How To Make Your Bike Feel Like New

Ride your bike enough, and before long it’ll
start feeling…tired.

It’s hard to put exactly into words what it
feels like, but in essence it won’t feel as

crisp, the drivetrain won’t feel as sharp,
it just feels tired.

But all you might need to do is a 1 hour tune-up
and it gets back to it’s former glory. I look

at maybe doing this to my bikes every 6 months
to a year, depending how much each one gets ridden.

That means a thorough clean, fresh grease
in the bearings and on the seatpost, new cables,

a new chain and new bar tape. Yeah, it’ll
cost a bit of money, but it saves cash in

the long run and it stops you buying a new
bike. If you’d like more detail on how to

do any of these individual tasks, these links
will become clickable at the end of the video,

taking you to then to the relevant how to.

To start with, it needs a thorough clean.
If you haven’t seen it already, check out

our video explaining just how to do that.

What you won’t need to do though, is clean
the chain. Because I’m getting rid of it,

I’ll just take it off now and stick it straight
in the bin.

First up, I know that the type of conditions
that I ride in really mean that I have to

take good care of my headset bearings. Grit
and wet can infiltrate that bottom brace there

in particular and it can really nail the bearing.

So take the wheel out, top cap off, stem off,
and drop the forks out. You can see that this

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lower bearing is caked in crap, so give it
a good clean with a rag, getting all the old

grease off, and don’t neglect the inside of
the frame too.

While I’m here, I’ll do the top brace as well.
Pack it all out with some grease and re-assemble.

Now while the chain is off, I take the opportunity
to check out the bearings in my bottom bracket.

Give them a good spin and if they’re anything
other than buttery-smooth I’ll think about

replacing them. Yeah, it costs a bit of money,
but this is after all a thorough service and

a nice, fresh bottom bracket makes a big,
big difference.

I always seem to be replacing my brake and
gear cables, but with good reason. They regularly

get full of grit, and when they do, they absolutely
destroy braking and gear shifting quality.

We’ve got full videos explaining how to do
this, and when you get comfortable with it,

it’s a really quick job. So as part of this
service, I do precisely that.

To replace your cables of course you need
to get rid of your bar tape. This stuff is

absolutely rank, so it’s a perfect opportunity
to take it off and get rid of it.

Conveniently, I tend to find that my brake
cables and my bar tape tend to wear at a similar

rate, so when I do replace the cables, I just
replace the tape.

Changing your cables isn’t difficult, but
you need to know the process for doing it.

We’ve got step-by-step guides, and to watch
them just click on these links at the end

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of the video.

Having replaced the cables, we obviously can’t
actually index the gears until we get our

new chain on. So take your new chain, measure
it up compared to the old one so that it’s

exactly the same length, and then just pop
it on.

Right, we’re nearly there. Chain’s on, cables
are on, just time to do the indexing now.

We’ve got full videos explaining exactly how
to do that to your gears, so click on those

in the final end board.

Just two more jobs to do. Before I tackle
the bar tape, I need to get my hands clean.

I’m putting white bar tape back on, there’s
nothing worse than getting smudges on your

brand new bar tape.

Something that I’ve forgotten to do too many
times is that you should always have a look

to see whether your seat post needs re-greasing.
This is carbon on carbon so it’s not too bad,

but if you’ve got an alloy frame and a carbon
post or an alloy post and a carbon frame,

the two can actually pretty much just glue
themselves together, and I’ve lost plenty

of carbon posts and alloy frames in the process.
It’s a good idea, then, to remind yourself

to check it out every now and then.

Right, you’re bike is good to go, it should
feel like new. Yes, you’ve had to spend a

little bit of money, but you can buy all those
parts really quite cheaply, and it’s significantly

cheaper than buying an entirely new bike.

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So, that means a thorough clean, fresh grease
in the bearings and on the seatpost, new cables,

a new chain and new bar tape.

If you need to know how to do any of these
things, remember that you can just click on

these links to watch the relevant how to.

 

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