Any time of year is a good time of year to brush up on some basic mountain bike maintenance skills. Before you and I pedal to the nearest singletrack, we need to take care of some bike business first.
We all know that it's important to ride in control. Why, then, do many of us ignore an important area of our bike that helps us achieve this control? Good question. Whether you've had your mountain bike for years, or recently bought a shiny steed from the shop, take a few minutes to fine-tune the cockpit. Yes, just like that flying machine in the sky, your bike has one too. On a mountain bike, the cockpit is where the handlebars, stem, brake levers, shifters and grips rest. Taking just a few minutes (literally less than a half hour) to adjust your handlebar controls properly can drastically improve the way you ride. You'll find that making some personalized adjustments to this often overlooked area will enhance comfort and control on your next trail ride.
Ahh, the dreaded flat tire. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the trail or in the garage. The sight of a deflated tire is enough to turn that smile upside-down. But bringing your bike to the shop for simple maintenance can add up. Once you learn how to keep up with simple maintenance yourself, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t always spent the minimal extra time to keep your prized possession in tip-top shape. I’ve had more flat tires than I can count in all my years of mountain biking. And I’m here to tell you, it’s no big deal. Really, fixing a flat tire is easy! All you need is a patch kit or spare tube, tire levers, bicycle pump--and this step-by-step guide.
Is your bike ready to hit the trail? Unfortunately, the answer to that is a big, fat "no" if you ended your mountain bike season with one last muddy ride before stashing your steed for the winter. (Shame on both of us.) Never fear, with proper cleaning your bike will be ready to ride--which means you'll be hitting the trail in no time. A clean bike will last longer, improve performance and prevent problems down the road. Learn how to do it properly.
Whether you're headed out on your first mountain bike ride, or consider yourself a seasoned cyclist, knowing what items to carry with you on the bike can make or break a ride. An unexpected turn of events on the trail can leave you injured, dehydrated, unable to ride or shivering if you're unprepared. But knowing which key ingredients you need will make your future mountain bike rides a success. Carrying the necessary supplies will make your next journey into the woods both safe and fun. Find out what items you should have with you on your bike at all times.