It’s the most obvious but least carried out tech corner tip we probably have ever done (according to all our bike shop buddies), you’ve just ridden your new bike a few times and you are not particularly thinking about repairing anything, but one of the most frequent reasons that a bikes not working properly is because the rider didn’t notice something loose or out of wack after a few rides.
It takes about 5 mins to go over the bike, but if you do it you will ensure that the bike keeps working as it should.
Tools: Allen keys, Torque wrench.
Start with the headset. Squeeze the front brake and with the other hand, hold the headset/headtube junction and rock the bike back and forwards, listen for and feel for any play in the headset. If there is, tighten it up.
Use a bike stand if you can, it keeps you focused on the job in hand and keeps the bike steady.
Check that your brake calipers are tight on the frame and aligned properly with the rotors.
Check that all the suspension shock bolts are tight.
Check the pivots on the frame are all correctly torqued, sometime they can work loose very early on.
Go over the handle bar and stem clamp bolts, make sure they are at the correct torque as well.
Check the brake disc bolts are tightened correctly.
Check the rear cassette is not loose, the extreme forces here mean that sometimes it works loose and it needs tightening.
Check your bottom bracket is tight, ours was loose and required a quick tightening on the non drive side crank.
Check that your derailleur gap is spaced correctly and that the derailleur is adjusted properly, notice our cable has become already split, so we changed it. Often after the first couple of rides the cable stretches causing the gearing to come out of adjustment. Typically this can be fine tuned at the barrel adjuster on your shifter(s)
We also make sure the rear derailleur hanger is aligned.
The last job is to check spoke tension. Nowadays wheels are built really well, but often need a quick check especially if you have been riding off road roughly. Here we find all the spokes are tight enough, we didn’t have a tensionometer, so the next best thing is to grab two at a time by hand and apply a bit of pressure and see if they move too much. Typically after a few rides, most wheels will need a half to a whole turn at each spoke.
Mechanic, Leonardo @ Punta Ala Trail Center