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Haynes Manual



Congratulations on getting your new bike!

There are some things
every bike owner should know...

There are just four things you need to do to keep a bike in good shape for years to come, and they are:

Pump it - All bicycle tires have their recommended inflation pressures printed on the sidewalls. Below a certain minimum pressure (about 35 psi for mountain bikes and 95 psi for 700x25 road bikes), the tires will wear out very quickly, the rims will get dented more easily, and you will feel as though you are glued to the pavement. It is normal for air to seep out over time, and you lose more pressure when it gets cold at night. Check your tire pressure with a gauge, and do it often. The single best bit of preventive maintenance you can do is to buy a high quality pump with a gauge built in. I've had mine for 28 years.

Oil it - Think about the timing chain in a car engine: it runs in an oil bath inside the engine, so it never gets dirt and grit between its links and every link gets lubricated every single time it gets flexed. How many times do the links on your bike chain flex in between oilings? Brattleboro Bike Shop recommends wiping off the dirt (even better, flush it off with water) and oiling your chain after every three hours of use. With this care, a quality, seven-speed bike chain is good for 2500 miles of clean, dry, road bike riding. This expected service life decreases the more wet weather or dusty, dirt road riding you do, and it is also less for eight and nine-speed chains. Change your mountain bike chain every 100 hours of trail riding, sooner if you get muddy a lot. Once you can feel a burr on the edges of the cog teeth, you'll need to replace those, as well.

Clean it - Dry wiping to remove dirt from your glossy, clear-coated finish will dull it over time. Get a sponge and a bucket and flush off the dirt and mud. Be very careful with a hose. Any water that gets past the bearing seals in anything that spins will just sit in there, corroding the bearings. Water in your suspension fork is the beginning of the end.

Never, ever let anyone else ride it (except maybe your mother). Really, this is no joke. At the very least, loan out your bike with the certain knowledge that nobody else will care about it the way you do, and it just might come back broken. Hey, if you really love someone, you wouldn't mind that so much—and you should only consider lending your bike to someone you really love, right?


  Haynes Bike maintenance manual
  As anyone who has ever serviced their own car will tell you, Haynes makes the best manuals. Every book is based on a complete tear-down and rebuild of the vehicle in question, and each operation in this bike book has excellent color photo sequences.
  $23.99 Call 800-BRATBIK to order

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165 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301-3061 (802) 254-8644