Making sure your bike wheels are well maintained is essential if you want to get the most out of your riding experience. Your bike wheels are made up of lots of small components which go together to create a great ride. If any one of those components isn’t up to scratch your whole bike can be affected, which is why it’s so important to maintain your wheels. Follow these tips for wheel maintenance and make sure that your bike wheels are up to scratch.
Maintaining Your Bike Wheels
Keeping your wheels in tip top condition is an easy task that won’t require too much effort from you. You’ll need mole grips, zip ties, grease, lube, a cloth, a spoke prep and a spoke key.
Checking The Hubs
Your wheel bearings need to be greased in order to keep them rolling smoothly, but new wheels often come with little or no grease on them so always check your hubs for grease when you purchase new tyres.
Greasing The Hubs
If your hubs are cartridge bearing you can remove the alloy seal covers. These can be pulled of or fixed with an Allen grub screw. You’ll need a thin cone spanner to undo the outer bearing seat and seals. Any balls should be replaced with the same number and size and waterproof grease should be used on new bearings.
Checking The Flanges
Some hubs have alloy flanges which run parallel and are drilled with holes into which the spokes fit. Sometimes the spokes can cause tension which leads to tiny cracks in the hub so check your flanges for cracks every so often. If you choose high quality wheels, such as Chris King Wheels, you’re much less likely to incur cracks in your flanges.
Check The Nipple Rounds
If your wheels have experienced intensive or regular truing then nipple wear can occur, especially if you have alloy or lightweight nipples. Use a good quality spoke key to avoid rounding off the edges of the nipples and bear in mind that you can’t adjust fully rounded nipples.
If you can’t remove a nipple with a spoke key due to damage then you will need to remove the tyre, tube or rim strip and use a flat blade screwdriver or spoke driver to unthread the spoke. You can also drop light oil down the spoke to help lubricate the thread and make removing the nipple easier.
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