How Often To Service My Bike? What To Service & Why!

Whether you’re, you’re a seasoned veteran, weekend warrior, or new to the sport, understanding when to service your bike could mean the difference between riding safely or coming off at high speed.

Servicing your bike is an essential part of any rider’s bike maintenance schedule, but the question always arises, how often do I need to service my bike? On Average, Road, Triathlon & Mountain bikes are expected to be serviced at least once a year or every 600 to 1,000 miles. The exception to this rule is that if the bike is ridden every day or around 5 times a week, then it is recommended to service it once every 6 to 9 months.

Not only is servicing important from a safety perspective, but servicing your bike at the right time can save you from burning a big fat hole in your wallet.

Many riders opt to service their bikes once or twice a year, while others have the skills and tools to service their bikes from home. Either way, maintaining your bike in tip-top shape is paramount to the safety and longevity of your bike. After all, you’ve spent thousands of dollars on initial outlay, so maintaining your bike correctly only makes sense.

What Are the Signs Your Bike Needs a Service ?

When it comes to knowing when to service your bike, there a serval telltale signs that will alert you it’s time to take your bike in for a proper tune-up . (Source)

Telltale signs your bike needs a tune-up

  • You hear squeaking coming from your bottom bracket and other areas you cant identify.
  • If you have trouble and are finding it tough braking
  • When you’re pedaling, it feels like you are crunching metal on metal.
  • You can see considerable amounts of visible dirt building up around critical components such as the rear cog and derailleur.

Why Do You Need a Bike Service?

Getting your bike serviced is absolutely critical to not only your riding safety but to everyone around. Without regular servicing, vital components like brakes and gears can become damaged or clogged with dirt making them less effective or, in some cases, failing completely.

A new service will also greatly increase the enjoyment of riding your bike; even after a light service and cleaning, your bike can feel brand new. No more squeaks and noises coming from unknown places; you can ride in silence and don’t have to be embarrassed anymore when you’re out on group rides.

For most people living within a budget is a part of everyday life. Taking care of your bike by keeping it clean will not only make your riding experience a better one, but it will save you big money in the long run. Now, that’s a 360 win!

What Is Checked During a Bike Service?

The answer to this question obviously varies greatly and is largely dependent on the bike shop you take it to.

Ideally, the best course of action is to take your bike into the shop and have them do a quick inspection. Many bike shops will inspect your bike for free, and it gives you and them an idea of what level of service your bike requires.

Generally, if you clean your bike and look after it, your bike will probably only require light servicing, which might include things such as:

  • Changing the chain
  • Lubrication
  • Adjustment of brakes
  • A thorough wash

We recommend that you check out our post How Many Miles Should a Bike Chain Last? What to Do About It ?!

However, if you’ve neglected to take care of your bike, you might be in for a shock, as it’s possible it may need a complete overhaul or full service, which would include:

  • Changing tires
  • Changing the chain
  • Replacing all cables and bearings
  • Truing the wheels
  • New brakes and maybe even
  • New componentry

By taking the time to give your bike a quick wash down after each ride, you can significantly increase its longevity and keep wear and tear on components such as the derailleur to a minimum. 

Also find out How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Bike Derailleur? (Maintenance Tips!)

Again when riding your bike, safety is paramount, and for the sake of 5 minutes, it doesn’t take much.

One example is the breaking pads. Check out How Long Do Bicycle Brake Pads Last & How To Change It? Disc VS Rim Breaks!

How Much Does a Bike Service Cost?

According to nimblefins, the average cost for a bike service in 2022 can range from $50 right up to nearly $300. (Source)

Again giving in the exact price is complicated as many different factors need to be considered, such as how old your bike is, when it was last serviced, type of brand, how often you ride, and your goals.

Replacing expensive componentry like Shimano Di2, for example, is obviously going to be much more expensive than replacing traditional mechanical gearing. Be sure to do your research; asking friends in your cycling circle where their bikes are serviced is an excellent way to find the best service and price.

Essential Tips for Maintaining your Bike

Maintaining your bike is not as difficult as you may think, and performing some quick checks can go a long way to keeping your bike riding smoothly.

Below are five simple checks that you can regularly perform to keep your bike looking and feeling brand new.

  1. After every ride, get into the habit of giving your bike a quick hose down. You don’t even need soapy water each time, although it is recommended. But even just a quick hose down can help clean off any dirt and grime.
  1. Indexing your gears, although it sounds very technical, is one of the easiest and simplest checks and adjustments you can perform. Keeping your gears indexed correctly will reduce wear and tear on expensive components and make your riding experience a smooth and quiet one. 
  1. Tire pressure is also another critical factor to check for maintaining a safe bike. Ensuring you have the correct tire pressure makes the riding experience a much more enjoyable one. If your tire pressure is too low, you feel bogged down, which can put unwanted pressure on your rims. If the tire pressure is too high, you feel every bump on the road.
  1. Performing a quick “look over” will help you identify any parts that look worn and might need replacing. Again it’s best to perform this after each ride, and it only takes a minute.
  1. Prevention is better than a cure. Well, the same goes for bike care. Make sure you purchase a bike that’s well within your budget. Remember, expensive bikes have expensive componentry, and they’ll need to be replaced at some point. 

Brenton Barker

Brenton is an Australian with 20 years of experience working with professional athletes. These athletes have combined to win more than ten international events. He holds a Degree in Sports Coaching and was the former Head Advisor to the Japanese Government Sports Institute. He was the former Manager & Head Coach to Tennis Australia and was a Dunlop International Advisory Board member for eight years. His expertise is in Goal Setting, Health & Nutrition, Internal and External Motivation, Technical Analysis, and Program Design and Delivery. Brenton currently consults with several professional athletes and clients from varying backgrounds and sports.

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