Maintenance Guide for Your Folding Bikes
If you already got your favorite folding bike and upgraded with cool accessories, you definitely want to keep it last long and work efficiently – which requires care and attention. However, it doesn’t have to be a hassle to keep yours in a perfect shape. Just an hour or so every couple of months will do the job for the tricky parts, and the rest is a breeze.
Cleaning and proper maintenance is essential for the performance, safety, and longevity of your bicycle. In many respects maintaining your folding bike is very similar to your other bikes though there are some additional features, and a few other things to bear in mind though.
All brands and models are different, and each rider will need to cater to their specific proportions, but be sure to check following things:
The handlebar should ideally be between 35 and 40 inches high, though this is just a guide, and depends on your stature.
The consensus is that for comfortable and practical riding, your seat should be at the height where, when seated, your knee is still just partially bent when your foot is at the pedals lowest point.
The most important thing to be sure of, and to check for if you hear any unusual noises from your brakes is the placement of your break blocks. Be sure that all of the surface of the brake block is touching the metal rim part of the wheel.
Riding with flattened tires will significantly decrease the riding performance. It is also a potential hazard, so be sure to always have your tires properly (and not over) inflated.
Cleaning & Lubrication
Being relatively low to the ground, folding bikes can easily get dirty. So here are some things you’ll need to clean up and lubricate your bikes:
- Some cloth / rags
- A small water spray bottle, or low pressure hose
- Sensitive dish or car washing soap
- Chain lube
For the frame, just simply apply some soap which is sensitive to your paintwork by using a sponge, rag, or paper towel, and dry. The frame is generally pretty darn hard wearing, and so you shouldn’t worry too much about this part.
Cleaning your chain may seem like an alien encounter on first experience. It’s quick and easy to learn how though, and will soon be a second nature.
To clean the chain, first remove it using the quick link. Soak the chain in some solvent for as long as you can, overnight is ideal but not necessary. Remove the chain and use a toothbrush to gently push all dirt and debris from the chainlinks.
Once this is complete you will have removed all of the lubrication which the chain needs to function, so be sure to generously re-apply the chain lube onto the entire chain. When finished just give a little wipe over with some paper towels to remove excess liquid.
Unclip the brake cables from the frame, and take a clean cloth with some degreaser. Gently inspect your cables while you give them a wipe over with the cloth until the inner cable looks bright.
Jockey wheels, sprockets, and chain rings.
Fear not, you can tackle all of these with the use of nothing more than a hard toothbrush, and a clean cloth with a little degreaser applied gently to each part.
Secure the Hinge
The essential feature to bear in mind with your folding bike is the hinge or latch. It is absolutely essential that you keep the shaft clear of any dirt, grit, or stones for the mechanism to be safe. You should check carefully every time you close the latch that it is securely closed before riding. You shouldn’t feel any room for movement when the hinge is secured, and the hinge should close without too much stress. Be sure readjust if the hinge is too tight or too loose.
Finally be sure to regularly inspect your bike. This is definitely the most important habit to be in to maintain the functionality of your bicycle. Just be sure to check over your tires, brakes, and hinge whenever you’re carrying the bike between use, this way you won’t even take up any of your time.
Checking up and maintenance are very important to keeping your folding bikes in good shapes. Especially when you are about to travel with your folding bikes, you want to minimize any possible risks before hitting the road. Lastly, what is the best about these easy maintenance tips is that you can practically do it by yourself and save a lot of money.