Mountain bike maintenance and bicycle repair guide to keep your MTB in perfect running condition. Everyone can servicing their own mountain bike, just start with the basic bike maintenance and servicing tasks. Soon you will have all the mountain bike tools to do a full bike maintenance service. Regular DIY maintenance is cost effective and the best way to get long life out of your bike and components. Regular maintenance includes, bike wash, wiping it down and checking for damage, adjusting the gears, setting the brakes and changing worn components. If you do regular bike services there will be less need to do costly bicycle repairs. Bicycle repairs like changing brake pads, changing a chain or removing cranks are also fairly easy with the right tools and know how. Fixing your own bike is very rewarding and a useful skill especially if you live far from a bike workshop or breakdown on a remote trail or race.
Mountain bike maintenance is something that is easy to learn. For hands on experience speak to your LBS – local bike shop and ask them if you can spend a couple of hours in their bike workshop. Some of them also offer mountain bike maintenance courses. You can also checkout bicycle repair books available like Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance or google how to youtube videos.
Or just checkout our guide below for the basic bike maintenance tasks to follow:
Mountain Bike Maintenance and Repair Guide – Step by Step
Maintaining your bike in good working order is as easy as 1-2-3. Follow these easy steps to keep you bike well maintained and avoid breakdowns.
1. Bike wipe & check – after a ride – about every 50km
Front Shock – Wipe stanchions and ensure dust seals are clean and oil free
Rear Shock – Wipe and ensure dust seal is clean
Run chain through dry clean cloth. Wipe old lube off chainrings. Re-lube chain.
A quick check before the next day includes the following
- wheels (skewers) are tight
- brakes work and are not loose (levers and callipers)
- handlebar is tight and not loose
- gears are working and changing properly
- adjust tire pressure
2. Bike wash – when your bike looks dirty, before a race or after a muddy ride
Washing a mountain bike can be quick and easy if you have a plan and the right tools. In 5-10 min you can give you bike a wash that will make it look like new. The full bike wash takes longer and necessary after a couple of weeks or when you feel like bonding with your bike.
Chain cleaning and chain cleaning tools
3. Bike Tools – Get the right tools to do basic DIY maintenance
Maintaining your own bike is not nearly as complicated as it seems. A good way to learn is to start slowly, gain confidence and build up a set of bike tools as you progress. If your bike needs a service, rather spend the money buying a couple of tools and then do it yourself.
Recommended mountain bike tools
4. Bike Gears Setup and Adjusting
Adjusting and setting your mountain bike gears is really quite simple. There are a few basic rules to follow in order to understand the difference between setup and adjustment. The difference is that the setup items are done only once and never again unless the part is removed or replaced.
Identifying gear shifting problems
Gear Setup and Adjusting
Roughly every 1000 – 2000km, or when chain is worn.
Check Cassette – replace if necessary
Check Chainrings – replace if necessary
Fork and Shock Maintenance
Check the shock owners manual
Minor service usually 50-100hrs
Major service usually 100-160hrs