At Mister Vélo, the racing bikes we receive will be completely disassembled. All parts will be thoroughly cleaned, greased and made operational again. By carrying out maintenance in this way, the bicycle will last for times again. For the user, such an extensive maintenance service is probably too much. Fortunately, you can safely work more easily, but keep in mind that proper maintenance is certainly important for the durability of your racing bike.
Which parts deserve the most attention?
The parts that are most endured during cycling are the chain, the sprockets, brake pads and the front and rear gear system. The tires and cables are also important, but are often easy to judge visually. Keep the brake pads clean especially after a ride in wet weather. A lot of sand may then remain on the blocks. This is bad for the rims and your braking distance. It is best to check the tires before every ride for the possible remaining stones in the tread. Removing them reduces the risk of punctures and will save you extra maintenance costs.
The moving parts of your bike require proper maintenance. But how?
A lot of people think, the more grease the better. That is incorrect. Keep the chain ‘dry’ in other words; use a cloth after a few rides e.g. 250 km and clean and dry the chain.
Place the bike against a wall and hold a cloth around the chain. Turn the pedal backwards as long as the chain is clean enough. Put a film layer of teflon oil over the chain and remove the excess of oil the next day. Too much oil will really attract more sand and dust. It accumulates between the rear sprockets and the gear system. What you want to prevent.
The front and rear derailleur
You will notice that sand will stuck between the moving parts of the front and back derailleur system. Especially with wet weather conditions. The best option is to maintain them by cleaning with water en soap. This is not necessary after every ride, but it is when you notice that there is sand in both systems. When both are cleaned, dry everything thoroughly. Also here you can use a little bit of oil too. But be sparing! The more oil, the more caked up dirt.
Note: never use a high pressure cleaner. Water is harmful to ball bearings in wheel axles and brackets.
The brake pads
In the Netherlands weather conditions are not always optimal. You will soon notice that in wet weather your brake pads will make a grinding and abrasive sound. This has consequences for the wheels of your racing bike. But also for the braking distance. Especially with vintage racing bikes with chrome wheels the braking can decrease significantly. This can be dangerous of course. Therefore, check the brake pads before every ride and keep them clean as much as possible.
Cycling with a vintage racing bike in wet weather is not the most ideal situation. Because most parts are old and, given their age, less advanced than parts of modern racing bikes. So always be extra alert in wet weather!
- Check your tires, brakes and keep the chain smooth running before every ride.
- Be sparing with oil on the chain.
- Maintain your bike after a number of rides (approx. every 250 km).
- Be extra alert in wet weather.
- Leave extensive maintenance to a professional.
- Regularly doing good maintenance on your racing bike is important. Cleaning and maintaining of the components will extend durability and saves unnecessary costs.