Bike maintenance for a Noob

Hey all,

Hope you’re all keeping well during these ‘interesting’ times.

My winter bike is in need of some TLC and was looking to do it myself - I know, what could possibly go wrong!? :face_with_hand_over_mouth:
I wash it down after every ride (once a week in the wonderful wetness of Ireland) so I like to think that it was somewhat protected.
I was looking at doing a few things that are deemed “basic” however I have done very little maintenance on my bikes bar cleaning chains, replacing tubes / tyres, seats or bar tape. So I am planning on keeping it simple enough but that will help with maintaining the longevity as this bike will be my commuter when we are allowed to roam freely again.

The below I was planning on doing:

Clean and grease headset
Clean and lube freehub body
Replace brake pads (mechanical disc brakes)
Adjust / Index gears
Adjust brakes with new pads

Where as I appreciate none of you have the bike in your hands and cannot tell what else might need to be done, can I ask the more knowledgeable of you, is there anything else I should look at doing whilst I am at it?

The bike in question is a Focus Mares AX commuter and I will be leaning heavily on YouTube for videos so I am trying to avoid needlessly complicated jobs that may not be needed.

Thanks in advance! This is what I would do!

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Check if the chain needs replacing?

Also see if any cables seem sticky or look worn or otherwise odd. Then replace that cable (possible with outer housing).

If you are at cleaning an regreasing, the bottom bracket could go on your list

I also like to make sure the seatpost hasn’t seized, and is clean etc.

Good time to learn how to do these things now, during the lockdown.

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Just go for new cables if they are more than a few years old. It makes a big difference.


Yes, and you can avoid a broken shifter cable head by replacing your cables at least annually. Depending on cable routing, if your bike has cable stops it’s good to replace the ferrules as well. Alloy ferrules can become stuck to the frame cable stop.

Clean and degrease the drive train. check the chain wear. Replace bar tape - nice to have fresh tape but also you can clean and check your handle bars, if there’s a ton of sweat salt in there, it’s best to replace your bars.

You may also consider some basic wheel truing, which can be done on the bike with only a spoke wrench - you can use a cut off zip tie as a measuring gauge. Not perfect set up, but it does work.

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The brake pad change/adjust seems like an easy job, but can be a nightmare! I’ve had some that have taken hours to get right. What exact brakes does your model have on it - it might be one of the ones I’ve already made all the mistakes and can tell you what not to do :smiley:

Clean and lube freehub body might also be impossible - some just pull off, others need a 10 or 12mm allen wrench which you might not have lying around…

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Depending on pedals - give them the once over too. I’d second or third the new cables too.

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Thanks will definitely check this out!

Thanks - cables seem cheap enough so may be prudent to just replace them!

If I get it right in the end I wont mind how much time it takes! They are Shimano R517 mechanical ones.
I have a good few tools so hopefully Ill have all I need.