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The best way to tune your bike

Tune up the bike can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and a little knowledge, it’s easy to keep your bike running smoothly anywhere. If your bike has been dragging for a while and you’re ready to get back in the saddle, it’s always a good idea to do a simple tune-up before you take it out on the track.

Even if your bike isn’t dusty, a tune-up and safety check before a big ride is recommended. Something as small as fixing a rattling chain or awkward shifting can make all the difference on your next bike adventure.

What tools do you need to tune a bicycle?

Tools for a bike tune-up

Tuning a bike can be difficult if you don’t have the right set of tools. If you’re wondering whether or not your basic auto or home repair tool kit will work, the short answer is no. Most tool kits intended for use in the home or on cars use standard American measurements, and there are very few bikes on the market made with these standards in mind.

Bikes are known to have some of the most delicate parts and parts, so using tools that handle delicate fittings will likely do more harm than good. A set of bicycle tools such as the Park Tool PH-1.2 P-Handle Hex Wrench Set will be very useful for any bicycle owner.

Another essential tool that you will need in your arsenal is a torque wrench. When considering which torque wrench to buy, it is best to look for a tool specifically designed for working on bikes, such as the Pro Bike Tool Drive Click torque wrench.

Bicycle wheel tools

When checking your wheels, be sure to look for any loose spokes in the tire. If you notice any shaky spokes you will need to use a spoke wrench to secure the spokes to the rim.

A reliable pump is recommended for any bicycle owner. When choosing a pump, simplicity is essential. The only feature you will need on a pump is an accurate gauge. For bicycle tires with inner tubes, the SKS Rennkompressor is a proven pump that bicycle repair shops across the country recommend universally.

Stans no tube

If you have a bike with tubeless tires, a tune-up is a great time to reseal the tires to the rim using a sealant such as Stans No Tubes.

Bicycle brake tools

When checking your brakes, there are several things to consider. First of all, what type of braking system do you have? Most standard bikes will have a cable actuated brake system, which can be easily checked by examining the integrity of the brake cable.

Park Tool BKD-1 Hydraulic Bike Brake Bleed Kit - DOT Fluid

If your bike uses a hydraulic disc brake system, you will need to make sure the brakes are properly bled during tune-ups. The good news is that there are products available to help with this process, such as the Park Tool BKD-1 Hydraulic Bike Brake Bleed Kit.

How to adjust a bicycle

How to clean a bicycle

The first step in any tune-up is to properly clean your bike. You can use any grease-resistant dish soap or a product specially designed for cleaning bikes, such as WD-40 Bike Degreaser, for this. After letting the degreaser sit on your bike for about 10 minutes, spray it with water.

Bike safety check

This is perhaps the most crucial part of any bike tune-up. Inspect the body of the bike, especially around the wheel and seat post, for any cracks. If you do notice any scratches, be sure to inspect them carefully to confirm that they are not cracks in the frame of your bike.

Check the wheels and brakes. Pay special attention to the brake pads. If they look worn out, it’s time to replace them.

Check that the chain, cassette and derailleurs are not damaged. The fastest way to do this is to shift gears and watch out for awkward gear changes or jumps in gear.

If you notice anything wrong with your wheels, brakes, or chain, grab your tools and make the necessary tune-ups.

How to lubricate a bicycle chain

WD-40 Bicycle Chain Lubricant

The last step in tuning a bicycle is to relubricate the chain. This is done by taking a chain lubricant, such as WD-40 Bicycle Chain Lube, and applying a small drop to each roll of the chain. Make sure that excess lubricant does not get on any of the brake components during application. After the lubricant is applied to the chain, rotate the chain well to distribute the lubricant evenly. Next, go over your gears to make sure the chain passes through them seamlessly.

What you should buy for a tune up bike

Park Tool PH-1.2 P-Handle Hex Key Set

Park Tool PH-1.2 P-Handle Hex Key Set

This tool set is a must have for anyone looking to tune their bike at home.

Sold by Amazon

Pro Bike Tool Drive Click Torque Wrench

Pro Bike Tool Drive Click Torque Wrench

Every bike owner needs a torque wrench, and you can’t beat this set for the price.

Sold by Amazon

Winzwon bicycle spoke wrench

Winzwon bicycle spoke wrench

A great tool for tune-ups on bicycle tires and correcting loose spokes.

Sold by Amazon

SKS Rennk compressor

SKS Rennk compressor

A reliable and robust pump with an accurate pressure gauge. This pump is one of the most recommended on the market.

Sold by Amazon

WD-40 Bike Service Pack

WD-40 Bike Service Pack

This WD-40 bicycle maintenance kit comes with a bicycle degreaser for cleaning and a bicycle lubricant to re-lubricate the chain after cleaning. The package is the cheapest way to get everything you need for a tune-up.

Sold by Amazon

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Addison hoggard written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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