Bicycle Service Maintenance Guide

Regular maintenance and periodical checks will keep your bicycle working better, last longer and increase the pleasure of your cycling

Bicycle Service Maintenance Schedule 

Here at Cycle Tech UK, we want you to enjoy riding your bike as much as we do and for you to know when to service and maintain it for longer life.
Bikes where once more durable and looking after meant having a few tools, including a grease gun and a can of oil. 
Bikes have changed a lot and you will need to take care of your bicycle. This will take time to learn like anything in life, especially if you are new to cycling. So I have made a service check list and maintenance schedule with links to more at the bottom of this post.........
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Bicycles are used for fun, sport and transport with many types and model's. And can be brought from a few hundred quid to over £10,0000. The most durable bike is the custom bike buikd with the best frame and components (from specialist shops and bike builder's) and not the one off the shelf. The bike sold ready to go will be cheaper to buy, but will have cheap componants that soon need replacing.

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Every bike needs a mechanic

Cyclists quit often ask;
"When should I have my bike serviced?"
"What's included in a service?"

When a bike is sold, the buyer isn't told what needs to be done to help keep the bike in good condition. In fact many bikes brought online have never been set up proberly. 
Often we see bikes after a month or so from the date of purchase and problems already appear. Whilst every bike and rider we see is unique, we know for sure bicycles are not maintenance free. In fact, every bike needs a mechanic at some point.
Many cyclists just ride their bikes without paying attention to the running of their bicycle.
This is mainly due to 4 things:
  1. Not having any mechanical experience or new to cycling
  2. The bicycle was never set up correctly in the first place or even riding the wrong size bike.
  3. Many problums go unnoticed as parts wear slowly or brakes/gears go out of adjustment slowly and the rider is unaware. 
  4. The bicycle has never been serviced
  5. People are quick to spend money on shiny new wheels but not on having their bike maintained 
Cyclists will often only bring their bicycle into the workshop for a service when there is a problem, like a wheel stops turning or there is a noise coming from the crank. I totally understand, if the bike can be ridden why go to the mechanic "I could be spending my time cycling"
In the bike trade, we call this prevented maintenance. No maintenance means expensive repairs or you may have a failure while out riding and can cause safety issues to the rider.

After a service has been preformed and properly set up to the rider, customers can then feel the difference of their bicycle. Also, the mechanic can give the rider some advice for what to do between servicing. In time the rider will gain knowledge, get into a routine of pre-ride checks and regularly clean and lubricating.

You can spread the costs of maintenance and this would also make the cost of a repair less if you have your bike serviced regularly, daily pre-ride checks, clean and change your chain before it wears out more components or before it breaks.

Coming from a mechanical background - I have worked 20 years in the motor trade, for a dealership adhering to British Standards and regular scrutinized checks from the AA & RAC. With over 12 years in the bike trade I have come accustomed to working to a procedure and working from checklists that have helped me to learn more as well as doing the best job I can.
I like to share with you a guide to help you take better care of your bicycle for years to come.

After Care Service

Free Service Book - Keep a useful record of your service history. Download our PDF for you to print. Great for warranty evidence and for when its time to sell or trade in!

The service type can be determined by
  • The use - mileage
  • Normal or Severe riding conditions 
  • By the operating environment (e.g. the effect of temperature, corrosion, weathering, jet washing) 
  • When last serviced
"If you have fallen off your bike or been involved in an accident then your bike will need inspecting by a trained bicycle mechanic before you ride it again"

*Between servicing “Rider Checks” 
You will need some basic tools, (hex-keys) pump with gauge, cleaning brushes/sprays and bike specific lubricants*. Ideally you will have an area to wash your bike and to carry out maintenance. Over time you will build knowledge, tool kit and a workshop.
Regular inspections of the following:

Daily or before each ride: 
  1. Tyre pressures. check  tyres for irregular wear, any cuts in tyre tread, and sidewalls. 
  2. Inspect brake pads/blocks for wear and alignment & brake operation. 
  3. Check quick release on both wheels are closed correctly.
  4. Check wheels spin freely. 
  1. Bike clean - Wipe frame down and wipe chain clean with a little de-greaser, whip off, let dry & re-lubricate
  2. Pump tyres up every month regardless. (If the brake lever pulls against the handlebar grip, the brake cable needs adjusting)
  3. Check that your front wheel and stem do not move independently and that your handlebar and clamp are tight
  4. Pedals spin freely and quietly
  5. Check mudguard and rack bolts
Stop riding your bike and do book your bike in for inspection, if the following occurs:
  • Brakes are not working 100%
  • Leaking brake fluid
  • Headset (Steering becomes loose) as this could cause irreversible damage to the frame head tube. 
  • Bottom bracket (Pedal arms) become wobbly as the chain could become jammed and cause an expensive repair. 
  • Broken spoke causing the wheel to rub on brakes
  • Leaking suspension will wear the parts out inside the shock, give poor performance and poor unsafe handling. Oil from the shock can leak on to the front brake disc!
*Warning: When lubricating your bikes chain and other components DO NOT get oil on the braking surface of the wheel rim (rim brakes) or brake disc. 

Off road use or bike that has been submerged in mud or water - After ride, a full bike clean is required. A strip down of bottom bracket, headset to clean and lightly regrease. Clean drive chain and re-lubricate. Remove seat post wipe post and inside the seat tube. Brake disc pads inspection for wear

*If unsure ask your cycle technician, who will be happy to help. 

Disclaimer - Our mechanics are skilled at their job, you should learn the craft before working on your own bike. As bicycles are evolving all the time, you should use this as a guide only. Please check with manufacturers recommendations before working on your bicycle.

Type of Service
Recommended intervals
We persum the bike was correctly built and set up "PDI" Pre Delivery Inspection to British Standard's when perched.
1st service:
Carried out between 4 – 6 weeks after date of purchase
Basic or Intermediate Service:
At 6 months or 1,000 miles whichever comes first. And then carried out In-between Main service/Overhaul service
Main Service:
Every 12 months or 2000 miles (Whichever is sooner) *When Normal riding conditions apply (or see Overhaul Service) - Bikes used in dry conditions, light use and family type bikes, and kept serviced regularly.
Overhaul Service:
Every 24 months or 4000 miles (Whichever is sooner) **or Every 12 months or 2000 miles when Severe Riding Conditions apply - Bikes that are used in all weather conditions, used for daily commutes, mountain bikes, cyclocross, Tri bikes, used for training and competition. Including not been serviced regularly or it’s been a long time since last service.
The Full Strip Down & Rebuild:
For the keen cyclist, off roaders and for the restoration of classic bikes. 
Suspension Service:
Lower leg service, Damper & Spring service, Air Can service
Lower leg service: every 6 months - winter summer oil

Overhaul service: Every 125 Hours / Yearly, or whichever comes first
Check sag and damper settings. Inspect your product for visual damage and function of all controls.
(See manufacturer's recommended service intervals and oil types)
Changing oil regualy will stop the internal parts wearing out.
Brake bleed service:
D.O.T Fluid - Once a year or as needed
Mineral oil - Every two years or as needed
Chain only Replacement
Chain wear indicator tool reading:
 0    0.2    0.4    0.5    0.75    1.0    1.0 +   ☹
0.75% = 1.59 mm wear per 300 mm of chain length. (1/16" per 12" or/24 links)
Single speed chains replace at 1.0% , 7 speed to 10 speed chains replace at 0.75%, 11 0r 12 speed chains & e-bikes replace at 0.5%
Replace the chain before it wears out the sprockets and chainrings or before it brakes
Note: If you grind the gears by shifting under big load or changing more than one gear at a time components are simply not going to last as long.
Chain & Sprockets
When replacing chain that is worn more than above. Both sprockets and chain should be replaced in this case.
Gear Cables complete
Replace once a year when service carried out
Bearing Wear Inspection:

Headset & BB Bearings

Wheel hub bearings


Frame bearings
  • Inspected at least once a year or at every 2,000 miles or after being submerged in mud or water. “Good practice” after replacing headset bearings - bikes with disc brakes require a follow up to be re-preloaded between 4 - 6 weeks)
  • Replace cartridge wheel bearings every 6000 miles or if there is a rough feeling or noise when you spin the wheels or any side to side play. 
  • Pawls & spring have to be replaced in hub annual service. Inspect bearings. 
  • Inspection Frame bearings, bushes & Pivot bolts. Replace every 2 years

Brake Disc Pads
Replace when less than 1.5 mm of pad braking surface at the minimum point, if contaminated, squealing or not gripping 100%

Buying Tips: 

  • When buying new wheels spend 30% of the value of the bike.
  • Buy good quality brake pads or blocks
  • Use the correct size good quality rim tape 
  • When parts wear out upgrade to a longer lasting product 
  • Bulk buy on brake pads and chains 
  • Before upgrading parts on your bike first make sure your bike is the correct size for you and other components are not worn out and are compatible.

Video - day in the life of a mobile mechanic 

"Bicycles that are ridden in the rain and/or off-road typically require more frequent and an extensive servicing. If you are a frequent commuter or distance rider, you will find that your bike needs servicing more often" 

What’s included in each service 

Note: Service recommended by time or miles - whichever is sooner.

Jersey grey.svg 1st Service
 Carried out between 4 – 6 weeks after date
of purchase
Put bike in work stand
Check crank bolts, steering bolts, seat post clamp and re-tighten
Check wheels are secure
Gear cable adjustments and indexed
Minor Wheel Truing (On Bike)
Check brake operation, check for leaks, calipers and levers for security
Check visual alignment of gear hanger
Pump tyres to correct pressure
Wipe chain clean with degreaser and re oil
Adjust headset play/pre-load
Make any minor adjustments needed to your seating or riding position
Road test

Jersey rosa.svg2. Basic or Intermediate Service & Safety inspection
At first 6 months or at 1000 miles whichever comes first.
and then carried out In-between Annual service
M- check (Pre inspection)
Put bike in stand
Frame Wipe Down
Frame & Fork Safety Inspection
Drivetrain Component wear inspection  
Cable/Housing Inspection
Including (Chain wear measurement and report)
Bottom bracket for play/wear
Remove wheels and feel for bearing wear
Remove quick release skewers clean and lightly lubricate
Bike Torque - Checks include crank arms, pedals and steering
Drivetrain Clean (On Bike) and Lubrication
Wheel Truing (On Bike)
Check headset for free moment and wear, adjust as required
Inspect rim brake blocks for wear and alignment, visual check of brake pads and discs
Lubrication points - rim brake calipers,  derailleurs, brake leaves and seatpost quick release
Brake & gear adjustments
Inspect tyres, valve alignment and inflate to correct pressures. 
(check tyres for irregular wear, any cuts in tyre tread and sidewalls)
Road test
Seat post and quill stem not past maximum height
Check saddle, bars and levers position to rider
Make a final report and any recommendations

Jersey green.svg3. Main Service See Category A bikes*
Recommended at first 2000 miles or at 12, 36, 60 months(Whichever is sooner)
*Cat A bikes: For Normal riding conditions:
Bikes used in dry conditions, light use and family type bikes, and kept serviced regularly.
For Severe Riding Conditions a Overhaul service is required see below.
What's included in a main service:
As Indeterminate Service plus:
Put bike in stand and remove wheels
Frame Wipe Down
Remove wheels - Check wheels & hubs. Inspect wheel rims for wear (Rim brakes)
Clean quick release skewer clean and lightly lube
Check and adjust brakes (Remove pads with disc brakes and inspect)
Cean brake calipers and inspect brake blocks. Lubricant calipers moving points and spring
True wheels on bike
Inspect headset bearings - clean and re-lubricate
Check drivetrain wear (Chain, gears and associated components)
Clean & lubrication of drive chain on bike
Clean & lubrication of brake & gear cables (where possible)
Check and adjust gears
Check suspension (Forks, rear shock, frame bearings & Bushes)
Check torque of bike components (Including Crank bolts, wheel nuts/Quick release,
Check pedal bearings
Remove seat post clean and use the recommended lubricant
Inspect saddle rail and bolts are secure (And position)
Road Test
Diagnostics check and advice on any further work required  
Bike set-up to fit rider   
Clean suspension
Tape bars
Bike Valet - To thoroughly clean and degrease your bike and re-lubricate components
Pawls & spring to be replaced in freehub annual service plus inspect bearings.
Replace gear cables
Replace tubeless sealant
Gear hanger alignment

Jersey blue.svg4 Overhaul Service for Cat B bikes  See Category B bikes**
Recommended at first 4000 miles or at 24, 48, 72 months (Whichever is sooner)
**Cat B bikes: Severe Riding Conditions:
Bikes that are used in all weather conditions, used for daily commutes,
mountain bikes, cyclocross, Tri bikes, used for training and sport.
Including not been serviced regularly or it’s been a long time
since last service. Then a overhaul service every 12 months carried out.
This service should be determined by the operating environment (
e.g. the effect of temperature, corrosion, weathering, jet washing and when last serviced/mileage)
As Main Service above plus the following:
Remove headset bearings & bottom bracket bearings clean, inspect and
grease as required
Wheels “as above” plus inspect hub bearings, freehub, clean & grease as required.
Wheels tensioned and trued (off bike)
Clean chain and cassette off bike. Soak and Scrub
Clean derailleurs
Clean brake discs
Clean suspension stanchions
Replace gear cables (Extra charge for gear cables that fit in bars, stem, frame and
re-tape bars)
Diagnostic report, check & advise on any further
work necessary
Pawls & spring to be replaced in freehub annual service plus inspect bearings.
Pedal service (or replacement) replace bearings and grease, clean threads and refit.
Stem & handle bar clamp bolts - check for corrosion, hex head for damage and replace if necessary.
Extras MTB:
Suspension service
Frame bearing, mountings and bushing replacement
Setup suspension
Replace chain (And cassette)
Replace tubeless sealant
Extras Road/Commuter/Tri/Cyclocross
Tape bars
Replace Chain (And cassette)
Replace brake cables
MaillotReinoUnido.PNG 5. Full Strip Down & Rebuild:
Recommended for the keen cyclist, off roaders,  for the restoration of classic bikes
and for winter storage. 
What’s included in a full strip down and rebuild: 
    An Overhaul service plus:
Complete strip down, clean and re-greasing of components "where applicable"
frame & forks inspection
Complete check on all components - replace bearings wear necessary
Frame bearings, bushes replacement & Pivot bolts
Brake service, including inner and outer casing change
Disc brake clean and adjust and bleed system
Gear cable change and re-tune
Re-tape bars (Drop handlebars) or fit new grips
Suspension service & setup to rider
Thread Cleaning:
Re-tap & face bottom Bracket
Reamer seat tube
Re-tap pedal threads
Re-tap frame bosses and gear hanger mount
Prepare and spray frame with logos

  • Price Menu (Full menu of service, eBike service and stand alone repairs)

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