Maintenance Chart


  • Print out this page and attach it to your workbench or toolbox to use as a checklist.
  • These are general service guidelines for road and mountain bikes.
  • Bicycles ridden off road typically require more frequent and extensive service than road models
  • If you notice problems or have questions about anything on your bicycle, call us and we'll be delighted to advise you on what maintenance is required.
  • If your bike is heavily used, abused or has been crashed, we recommend bringing it in for a thorough check and service to ensure that it's running properly.

Every Ride

  • Check tire pressure & add air if needed.
  • Check the tire tread for wear and embedded debris that could cause a flat.
  • Check that the wheel quick releases are tight and that the wheels are secure.
  • Spin wheels looking for wobbles, which indicate you should have your wheel trued.
  • Squeeze brakes to make sure they're grabbing and check to see that the brake pads are in good condition and that they strike the rims (not the tires!).
  • Compress and release the suspension to check that it's working properly.
  • Check chain & add lube if it looks dry.
  • Make sure you've got your spare tube, tools, pump, etc.


  • Clean the bike with a rag (or soap and water if it's real dirty) and inspect the frame and components for signs of wear such as cracks.
  • Wipe the chain and cassette cogs clean with a rag and earth-friendly degreaser and relube.
  • Check the wheels for loose spokes.
  • Test with a wrench, the tightness of the: crankarms, pedals, chainring bolts, seat bolt, seatpost bolt, stem bolts, handlebar bolts and all accessory mounting bolts/screws.
  • Lube the brake, derailleur and clipless-pedal pivot points.
  • Lube the cables to prevent binding and check the cables for fraying and rusting and replace if necessary;
  • Check clipless pedals and cleats for loose screws/bolts.
  • Maintain and lube your suspension components according to the advice in the owner's manual.

Six Months

  • Clean and wax the frame to protect the paint/finish (not necessary on bare titanium frames); once it's clean, inspect the frame and fork for any cracks or damage.
  • Check and replace tires if needed; also check your spare tube and patch kit to make sure the spare holds air and the kit has glue & patches.
  • Check the hubs, bottom bracket, headset: adjust and/or overhaul as needed.
  • Check all cables and housings for fraying, breaks, rust and corrosion and replace if necessary.
  • Check for worn brake pads and replace if needed; also replace worn handlebar tape or grips.
  • Check for chain, cassette cog and chainring wear and replace worn parts as required.
  • Clean the drivetrain (chain, chainrings, cassette, front and rear derailleurs) with biodegradable solvent and rags.
  • Maintain and lube your suspension components according to the advice in the owner's manual.

Spring Tune-Up

Spring Bicycle Tune-Up

Spring is in the air, the birds are singing, and daylight savings time is just around the corner!  Some of us have been dedicated cyclists throughout the winter while others have just hung up our bikes through the cold wet months. Either way, now that it is warming up outside it is time to get your ride ready for spring.

Most of these checks can be done by a novice. If you do not have time or energy to go through the full bike inspection of your bike checkout the Pre-Ride Checklist for the basics. If you see a problem bring your bike to either Folsom Bike location and let us perform a FREE safety check. A basic tune-up is a good value if you do not like getting your fingers dirty. All others should go through the following bike inspection. There can be a great sense of satisfaction that comes from maintaining your own bike. If you have more questions, we invite you to attend one of our FREE maintenance classes offered twice a month.

Cleaning -- It is important to start with a clean bike. Keeping your bike clean will extend the life of your components. As you clean the bike take the time to inspect everything. Look for cracks or other signs of wear that could cause future breakdowns or part failures. Clean the chain, chainrings, cassette, derailleurs, etc. with a biodegradable cleaner. Simple green works great for this. Use an old tooth brush and clean everything. Use as little water as possible. Clean the pedals, the brakes, tires, rims, and the frame. Remove the seatpost from the frame and wipe off any dirt. Wipe the inside of the frame where the seatpost slides into. Apply a very small amount of good grease to the post and reinstall.

Brake System Check the brake pads. Unfasten the brake cable and look at the brake pads closely. The pads should be wearing evenly. If you have a ridge in the pads then your brakes may need to be adjusted. If the pads are worn or not smooth then get some new pads. Old brake pads tend to harden and If the pads are ok then reconnect the straddle cable and squeeze the brakes. Do the pads strike the rim at the same time? You can adjust the brake arm tension screw that is usually on one of the brake arms so the brakes are even.

Wheels Clean the rims with a cloth and rubbing alcohol, beer won't work! Check the rim for pits or grooves in the sidewall of the rim. Spin the wheels. Do they go around straight or do they wobble? You can make minor adjustments to the wheel with a spoke wrench. For major tweaking bring it to Folsom Bike for our experienced mechanics to use a truing stand and get it back in true.

Drivetrain -- Elevate the rear wheel and spin the pedals. This is where a stand comes in handy. Shift through all the rear gears. Shifting from gear to gear should be smooth. If it skips try adjusting your rear derailleur. If this fails to correct the problem your chain, cogset, and chainrings may be worn. The chain is the first to go. Chains last from 6 months to a year. A good chain is well worth the investment. Examine your chain closely for side slop and stretch which are signs that your chain is wearing out. If your chain is worn it can prematurely wear on your cogs and rings.

In the front try shifting the derailleur. Adjust your front derailleur if needed. Check the front chainrings for excessive wear or missing teeth. Small chainrings wear out much faster your larger ones. If all is well your bike will now shift perfect. Apply some fresh lube of your preference.

Tires -- If the brake pads were out of alignment they may have damaged the tires. Check tires for splits, cracks, or tears in the sidewall. Check the tread of the tire for worn knobs, uneven tread wear, or excessive wear. Replace the tires if needed. There is nothing worse than having a tire blow out because it needed to be replaced.

Cables If you ride all year round you should replace your brake and/or derailleur housing once per year. If you keep your bike clean you can use the same housing for longer. Dirty or rusty cables will diminish shifting performance. You can purchase bulk housing and install it yourself if you have some quality cable cutters and know how. The cable ferules can be reused. Install the new housing and adjust the brakes and derailleurs. Fresh cables make shifting and braking smooth.

Lube -- Apply lubrication to the chain. It should be applied so there is an even coat on the inside and outside of each link and between the pins and rollers. Leave it on for a few minutes, then wipe off the excess lube with a rag. A few drops should be added to the cables at the nipple end. Gore-Tex and other Teflon cables should never be lubricated. All the pivot points on the front and rear derailleur should be oiled. Apply a few drops to the brake lever pivots and to the exposed brake cable.

Is everything tight? Check all nuts and bolts on the bike. Do not over-tighten any of the quick releases or bolts. For Shimano torque specifications click here. Congratulations if you made it through and completed your spring tune-up.


**Disclaimer: All information supplied is for reference only. Have all installations and repairs done by a professional mechanic.


  • Check all bearing systems: hubs, bottom bracket, headset and pedals: adjust and/or overhaul as needed.
  • Check all cables and housings for fraying, breaks, rust and corrosion and replace if necessary.
  • Replace brake pads, rubber brake hoods and handlebar tape if necessary.
  • Clean and check wheels carefully for signs of wear such as worn sidewalls (braking surface) or cracks at the spoke nipples.
  • Check the hubs, bottom bracket, headset: adjust and/or overhaul as needed.
  • Overhaul the pedals to check the bearings and add fresh grease; if you're using toe straps, check them for wear and replace if needed.
  • Maintain and lube your suspension components according to the advice in the owner's manual.
  • Lube your frame and home pump.

Take advantage of our FREE Maintenance Class on the first Saturday of every month at 8am for more tips and tricks on bicycle maintenance.