garden. True enough, the weeds would take over the plants when you do nothing to maintain it. But when you clean and tend it, your garden will blossom. Just like tending a garden, you should also look after your bike. It is important to take some time and know what your bike needs – if it already needs cleaning, or if its chains have collected much dirt, or if it is properly inflated, etc. Don’t forget to check your bike as often as needed.

A daily bucket of soapy water and a dish wash brush for your bike will help prevent salt corrosion from taking its course. Do not wait for regrets to come later. Your bike has several metal parts that move and grind against each other. These parts are vulnerable to dirt and moisture. Think about your bike’s chain and sprockets.

When you go round biking, these parts collect dirt and grit. And when they get sticky, they wear out faster and definitely slow you down. So in order to keep your bike clean and functioning well, these certain parts must be maintained, cleaned and lubricated regularly. So now let me tell you simple ways on how to take care of your hybrid bike.

Tires

Let us start with the tires. Hybrid bikes usually have a different tire standard than the comfort bikes. These tires use a Road bike’s 700c for the purpose of riding in all surfaces. It is very important to pay attention to your tires.

You need to remember that your tires should have the right pressure that is fit for you and your hybrid, because you will have a hard time riding it if they are not at the right pressure. And if they’re not also filled enough, this put you on a greater risk of a flat tire, and a harder and slower ride especially on corners and changing surfaces.

A hybrid bike has higher recommended air pressure when it comes to inflation level compared to comfort bikes. The hybrid will need a 60-80 PSI (Pound Force per Square Inch) on them, depending on your weight. The heavier you are, the more air your tires need. It is important for you to understand the proper tire pressure, and once you know it, simply make sure to check your tires regularly before each ride if they are inflated correctly.

To track if you’ve reached that proper point of inflation, you can use a bike tire gauge. Often times, most of the experienced riders will be able to tell just by looking at the tires or by squeezing it.

A piece of advice to prevent flat tires, it is better to look at the road when you are riding with your bike and look at your path. Avoid riding on those roads where debris collects. And as much as you can help it, avoid those tiny weeny shiny shards of glasses or sharp metals. These things, when stuck in your tires, will gradually or instantly cause you a flat. Checking your tires after each ride is also one way to avoid frequent flat tires. This will only take a short amount of your time and will save you a lot of hassle later. Check for possible embedded objects, cuts, cracks or damages to your tires.

Last but not the least, ride your bike! Well this is a common tip for all bikes. The more you ride your bike, the healthier its tire pressure remains.

Brakes

Generally, each bike has brakes that are made specifically suited to what kind of riding it was designed for. Most hybrid bikes have linear or hub brakes. These brakes are powerful stoppers, excellent for all kinds of riding, even from going round parks to everyday commuting.

The pads should be in contact with the rims and releasing should be not a problem if you have good brakes. This applies to any kind of bike. You will know if your brakes have problems. A rasping sound from the brake is probably caused by some embedded small metals, or it may be because your pad has a ragged edge or it may be glazed. You can remove the embedded objects simply with your hands or with tweezers.

Solve your ragged pad with a Stanley blade, and sandpaper can deglaze a brake pad. Also, brake problems are sometimes caused by cable problems. The brakes’ power can be restored by lubricating and tightening your cable. But if the cable is already rusting, or if the housing is broken or shot, do not hesitate in replacing it.

For balance, try checking if your brake pads are of equal distance to the rims. A hybrid bike usually has spring adjusters. Use a screwdriver to loosen or tighten these adjusters to maintain and restore balance.

The backbone of bikes, a frame often varies from different kinds and uses. A hybrid bike’s frame is designed for comfort and efficient pedaling. If given the proper care, your bike’s frame can stay with you for many years and accompany for thousands of miles. Riding recklessly can result into crash accidents and may cause damage to the frame, be it minor or big damages. Check for dents. If you have a steel frame, let a frame builder fill the dents with brazing material. But for carbon fiber frames, have a professional examine your frame because any sign of surface damage can mean a crack or failure.

Also, do not forget to check your bike more often, especially the frame, after every sweaty ride. This is because sweat is salty and salt forms in every corner and continues the process of corrosion even when your bike is dry. This can affect materials on your bike, especially the frame and underneath clamps. This requires an extensive and gentle water rinse. And don’t forget to dry it thoroughly! An occasional frame waxing also gives you chances of staying away from rust and better bike appearance.​

Suspention

Suspension forks are another excellent feature that is mostly common in hybrid bikes. The suspension absorbs impacts from cracks and road obstacles for smooth traveling, to lessen bumps, and ensures that you remain in control of your bike over rougher roads.​

Maintaining your fork is said to be easy if you have the right tools. It is important to have your specific service manual, the one provided by your manufacturer for your fork’s model. Before every ride, it is important to check your fork for any signs of stress or oil weeping. Keep it clean.

Here’s a summary table for a basic general suspension maintenance you must not forget. However, you should check your manual for your specific maintenance schedule.

​Tips

Before every ride: check your fork for signs of oil weeping; Inspect air pressure for air sprung shocks.

Before and after every ride: clean and inspect thoroughly.

Every 10 hours of riding: check the tightness of rear suspension pivots and torque.

Every 50 to 100 hours of riding, or if a leak develops: change oils and replace seals.

Every 100 to 200 hours or if excessive play develops: complete for rebuild; replace suspension pivots.

Gears

The first rule to successful and smooth gear shifting is adopting an attentive approach to gear changing. The second is always having a cleaned and lubricated transmission.

Better to check your cables for any contamination, rust, or kinks. Lubricate and tighten your cables. If this doesn’t restore easy shifting, you may consider having a new gear cable.

Now to keep it plain and simple, your bike also needs a few drops of oil every so often. Refrain from applying too much and creating a sticky mess. As much as we know, oil attracts dirt, so you may want to keep it at minimum amount. Also, a quick wipe of lubricant to the other moving parts of your bike such will be a great deed. By moving parts, it means your derailleurs turn, where your brakes move against your frame and the fork, inside your brake levers, your gear shifters and where your inner cables come out from sections.

Here’s a tip. Use lightweight oil that is specifically designed for bikes. Do not even consider trying on motor oil. It is heavy and will like to attract dirt and grit much faster than you expect.​

Chain

Okay, so this is the best part. Lubrication, greasing, oiling, coating and cleaning your chains are necessary to keep your bike road worthy and far from rust. A clean chain means your bike will perform well and lasts longer.

Consider treating your bike to a chain clean-up and buy a bike chain cleaner kit for a gleaming chain. These kits are also effective in cleaning your bike chain efficiently and thoroughly. However, make sure to choose your specific cleaning products because there are non-cycling products that can harm and damage some of your bike’s parts.

Now to keep it plain and simple, your bike also needs a few drops of oil every so often. Refrain from applying too much and creating a sticky mess. As much as we know, oil attracts dirt, so you may want to keep it at minimum amount. Also, a quick wipe of lubricant to the other moving parts of your bike such will be a great deed. By moving parts, it means your derailleurs turn, where your brakes move against your frame and the fork, inside your brake levers, your gear shifters and where your inner cables come out from sections.

Here’s a tip. Use lightweight oil that is specifically designed for bikes. Do not even consider trying on motor oil. It is heavy and will like to attract dirt and grit much faster than you expect.

Frequently Asked Questions​

1. Why should I buy a hybrid bike and why is it considered better than other bikes?

2. In lubricating, should I also lubricate where brake pads meet the wheel?

3. How often should I lubricate?

4. Will it help if I cover my bike?

5. What are the recommended accessories for hybrid bikes?

Conclusion

Your bike’s lifespan can extend up to many years if it is given the proper care and consideration. It is a good investment, one that will be of use to you for a longer period of time.

Proper maintenance on your bike will save you from possible dangerous situations that may cause you your life. Road accidents are often popular nowadays. Surely, you will not want to endanger your life because of a flat tire, malfunctioning brakes or a hard pedal. Whether to prevent being stuck helpless in the middle of a road or to avoid accidents, proper knowledge in bike maintenance is absolutely a life-saver.

Hybrid bikes are even perfect for beginners. So now that you have your clean and well maintained hybrid bike, you are ready for the adventure of your lifetime! These bikes are a practical choice for practical people, who sensible yet great and fantastic ride.

Let people see and admire your ride. Let the efficiency of your bike attract them so that they may know the essence of true joy in cycling. Cross the streets, stroll parks and neighborhood, run with the traffic, cover miles and climb hills with your amazing hybrid bike. Feel pride in cycling now. Smell the air, feel the speed, the sense of distinction, and experience enjoyment in adventurous rides.​

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