Have you ever wondered about the absolute limit of your bicycle? Well, there is nothing that your bike cannot achieve, you just need to put in the hard work. Apart from the hard work, your bike needs to be able to go further than ever before, but that is only possible if it is in good condition. Let me explain what I mean!
I love going fast on trails and recently I hit a PR (Personal Record!). It was a Sunday morning and I was able to maintain a speed of 35mph on a trail that I had been riding on for some months now, it took some hard work but I was finally here. As this speed is a bit much for me, I was still shocked over how I achieved it and then it hit me. My bike was in really good condition and that also includes the brakes, I recently got a tune-up done, and seems like it was worth it. This achievement of mine is the main reason why we should get regular maintenance and tune-ups done.
No matter what kind of riding you do, or the type of bike you own, proper and regular tune-up is necessary if you want to enjoy the best performance. Apart from just the performance part, the lifespan of your bicycle also improves! In today’s article, we will discuss why it is always worth getting a bike tune-up. Apart from this information, we will also be sharing additional information regarding bike maintenance, including some secret tips and tricks. Let’s start!
Why Do Bicycles Need Tune-Ups?
Just like everything else, your bicycle also needs a tune-up, this is done to ensure optimal performance. We already know about this but what are the other reasons that we should know about tune-ups and their importance? Let’s find out together!
Bikes Are An Important Investment
I think that every cyclist can relate to this, it actually doesn’t matter if you are a professional or just starting out. Bicycles are an investment, you spend your hard-earned money on them and then keep on upgrading them. With the passage of time, they keep on getting better from every kind of perspective, they even increase in worth!
Keeping this in mind, you should always think of the foreseeable future and act accordingly. You spent so much on your bike, probably thousands of bucks, honor that investment and keep on maintaining your bike. Not only will the current price of your bicycle will increase, but you will also get to enjoy the improved performance. Do it for yourself!
This one is a no-brainer, we go for bike tune-ups to keep on enjoying that sweet and satisfactory performance. A well-tuned bicycle functions at its best. Professional cyclists rely on every component of their bike to perform flawlessly to gain a competitive edge. Regular tune-ups help ensure that the gears shift smoothly, brakes respond effectively, and the bike operates efficiently.
Do you remember what I said about hitting my PR, and how I actually achieved it? Apart from the hard work that I put in, it was because of my bike’s impressive condition which was only possible through a tune-up.
A Cleanse Like None Other
Cleaning your bike is critical, and I am talking about all the components. Sometimes, cleaning the bike can be a bit too much for us, I get it. This is all the more reason why you should opt for a tune-up, the skilled mechanics at a bike shop will give your bike a cleanse like none other. At the end of the day, you will be riding a really cool and shiny bike and will be making other riders jealous!
Well, you just spent more than $10,000 on your new bike, how long will you be able to use it? That’s actually a really good question! Professional cyclists often invest in high-quality, expensive bikes. Regular maintenance and tune-ups can extend the lifespan of these bikes, saving money in the long run by avoiding premature wear and tear.
Every cyclist out there would want their bicycle to be consistent, what do I mean by this? Do you remember the first time you rode your bike? I can bet that it was amazing! To maintain a consistent and predictable riding experience, cyclists need their bikes to perform reliably. Regular tune-ups ensure that the bike’s components, such as the drivetrain and suspension, function consistently over time.
Components Work Seamlessly
You need to make sure that each and every component of your bike works seamlessly, this includes the brakes, drivetrain, and others. The only way to ensure that is through a proper tune-up.
Efficiency is very important for professional cyclists, this ensures that there is minimal energy loss during rides. A well-tuned bicycle reduces friction and resistance, allowing the rider to transfer more power to the pedals, ultimately improving speed and endurance.
We cannot stress enough about comfort, it is a key characteristic of a well-tuned bike. Comfort plays a significant role in a cyclist’s performance. A properly tuned bike can help reduce discomfort and fatigue during long rides, allowing cyclists to focus on their training or races without distractions.
Handling and Control
There is a huge difference between bikes that undergo tune-ups and those that don’t, you can feel it by the way they handle. Precision handling and control are vital for both professional and casual cyclists when navigating challenging terrain or making quick maneuvers in a race. A tuned-up bike ensures that the steering, suspension, and tire pressure are optimized for control and stability.
Preventive Maintenance is something that every cyclist needs to know about! Regular tune-ups are a form of preventive maintenance. Addressing minor issues early can prevent them from becoming major and costly problems down the road. This proactive approach minimizes downtime and interruptions in training or competition schedules.
If you are a professional cyclist then you have an image to maintain when it comes to your bike. You represent your bike and your bike represents you, there is a direct relationship between you two. A well-maintained bike not only performs better but also reflects positively on the rider’s image and the team’s reputation.
In many professional cycling events, there are strict rules and regulations governing the condition of the bikes. Regular tune-ups help ensure that the bike complies with these regulations, avoiding penalties or disqualification during races.
The Different Types Of Bike Tune-Ups
Bike Tune-Ups are going to be very different, depending on the shops that you visit. Yes, each bike shop will offer you different kinds of services, you might even come across some shops that offer the same services as others. We have talked about different bike manufacturers but did you know that many of them have stores that offer tune-ups? Here are some of the stores that you should look out for:
What Does A Tune-Up Include?
For someone who has not availed of a bike tune-up yet might be feeling a bit unsure, there is nothing to worry about though! Tune-ups are a necessary part of maintenance, and there is no ignoring them. The majority of bike stores have three different types of tune-ups, the difference between these 3 is the services offered.
Just as the name goes, this is a basic-level tune-up and will include the following services:
- Gear Adjustment
- Brakes Cleaning and Adjustment
- Hub Cleaning
- Bottom Bracket Adjustment
- Headset Cleaning
- Minor Wheel Tuning
- Drive Train Lubrication
- Safety Inspection
This is a very basic level of tune-up available at bike stores all over the US. Yes, there might be a few additions or exemptions but that varies from store to store.
Now, I want to talk about advanced tune-ups but there is something that I want to disclose with you. Many of the things that I have mentioned above can be done by yourself, this includes cleaning the brakes and lubricating the drive train. The only requirement is that you will need special tools which are a bit expensive. Getting special tools and then getting the proper training to deal with these components can be a bit too much if you ask me, I would suggest that you always go with a specialist bike shop when opting for a tune-up.
If you go for the advanced tune-up then it will INCLUDE everything that I have mentioned above with the following additions:
- Drive Train Overhaul
- Complete Wheel Tuning
We can understand if this tune-up might be a bit too much or expensive for you but you have to look at the services being offered. You can go with this kind of tune-up when you feel that your bike is out of alignment or if you are having trouble with the shifting. Keep in mind that the tools needed for this procedure are really expensive, and also throw in the level of expertise required.
As the name goes, this is the kind of tune-up that only professionals go for. If you have put a lot of miles on your bike, then it is time that your bike got an amazing professional tune-up. It includes everything that we have mentioned before and has the following additions:
- Complete Assembly/Disassembly
- Grease Bearings and Repack Hubs
- Cable Replacement
- Frame Polish
How Much Does A Bike Tune-Up Costs?
A bike tune-up isn’t very expensive, you just need to know about the different pricing procedures. A normal tune-up will cost around $80-$100, it will get all the necessary work done. If you don’t feel like taking your bike anywhere then you can opt for a remote bike repair service. These service providers will visit your home and fix your bike, this is the best option to go for if you are feeling a little under the weather or just don’t want to go anywhere. Try Mr. Ed’s Mobile Bike Repair, you won’t be disappointed!
If you go for the premium tune-up or the one that we call a professional tune-up, it will cost you more than $200.
Related: How To Tune Up A Bike
How Often Do You Need A Bike Tune-Up?
Getting a bike tune-up is very necessary, you just need to know about the best time to get one. You should get a tune-up when your bike completes 2000 miles or twice a year, both of these situations work perfectly. There is something else that you should know, if you use your bike often or are a professional rider then I would suggest that you get a tune-up three times a year. Doing so will make sure that your bike is in amazing working condition.
Alarming Signs That Your Bicycle Needs A Tune-Up
Here are some signs that you need to look out for, if they happen, then you should get a tune-up ASAP.
Brakes Feeling Sluggish
If your brakes are feeling a little sluggish and are not as effective as before, then you need to get a tune-up. The brakes might not be that powerful now, or you could be squeezing them very hard. All of these are signs that your brakes need repairing.
Bike Tires degrade over time, and this happens even more quickly when you use the bike in hot weather. If you notice any sign of wear and tear (Such as dry rot or cracks), then opt for a tune-up.
Whenever you come across shifting problems, then it is a big sign that your bike needs a tune-up. Shifting should be done smoothly and without any problems, if you are having problems with the front and rear gears then it is time for maintenance.
A quiet bike is actually a very happy bike, if your bike is producing some weird noises then you need to take it for a tune-up. You could face weird noises like Clicking, Grinding, Knocking, Squeaking, and Rattling. Whenever you hear something like this, don’t hesitate.
Watch: 5-Minute Simple Bike Gear Tune-Up
Watch this insightful video to complete a simple bike gear tune-up in 5 minutes.
Question: Is A Bicycle Tune-Up Time Taking Process?
It actually depends on the kind of tune-up that you are going for, basic tune-ups can be done in 30 minutes or so.
Question: What Is The Difference Between A Tune-Up And an Overhaul?
A tune-up is basic maintenance, it consists of component tuning. Although if we talk about an overhaul then that is the complete disassembly and reassembly of a bicycle.
Question: Does Bike Tune-Up Includes Brakes?
Yes, no matter what kind of tune-up you go for, brake cleaning and tuning are a necessary part of it.
Question: Should You Do The Tune-Up Yourself?
This actually depends on your skills, if you have the necessary tools and skills then you should go for it. Keep in mind, it is always better to get bike tune-ups from skilled mechanics!
After going through this article and guide, I am sure that the majority of you would be willing for a bike tune-up. While it may seem like a small investment in both time and money, the benefits far outweigh the costs. A well-tuned bike not only ensures a safer and more enjoyable riding experience but also extends the lifespan of your trusty two-wheeled companion.
Think of a bike tune-up as an investment in your health, your wallet, and the environment. Regular maintenance can prevent costly repairs down the road, keep you in shape, and reduce your carbon footprint. It’s a win-win-win situation. Moreover, a well-tuned bike can open up a world of possibilities. Whether you’re a casual rider, a daily commuter, or a dedicated cyclist, having a bike that performs at its best allows you to explore new routes, conquer challenging terrains, and reach new heights in your cycling journey.
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