Rusty chain, bulky gears, worn brake discs - if you are constantly on tour with your mountain bike, you have to expect wear and tear. But even longer periods of rest, often enough the winter season, can leave traces on the sensitive two-wheeler.
To avoid unpleasant surprises on your next trip, regular checks are a must. And a short inspection is also easy on the wallet, because even small adjustments to the gears, brakes or wheel can significantly reduce wear.
If going to a bike expert is too expensive or time-consuming for you, you can carry out a basic check at home without any problems. With a little manual skill and a tool or two, most minor repairs can be done yourself.
Know how: What to look for in a mountain bike check.
Down the slope at full speed, the wind in your face, bike and rider merged into one: The dream of every action sportsman can quickly turn into a nightmare if the brakes suddenly stop working.
It is therefore a must to check the condition of the brake pads. If they are too worn, cracked or uneven, there is only one option: replace them immediately! In addition, the brake ventilation should also be checked. If the brake lever on the handlebar can be pulled all the way back, it is time to bleed the brake.
It is not uncommon for disc brakes to make unpleasant grinding noises. In this case it is important to find out the exact cause: Is it "just" the pads or is the caliper the culprit?
It usually helps to remove the wheel and re-center the brake caliper. To do this, pull the brake lever on the handlebars backwards and loosen the screws on the brake caliper. A thorough cleaning of the brake pads can also help.
The shock and suspension fork should also be put to the test. For a quick check of the suspension fork, simply sit on the bike and measure the compression depth.
On standard all-mountain bikes, the compression depth should not be more than 25 percent of the fork. Whether the damping needs to be increased can also be determined quickly and easily: Push the handlebar and thus the suspension fork down as far as it will go and let it spring back up.
If the front wheel loses contact with the ground, the damping should be increased. To ensure that the fork functions optimally, you can apply a little lubricant afterwards. The bike will thank the rider when riding off-road.
Tyres and wheels also need to be checked. First of all, you should take a look at the degree of wear of the tyre tread. If the tread is badly worn or if the casing is even cracked, you should get a new one. Tyre pressure and spoke tension must also be correct. If the wheel does not run smoothly, it may need to be re-centred.
To ensure that the bicycle chain works properly and can jump back and forth smoothly in the rear derailleur, a thorough cleaning is recommended first. Stubborn dirt and old grease are best removed with a soapy solution.
After the suds have soaked in for a while, simply scrub them off with a toothbrush (wheel and rider should use separate toothbrushes). Once all impurities have been removed, carefully dry the chain. Then apply chain lubricant and you're done.
The gear shifting should be checked especially for an optimal position of the shifting eye on the shifting cassette. Please also adjust the tension on the gear lever correctly.
Finally, it is customary to check all screws on the frame, saddle, handlebars and gears once again and tighten them if necessary. Now you are ready for your next mountain bike tour.