A happy bike makes a happy rider. Keep that bike smiling with regular maintenance.
Here are some links to the best maintenance videos on YouTube by tool manufacturer, Park Tool. Fancy tools are nice, but you really don’t need any for regular maintenance. A multi-tool or a set of metric hex/ Allen keys, pliers, tire levers, a Phillips screwdriver and some wrenches should do the trick for most jobs. Improvise with what you have on hand!
- How to wash your bike. This Park Tool video shows you how to do a deep clean of your bike, including the drivetrain. Calvin Jones (the star of each Park Tool video) does a great job of reminding you not to get degreaser in your bearings, and things to inspect on your bike as you clean it. Remember to add chain lube when you are done cleaning, but be careful not to over lubricate.
- How to change a tire tube. It is not hard to change a tire tube yourself. Remember to always use two tire levers (or three to make it extra easy).
- How to patch a flat tire. Salvage that used tire tube by patching it. When a patch is properly applied, that tube will hold air good as new. You can patch a tire many times before having to replace it. When using vulcanizing patches, remember to let the fluid dry before applying the patch!
- Setting the rear derailleur. Your bike might have a barrel adjuster at the derailleur, or on the shifter, or both! Use these to fine tune the cable tension for smooth shifting.
- Setting the front derailleur. The theory is the same as on the rear, with a few variations. View the step-by-step process here.
- Adjusting rim brakes. Grease the pivots and put a few drops of chain lube down the cable housing to prevent binding.
- Aligning mechanical disc brakes. Remember the tell-tale sign of a brake rotor rubbing on a brake pad: that high-pitched, metallic tinging sound.
- Truing a wheel. This video comes from another great online resource specializing in DIY, RJ The Bike Guy. RJ shows you how to true without a truing stand by using the seat-stays or brake pads as reference. When turning the nipples; righty-loosey, lefty-tighty.