As we've said before, cycling can be a great way to get around off the grid, and even has the added benefit of helping you stay in shape. However, it's not necessarily as simple as hopping on a bike and going for a ride. Like any vehicle, it's essential to keep tabs on the maintenance and wear items. Otherwise, you could end up stranded and pushing a broken bicycle on the journey back home.

The following infographic from Visual.ly shows ten of the most important mechanical components of a bicycle, and gives a few helpful tips on how to maintain each item.

Bicycle Maintenance Checklist 1

Obviously, it won't be necessary to meticulously check each of these items before every ride, but they're good to look out for if you buy a used bike or remove one from long-term storage. For bikes that are regularly ridden, a simplified version of this bicycle maintenance checklist can be used, and is often called the “ABC” check. Here's what each letter stands for:

  • Air – Inflate each tire to the rated pressure stamped on the sidewall. Use a pressure gauge to check the PSI, if your pump doesn't have one built-in. Also inspect the tread for damage or punctures.
  • Brakes – Spin each wheel and check for brake clearance/rubbing. Check brake pad adjustment and remaining material (which should be more than 1/4 inch thick). Check the adjustment of each brake lever, which should be about 1 inch from the handlebar when fully squeezed.
  • Chain – Ensure the chain is lubricated, clean, and operating smoothly. Occasionally scrubbing the chain clean and applying fresh lubricant will prevent future wear or derailment.

cogburn-cb4-bicycle-with-gear

When it comes to survival, simplicity is key, and vehicles don't get much simpler than a bicycle. Just give your bike a little maintenance now and then, and it will reward you with reliable, speedy transportation for years to come.


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