Finally gotten your hands on a foldable bike you always wanted? Or you are looking to buy a folding bike in Singapore and wondering how you should maintain it afterwards?
We have the perfect guide for you on the what-ifs and know-hows of conducting proper folding bike maintenance. Your bike is constantly exposed to road dirt and vibrations, thus regular maintenance is essential for ensuring its longevity and performance.
Cleaning Your Foldable Bike
Folding bikes generally sit more on the ground where more dirt and road dust are present, making grime more likely to grow. Cleaning regularly will help ensure the smooth operation of your folding bike.
You could try using high-pressure washers where the water jet can easily remove any dirt or grime off the exterior layer of the bicycle, however this exposes your bike’s frame to moisture, potentially causing corrosion. Be sure to keep your folding bike moisture-free after your regular cleaning schedule, ensuring all the spaces and all the screws are dry.
Cleaning A Folding Bike Frame
Since folding bikes offer much better entry points than regular bikes, dirt can easily enter the frame, hence you’ll need extra care to prevent debris from settling on them. Occasionally a bicycle user will wash his bicycle with high-pressure hoses, but doing so can damage sensitive parts of the bike and wear off the paint.
We recommend using warm soapy water with cloths or sponges to scrub the dirt off the pavement. For dirt which gets stuck in the surfaces, citrus degreases are fine, but do not go overboard and rinse thoroughly. Once that’s completed, you should wash it off and dry your bike off with a towel to prevent rust.
Remember, a folding bicycle must be thoroughly inspected to keep dirt out of its frame!
Cleaning The Seat Post
The seat post of your bicycle is an important component that needs to be kept clean and well-maintained; cleaning it allows easy lifting and lowering since it’s completely free of dirt.
To clean your bicycle seat post, start by removing it from the bike. Use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe away any dirt or grime from the surface. If the position is particularly dirty, you can use mild warm soapy water or cleaning solution to help remove any stubborn stains or marks.
Next, rinse the post with clean water and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel. Clean the inside of the seat tube as well, making sure no dirt is trapped inside.
Once you are done, reattach the post to your bike, and you are ready to ride! Regular cleaning of the post will not only help to extend its lifespan but also improve the overall performance and comfort of your bike.
Cleaning The Wheels and Checking Their Pressure
Cleaning the wheels is an important part of bike maintenance, as dirt and debris can build up and affect the bike’s performance.
To clean the wheels, remove the bike’s wheels from the frame. Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to gently scrub away any dirt or grime from the wheels, paying special attention to hard-to-reach areas like the wheel rims as it could affect the brake system.
If the wheels are particularly dirty, you can use a mild soap or cleaning solution to help remove any stubborn stains or marks. Rinse the wheels with clean water and dry them thoroughly with a clean towel.
Once the wheels are clean and dry, apply a small amount of lubricant to the bearings and axles to help prevent rust and ensure smooth operation. Reattach the wheels to the bike, and you are ready to go.
Checking the correct wheel pressure is crucial for your folding bike as it affects the bike’s performance, safety, and overall riding experience.
To check the wheel pressure, start by referring to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure range, which can usually be found on the sidewall of the tire. Using a reliable pressure gauge, check the pressure of each tire and adjust as necessary.
Overinflated tires can lead to a harsh ride and reduced traction, while deflated tires can increase the risk of flats and negatively affect handling. It’s essential to regularly check the tire pressure, as it can naturally decrease over time, especially with changes in temperature.
By regularly cleaning and checking the wheels of your folding bike, you can ensure that it performs at its best and stays in proper working order.
Cleaning The Brakes
The brakes on your bicycle are essential for safe and reliable stopping, which is why it is important to keep them clean and well-maintained.
To clean the brakes, start by wiping away any dirt or debris from the brake pads and rims using a clean cloth or paper towel. You can also use a mild cleaning solution or light degreaser to remove any stubborn stains or build-up. If your bike has a disc brake system, ensure the rotor blades are kept clean and dry to avoid squealing when you brake.
Look out for any telltale wear line, such as cracks or uneven wear, and replace them if necessary. Adjust the brake cable tension as needed to ensure that the brakes engage smoothly and effectively. It is also a good idea to periodically inspect the brake cables and housing for any signs of damage or wear and replace them if necessary.
Brakes are the most common components that wear out. By regularly cleaning and maintaining the brakes on your foldable bicycle, you can ensure that they work properly and keep you safe on your journey.
Cleaning and Lubricating The Drivetrain
Drivetrain is the part that moves your bicycle; it includes the gears and levers. By regularly cleaning and lubricating the drivetrain, you can ensure that it operates smoothly and quietly.
You can start by wiping away any dirt or debris from the chain, derailleur, and cassette using a clean cloth or brush. Apply a degreaser to the chain and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a chain brush. Rinse off the chain and drivetrain with clean water and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel.
Make sure that your degreaser does not come in contact with your rotor blades.
Once the drivetrain is clean and dry, apply a lubricant to the chain and derailleur pulleys, being careful not to over-lubricate. Wipe away any excess lubricant and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping the chain again to ensure that it is properly lubricated. It’s important to use a lubricant that is appropriate for the conditions you will be riding in, such as wet or dry conditions.
Lubricating The Hinge On Your Folding Bike
Your folding bike, of course, needs to be foldable. It is essential to have the folding parts like the hinges properly fixed. Regular sanitisation helps reduce rust and keeps a hinge in optimum functioning condition.
Getting a hinge stuck can be frustrating to fix and when it happens you can start by cleaning the hinge and its surrounding area with a degreaser or rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt or debris. Apply a lubricant to the hinge and work it in by gently moving the hinge back and forth.
Alternatively, try gently tapping it with a rubber mallet or hammer to loosen it. If it is still stuck, then it may need to be adjusted or replaced. Check the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a folding bike specialist for specific guidance on adjusting or replacing the hinge.
Conduct A Regular Safety Inspection For Your Folding Bike
To keep your folding bike in its optimum condition, you may conduct a regular safety inspection.
Start off by checking the brakes to ensure that they engage smoothly and effectively, and adjust the brake cable tension as needed. Check the tires for any signs of damage or wear, and make sure that they are properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.
The brake pads need to be checked as well to ensure properly braking. Badly worn out pads need to be replaced.
Inspect the drivetrain for any signs of wear, and make sure that they are properly lubricated. Check the pedals and crankset for any signs of damage or looseness, and tighten them as needed. Check the handlebars, stem, and headset for any signs of looseness or wear, and make sure that they are properly aligned.
Finally, check the saddle and seat post for any signs of looseness or damage, and make sure that they are properly adjusted to your riding position.
By regularly performing a safety inspection on your folding bicycle, you can ensure that your folding bike is functioning properly and safe to ride.
You can also come down to Mighty Velo, Singapore’s premier folding bike shop! Our dedicated bike mechanics would be happy to help you with your folding bike maintenance issues.