What’s the difference between a bike and a fish? You can tune a bike, but you can’t tuna fish.
OK, sorry for that.
But in all seriousness, if it’s been a while since you’ve had your road or mountain bike serviced, it’s time to start looking for places near you that can do a quality bike tune. Spring has descended upon Castle Rock. The rainy, stormy weather is (hopefully) behind us, and the trails are calling. To make sure that you rip them instead of the other way around, it’s important to take care of your equipment with a basic bike tune from a Castle Rock bike shop.
Components of a Bike Tune
A bike tune is more than pumping air in the tires and aligning the handlebars. This important service includes a variety of maintenance tasks that improve the rideability and performance of your bike. In terms of importance, tuning your bike is equivalent to changing the oil in your car.
Below, you will find an overview of the various services included with a basic tune by our qualified bike mechanics in Castle Rock.
1. Adjust derailleurs and brakes
Derailleurs allow you to shift by moving the chain from cog to cog. Over time, your derailleurs can move out of alignment, which causes imprecise shifting at best and makes your bike unrideable at worst. Derailleurs have numerous parts, and adjusting them requires experience and know-how. If you’re a DIY rider, this guide can help you adjust them. But if you’d like to skip the hassle, make sure to schedule a tune at your local Castle Rock bike shop.
With brake adjustments, the goal is to optimize the performance of your brakes by tuning three components of your braking system: Pad position, caliper position, and cable tension. Brake adjustment is necessary to get the most stopping power and prevent premature wear of your brake pads. Most mountain bikes these days come with hydraulic brakes and need yearly bleeding in order to keep them optimal. If you haven’t had your brakes bled in a while and they are feeling squishy or have weak stopping power, we recommend bringing your mountain bike to our Castle Rock bike shop and talking with one of our qualified bike mechanics.
2. True wheels
An essential part of your bike tune, wheel truing involves using a spoke wrench to tighten or loosen spoke tension and achieve a straight-spinning, wobble-free wheel. The heavy impacts of trail riding wreak havoc on the equilibrium of your wheels, and having them trued about once a year will keep your bike singing sweetly.
3. De-glaze pads and rotors
Whether it’s from extreme temperatures or sheer usage, your brake pads will eventually develop a glossy sheen called a glaze. If you don’t see the glaze, you will definitely hear it when you squeeze the brakes and hear a high-pitched screaming sound. Glazed rotors may appear shiny or discolored, and this glaze will significantly reduce the effectiveness of your brakes.
Brake deglazing can be performed by cleaning surfaces with isopropyl alcohol, wiping with a clean towel, and then lightly sanding with a fine-grit sandpaper. After de-glazing the surfaces, it is important to bed in the pads and rotors, or else they will be prone to re-glazing.
4. Lube cables and housing
Poor weather conditions and old housing can bring friction to your cables. This reduces the reliability of your brakes and increases shifting difficulty. Not only will they perform better, but properly lubed cables will also be less prone to breaking. Using the incorrect lube could do more harm than good, so be sure to consult with your local Castle Rock bike shop.
5. Adjust serviceable bearings
Eventually, your bearings need to be replaced, but servicing them regularly will prolong their life and keep your wheels spinning smoothly. Water and grime can gunk up the bearings, which gives you unwanted drag and can lead to structural damage. Removing, cleaning, greasing, and reinserting the bearings will help bring flow back to your sessions.
6. Lubricate chain and check chain wear
The chain is typically the grimiest part of your bike. Keeping it clean and lubricated will prolong the life of your drivetrain, which adds up to saved money and more riding. The first step in chain lubrication is cleaning individual links with an old toothbrush coated with degreaser or a chain cleaning tool. Remove any excess degreaser with soapy water and rinse clean. Finally, precisely drip a small amount of lube onto each roller of the chain. We recommend replacing a chain regularly when it begins to stretch and wear. Replacing a chain more often can prolong the life of your other components that generally cost more, such as chain rings and cassettes.
7. Clean bike
Although dirt is a badge of honor for having tamed the wild trails of Castle Rock, there’s something to be said about pulling a spick and span bike off your rack. Once your bike tune has been completed by our bike mechanics, the final, icing-on-the-cake step is to clean off any dirt and muck. Not only does a clean bike look nice, but it also helps preserve the grease and lubrication applied during your bike tune.
Getting a Bike Tune from a Castle Rock Bike Shop
Successfully tuning your bike involves a lot of work and specialty tools. Although it is possible to complete the steps on your own, enlisting the help of a bike mechanic in Castle Rock makes the process stress-free and guarantees an expertly done job. With bike tune services starting at $125 and locations in Denver and Castle Rock, Base Camp Cyclery is here to take care of your bike maintenance needs.