Bike maintenance - general protocol

So I’ve just got my new summer bike that I only intend to ride in dry conditions but want to keep it in tip top shape.

I’m generally ok at maintaining my bike but can be a bit lazy so just wondering what people or could point my in the directiondo of a rough time frames/miles covered when they do certain things:

For example what they do before every ride
After a ride
After x amount of miles

I know the miles will be dependent on the conditions you ride in but just a rough rule of thumb and links to how you clean/maintain the different parts of the bike

I’d clean your chain at least once a week. Just grab a chain cleaning tool and run it with some degreaser. Then relube. Some ppl do this daily; I tried that and realized its way too much. Aside from that, a good cleaning maybe once a month (more if you’re anal) and an end of the season tune up. That’s more than enough for ya.

The key is to do less maintenance more often. Here’s a rough breakdown for me:

Every ride: check tire pressure, work the brakes and gears to make sure everything feels right, check QR skewers or thru axles to make sure they’re tight, make sure the headset spacers can’t spin. After the ride, wipe off the chain with a rag. If it’s nasty outside, clean the bike.

Everything else is as-needed. Things to pay attention to: Oil the chain when it’s loud. Not more often than that. If the shifting gets difficult, lube the cable. Adjust brakes and/or change pads as wear dictates. Check the chain weekly and replace before it’s too far gone. If the chain is super gross I will pull it off the bike to clean thoroughly. I wash my bikes weekly or more often if needed.

Before a race, I do everything. Clean and lube the whole drivetrain, dial the shifting and brakes, torque check every bolt.

Before and after every season I strip the bike completely and rebuild from the frame. You probably should not do this.

If you do the “every ride” things and keep your bike somewhat clean, then taking it into a local shop quarterly for a checkup will prevent most major issues and keep the average service cost low.


The big thing is keep the chain and rear cassette clean, and the chain lubed. Everything beyond that is gravy.

I used Squirt, which doesn’t pickup dirt unless I end up riding through wet sand / dirt on the road. So I usually just wipe down the chain after every ride and re-lube after every several rides.

Bike washing / chain cleaning is on an as needed basis only.

Really depends a lot on where you ride, and for how long. Here I wash the bike after every ride, inclusing washing the chain down and re-lube it. Everthing else, keep an eye on it and change when needed.

One thing I’ve found to be important is to be quick with lubing the chain after really wet rides, because it can start rusting in hours if the lube is gone and it’s wet.

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Pretty much agree with this. Wipe and lube chain weekly or after nasty rides and you are pretty much set.

Often overlooked on rim brakes - clean/condition the pads ~monthly or after riding in nasty weather. Pads get glazed quickly and they also get grit into them. Glazed pads dramatically increase stopping distance, especially with carbon. Grit in the pads will wear down brake tracks in a hurry.

I also replace chains about every 2500-3k miles.

+1 for Squirt lube, it’s a game changer.