Buying and installing replacements cost time and money. Cycling gear isn’t exactly cheap and certainly isn’t something you would want to constantly replace. So, you need to take care of it so it lasts.
From damaging helmets to destroying derailleurs, there are certain things you may be doing unintentionally (or deliberately) that can greatly lessen the lifespan of your cycling gear. Check out the 9 common ways riders trash their cycling gear.
#1 Ignoring noises
It’s common for bikes to squeak and creak here and there, but if your ride is racketing consistently, there might be a serious problem. For instance, a creaking noise you can’t trace can be anything from overtightened stem bolts to a press-fit bottom bracket that’s backing out of the frame. Not knowing the root of the noise might make the problem much worse.
#2 Ignoring your brakes
Let’s be honest — a lot of us don’t care about our brakes until there’s a big problem. Get rid of this habit. Ignoring your brakes will make the discs or pads glazed, eventually reducing their effectiveness. In addition, the grit in the pads can groove the rim sidewalls over time and lessen the lifespan of the wheels.
#3 Storing your bike wet
Water can damage your cycling gear. Many cyclists ride their bikes in the rain, but if you keep your bike wet for a day or two, you’re unnecessarily harming your bike. Carbon fibre frames won’t rust, but corrosion will affect other components of the bike such as chain, cassette, and bearing races, which are made of steel.
#4 Riding with a dirty drivetrain
If you’re riding your bike for a month or so, it’s very likely that your rear derailleur pulley wheels are full of sludge. This sludge will grind your drivetrain like sandpaper.
Every time you pedal down the street, it will wear down the metal of your chain, cassette, and chainrings, ultimately ruining your whole drivetrain. A filthy drivetrain will also affect your pedalling efficiency and the quality of your shifting.
#5 Using wrong tools
This is common sense. Using the wrong tool to fix your bike in case of damage or doing repairs can actually damage your bike and make it difficult to work on in the future. Overtightened seatpost clamps, rounded bolt heads, etc are some common problems caused by using the wrong tools.
#6 Skipping the instructions
You know what they say — a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And sometimes, that’s very true. If you’re working on your bike, it is important you know precisely how to maintain and repair it. Otherwise, it will create more problems the next time you work on it.
#7 Leaving the saddle dirty and stinky
If you ride your bike regularly or have just finished a race, it’s highly likely that your saddle or kit sits will be moist and dirty from the heat and sweat. This can harm the threads in your saddle. Besides, the longer you keep your sit kits unwashed, the harder it will be for you to get rid of the stains and odours. Contrary to some riders’ beliefs, washing doesn’t harm the durability of your cycling gears.
#8 Leaving your vehicle hitch rack on
This cycling gear is common among people to take their bikes with them during their travels. Hitch racks can endure all sort of abuse. Heck, they’re designed that way, but they’ve their limitations. If you leave your hitch rack on the back of your vehicle 24/7, which is common practice for many people, then be ready for shortened lifespan and reduced performance.
#9 Misusing your helmet
With Singapore’s heat, you need to take proper care of your lifesaving cycling gear. Exposing your helmet in direct sunlight for long hours can deteriorate the materials in the polycarbonate shell and EPS foam. Heat in itself can be dangerous for helmets. The trunk of a car can get super hot, enough to deform the foam liner and the shell.
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