A bike is arguably the most expensive piece of equipment a triathlete will invest in. And it also requires the most maintenance. Before you head out on your next competition, make sure your bike is ready for the race.
1. Wipe it Down and Degrease
A clean bike is a fast bike – so the saying goes. The first step to preparing your bike for a triathlon is to wipe it down and degrease the drivetrain.
Keeping your bike clean and degreasing the drivetrain will help prevent premature wear and tear. It will also help you spot any signs of damage early, so you can make repairs before the problem gets worse.
2. Check Your Wheels
Next, check the spokes of your tires to make sure none are loose. Check the wheel bearings to make sure they’re tight, and make sure your wheels are spinning properly.
Check to make sure your tires are in good condition. Look for signs of wear or frayed sidewalls and any objects embedded in the tire that may lead to a puncture.
Before you move onto the next stage, check the tire pressure. Ideally, the pressure should be at 100 psi, but do check the manufacturer’s recommended pressures.
3. Check the Drivetrain
The next step is to make sure the drivetrain is running properly and isn’t showing any signs of wear.
Start by lubricating the cables and making sure they’re running smoothly. Check the front rings and chain for any signs of damage or wear. Check each gear, both front and rear, for signs of shifting issues.
4. Check the Brakes
Next, check the brakes to ensure they’re lubed and the cables aren’t obstructed. The pads should make proper contact with the braking surface, and the calipers should be functioning as normal.
Inspect the pad for any objects or debris that may be lodged or stuck.
5. Check Seat, Pedals and Other Contact Points
Bikes can take a beating from training and competitions, which is why it’s important to check all contact points before heading out for your next triathlon.
Contact points include the seat, pedals, cleats and bar-tape.
Look for signs of damage or wear in these areas, and make adjustments or replacements as necessary. Remember, many of these parts play a key role in your comfort level while biking, so you want them to be in good shape to prevent discomfort or pain while riding.
6. Check the Headset
Inspect the headset, and make sure the right and left bearings are running smoothly. Check for play by sitting on the bike, applying the brake, and rocking the bike back and forth. Feel for any movement in the bearings.
7. Check Bolts
The final step is to check all bolts to make sure they are at the torque recommended by the manufacturer.
After cleaning, checking and making adjustments, take your bike out for a ride to make sure it runs well and is comfortable. Make any additional adjustments as necessary, and always remember to wipe down your bike after each use.